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Windows 7: How to access an end user's PC on company network

30 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 pro 64
How do I access files on another PC on site?

Hello. I'm a desktop analyst and I need access to a remote PC on our network. The user has disabled remote access to his PC.
I need to see files on that PC and I planned on using \\domain\computername c$ but it says "could not connect". That command works on other PC's here, but not the one in question.
What can I do to enable access so that command works?
There is staffing changes being made and I need to do this without the end user knowing.
I have full access to AD and all servers here, if needed. Thanks for your help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 May 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I had an issue with administrative shares (C$) on our company network, I fixed the access issue you have described by going into the 'Network and Sharing Center,' selecting 'Change advanced sharing settings,' and turning on 'File and Printer Sharing.' Then I took a new Windows 7 Enterprise image for deployment that included this fix. To be safe, I added a command to enable this feature as a first logon command in my sysprep file.

If you can either physically access this machine or remote desktop into it you should be able to do this. If not, you can try using the following command from psexec as long as remote registry is enabled:

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="File and Printer Sharing" new enable=Yes
That same code will also work in a sysprep file, which is what I was referring to earlier in this post. I set it to run as a first logon command to be sure that all of my machines have this enabled.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 pro 64

I don't have physical access to the machine (the user cannot know I accessed it). Is there any way I can make //domain/computername c$ work from my PC to access his? For some reason, it works on all other PCs here, but not his.

I also don't know "how" to use that command line you gave me. Where it goes, etc?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Then use psexec with the command I showed you in my previous post. As long as remote registry is running it will work
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 pro 64

Downloaded psexec.... extracted.... and when I run it, a DOS window appears for a split second and disappears.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Psexec is a command line utility, it has no GUI so you can't just click on it. The easiest thing to do is put all the extracted files in your system32 directory so you can run it without specifying the path to it. See the following link for usage:

The ps suite is invaluable to admins, I'm surprised you've never used it before. Get to know all the tools and they will save you tons of time and effort
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #7

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by snyper77 View Post
...the user cannot know I accessed it...
This sounds very fishy to me...Why do you need access to the machine without the user knowing? Does the computer in question belong to the company? Is their some purpose to what it is you are doing? Because I can tell you right now, if the computer is privately own and is not hooked up to a domain, (I assume the company network/computers are part of a domain controller). Then trying to access said computer remotely will not work, and it would be consider hacking. Which is against forum rules.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I agree with you logicearth, it sounds possibly suspicious. However, since the Internet gives us no background or insight into someone's position I'm inclined to give the OP the benefit of the doubt. As a network admin myself I can think of several reasons to access another computer silently, but I find it hard to believe that someone in the field would have a hard time figuring this out. Regardless, I have provided the steps I would use and hope they can be of use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 pro 64

NO, the user is being laid off, but doesn't know. He may have suspicion that he is getting laid off and we need to backup some files on his HD before they are possibly harmed. I actually need to activate RDP in group policy for all PC's. I'm still spinning my wheels here.

That link tells me to Open Group Policy Management Console and create and link a new GPO to this OU (containing all the computers). I have a folder (OU) in AD called "Computers" with all PCs in it, but I can't figure out how to attach ALL the pcs to a Group Policy.
I created a GP called "Enable RDP" - went to properties, on scope tab, under Security FIltering, I hit "add", but it won't grab the entire folder called "computers", it's only letting me add individual computers. HOw do I get it to grab ALL pcs?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

As far as the remote access issue from before, if you don't have physical access to the machine and you can't remote into it then you're only option is psexec. However, this will only work with remote registry service enabled on the destination PC (it's not enabled by default, so unless you set it up that way you're out of luck).

As far as using Group Policy to enable RDP on all machines in an OU, as long as they're all in the proper OU it should work. If you want the policy to apply to all PCs then simply don't do any filtering and it will automatically apply to everything in the OU it's linked to. Filtering is for applying a policy only to certain machines or machines with certain attributes when creating a separate OU for them isn't possible.

Let me know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to access an end user's PC on company network

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