w2k server (C$ default share) keeps switching off.

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Hello, A couple of weeks ago, users were suddenly unable to connect to a server after it had been restarted, this was tracked down to some services which were on manual and were not starting. After starting these services, users were able to contact their shared folders on the server, but they are unable to connect to the 'default share' and therefore cannot access printers that were shared out from the server. I share the 'c drive' out as C$ (default share), but shortly afterwards when i check, it has been unshared. No one can connect to the 'root' share, but they have no problems connecting to shares further down the tree. They can ping 'server' but when trying to access server, it says it either could not find, or access denied. Printers have been set up via IP in the mean time, but this is causing other issues. What could be stopping C$ from being shared (it is perfectly happy to be shared as somthing other than C$) Could it be a service that is still not running? Thanks in advance.
ASKED: October 4, 2005  8:06 PM
UPDATED: October 7, 2005  1:42 PM

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C$ is an administrative share, this is normally hidden from the end user. You need to use this for administrative purposes only and actually use a share name other than C$.

If you users are attempting to connect to a remote server from the command line they need to enter “\server” (without the quotes)as opposed to “server” or else they will recieve the error you described below.

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  • Deleted
    (i should probally stick this PM here) What i mean is, when a user tries to access "server they get a could not find etc message. Entering "server" will normally bring up a list of all shared printers and shared folders on the server. Because they cannot access this, they cant use the printers or access anything that excel specifies comes from "server". Logging into the server as administrator, C: is not shared, if i share it as C$ (default share), as the standard, it says its shared. Doing a 'net share' from cmd shows that it is shared, but 20 seconds later another 'net share' will show no c$. No one is able to get access at any stage.
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  • Wolfeee
    Have you checked the Share permission on this drive? You may want to change it to WRITE if it is only at READ, and then FULL Control for Administrators. We had a similar problem after we had some failures on a Win 2003 server. Drives would map but users got access denied when they tried to write to the drive. After checking the SHARE permissions (NOT NTFS) from the server, READ was the only permission set. We changed the SHARE permissions only, to Full Control (Since it was ok for these resources permission to be Full Control) and it fixed the problems with the access. I also agree with the first response in this chain, I am unsure why you are allowing ?users? to map to C$ on a server. Even if you have resources on C that you need them to access if you can, it would be better to move them to a different partition & drive letter mapping all together. Or, at the minim set up a new share mapping with a different drive letter to just the resources they need in C instead of sharing all of C$.
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  • Juscelino
    I agree with both of the previous replies. There is no reason for "normal" users to access C$. It also sounds like you have a DNS issue. Additionally, in my experience, the easiest way to install a printer is to simply browse the network using "Network Neighborhood" or "My Network Places" (depending on your OS).
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  • Ve3ofa
    as you've been told C$ is an administrative share.. which is wildly different than a normal shared folder. Since file shares normally inherit from the parent do you really want your users to have complete access to that drive (not counting ntfs file permission settings) ??? If they cannot access printers, are the printers themselves set as shared devices? As far as services not starting as they are set to manual.. that means they are an on demand service. By trying to use C$ to give access to printers you are also by default giving them complete access to the C drive.. Your 'work around' is a major security breach
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  • Deleted
    If it makes it easier to understand, perhaps forgetting about the C$ share would be better, but C$ default share should be shared, for administrative purposes. It is not. When you view the properties of C:, no sharing is set at all, i can set it to share as c$, but shortly afterwards, it removes this and becomes unshared. This is what i figured was the root of the problem, since all our computers have C$ shared by default. Printers are shared from the server, browsing to server, brings up an explorer window of all printers shared from the server + shared folders, then all you have to do to install a printer on a users pc is double click on the printer name. The workaround that i spoke of, is sharing each printer out via IP, which means the server is not involved at all, each computer sends data directly to the printer VIA IP. That works fine, the only problem is, one of our programs is an excel linked spread sheet, and when users try to go through certain links, it says "SERVER could not be found" just as trying to browse to server wont work but browsing to servershare works fine. I dont believe server is appearing in the 'microsoft windows network list', but as i said before browsing to the shares withing server works no problem. I assumed that this is related to the issue with C$ disappearing. All of this was working fine before some issues came up for unknown reasons and certain services were no longer starting as they should.
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  • Mschoenb2005
    What issues came up that started your sharing problems? BTW, are your NTFS permissions set correctly for server as well as the Share permissions. You can share a folder and still not have access to it if your NTFS permissions are not set to allow that user or group access.
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  • Ve3ofa
    fyi administrative shares (C$) is normally restricted to domain admninistrators. check the share permissions and the ntfs permissions.
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