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Administrator cannot see standard user shares

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:59 am
by DataMystic Support
If you use Windows Vista or Windows 7, elevated (ie administrator) normal user network drive and shares are not visible.

You need to create the network drives/shares a second time for the administrator.

To understand why the network drive is not visible to the programs running as administrator, we have to consider how Windows handles the standard and administrator user access internally. In simple terms, when UAC (User Account Control) is enabled, Windows creates a split personality for your user account: one with the standard user’s access rights to do the the regular tasks, and another one with the full administrative access to the system. When you log in to the computer, Windows tries hard to create the impression that these two personalities are the same: they share the login name and password, the desktop and documents, settings and preferences, and so on. However, when it comes to mapping the network drives, Windows prefers to treat them as separate accounts (for security reasons). That’s why the network drives created when you wear the hat of the standard user do not automatically become available when you put the administrator’s hat on.

You can force Windows to make the network drives available to both the standard and administrator accounts automatically.
1. Run Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
2. Locate the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Policies/System
3. Create a new DWORD entry with the name EnableLinkedConnections and value 1:
4. Restart the computer

Update for Windows 8

It appears that the EnableLinkedConnections setting is not always working correctly on Windows 8: if a standard user has created a mapped network drive pointing to a subfolder of a shared folder (for example, drive Z: connected to //server/share/subfolder), then the elevated user will see the drive Z:, but it will be pointing to the root share, //server/share/, not to the subfolder.

If this error creates a problem for you, then it’s better not to use the EnableLinkedConnections registry fix at all. Instead, just create the mapped network drive twice.

Re: Administrator cannot see standard user shares

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:14 pm
by DFH
Has the Windows 8 "bug" been reported to Microsoft?

Re: Administrator cannot see standard user shares

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:47 pm
by DataMystic Support
I have no direct channel to Microsoft. Just a humble developer. Based on my experience with the Microsoft Office team, they don't really care anyway.