Network Administration: Windows Server 2008 Share Basics - dummies

Network Administration: Windows Server 2008 Share Basics

A share is simply a folder that is made available to other users via the Windows Server 2008 network. Each share has the following elements:

  • Share name: The name by which the share is known over the network. To be compatible with older computers, you should stick to eight-character share names whenever possible.

  • Path: The path to the folder on the local computer that’s being shared, such as C:Accounting.

  • Description: A one-line description of the share.

  • Permissions: A list of users or groups who have been granted access to the share.

When you install Windows and configure various server roles, special shared resources are created to support those roles. You shouldn’t disturb these special shares unless you know what you’re doing. The following table lists some of the more common special shares.

Special Shares
Share Name Description
drive$ The root directory of a drive.
ADMIN$ Used for remote administration of a computer. This share points
to the operating system folder (usually, C: Windows).
IPC$ Used by named pipes, a programming feature that lets processes
communicate with one another.
NETLOGON Required in order for domain controllers to function.
SYSVOL Another required domain controller share.
PRINT$ Used for remote administration of printers.
FAX$ Used by fax clients.

Notice that some of the special shares end with a dollar sign ($). These shares are hidden shares that aren’t visible to users. However, you can still access them by typing the complete share name (including the dollar sign) when the share is needed.

For example, the special share C$ is created to allow you to connect to the root directory of the C: drive from a network client. You wouldn’t want your users to see this share, would you? (Of course, shares such as C$ are also protected by privileges so that if an ordinary user finds out that C$ is the root directory of the server’s C: drive, he or she still can’t access it.)