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Datto RMM: What Is an Admin$ Share and How Do I Enable It?

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Question

What is an Admin$ share and how do I enable it?

Environment

  • Datto RMM

Answer

Admin$ shares or administrative shares are hidden network shares created by the Windows NT family of operating systems. They give system administrators remote access to every disk volume on a network-connected system.

Determining Admin$ share state

If SIf Admin$ shares are not enabled you will see an error within the logs (as well as the Network Node's activity section) that looks like this:

Deployment results for 10.50.10.202
Starting DeployCAG onto '10.50.10.202'
Deployment failed : The network'\10.50.10.202\ADMIN$' path was not found.Deployment onto '10.50.10.202' with username 'tn' using method 'Deployment on Windows via temporary service' failed, trying next set of credentials

Enabling Admin$ shares

If a machine has Admin$ shares turned off, you must enable them before performing a remote deployment. You can either:

  • enable them with the Windows Fix it for me tool
  • run the following command on the network node via Windows Command Line:
    start \admin$ -username -password

Verify the share is now enabled:

1. Open Windows Explorer on the network node and run:

\\\admin$

2. You should see a network password prompt: 

2019-03-11_16-11-16.pngFigure 1: Network password prompt after enabling Admin$ shares (click to enlarge)

Windows 8 and Admin$ Shares

On Windows 8 machines, Admin$ shares are not enabled by default. To enable the Admin$ share on Windows 8 Machines:

1. Run Regedt32 and browse to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Policies
System

2. Right-click the right panel to create a REG_QWORD (64-bit machines) or REG_DWORD (32-bit machines) value called LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy. Set its value to 1.

3. Ensure file sharing is turned on for both machines.

4. If the firewall is on, ensure that file sharing is allowed both in and out.

Additional Resources

Windows Fix It For Me Tool (external link)


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