The Problem: Windows 7 Fails to Connect to Default Windows Admin Shares on Networked Drives

I got a new laptop with Windows 7 and I found I suddenly could not connect to the default administrative shares on other networked windows machines. For example: using remoteComputerNameC$ to connect to the default C drive admin share on the machine named remoteComputerName. My credentials where not accepted, even though I knew they were correct.

This was driving me nuts because I could do it just fine from my Windows Vista or Windows XP machines. I could also successfully log in to those machines as an administrator.

The Fix: Tweak the Local Security Policy

I finally found the answer. You need to properly set the Local Security Policy, which annoying comes with no default value set. Here’s how:

Windows 7 Can't Connect to Shared Network Drives.

By default, Windows 7 can’t connect to network shares. Fix this with a Local Security Policy Change. (Click image to enlarge.)

  • Click on the start button
  • type secpol.msc to run the Local Security Policy manager
  • In the left pane, navigate your way to Local Policies –> Security Options and click on Security Options.
  • In the right pane, find “Network security: LAN Manager authentication level” and double-click it.
  • In the drop down box, choose “Send LM & NTLM – use NTLMv2 session if negotiated”
  • Click apply.
  • BINGO! You should now be all set to connect to the default administrative share on your network drives.

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