Win XP //ip.ip.ip.ip /C$

Will log you onto another XP machine on the network.
What determines which user and password you access on that other PC?

That should also work on W2K machines. Access is granted thru local users/groups of administrators (I think only $ shares are for admins). On a domain anyone in the local, domain, or enterprise administrators group.

If you do that it tries to log in to the remote machine using your local username and password. You can change that by typing \username@servername, which will prompt for a password if necessary, or \username:password@servername. The second form is less secure, as the whole path, including username and password, is usually stored in the drop-down history list.

Your access will be attempted with whatever security context you’re running the command as. Typing \x.x.x.x\c$ where x.x.x.x is another NT/2K/XP host accessible to you usually won’t get you anything unless the account you’re logged in as is also an administrator on x.x.x.x. If you’re not an admin, you’ll be prompted for authentication.

The default shares are only accessible by administrators. The has nothing to do with security though, it merely hides the share from the browse list.

Thanks, but spell it out for me.
Works ok at work, where I’ve assigned the same limited user and admin accounts with the same passwords.
On the home network, we have a PC named Jack, IP
Administrative user is admin, password green
We want to see it from a PC named laptop, IP
Aministrative user is administrator, password purple.
How do I do it?

Thanks again

I have an account named “admin” on all PCs with the same password. I access the other PCs logged on as admin from my PC.
Some PCs ask for a password for the guest account.


At home you have what’s called a “workgroup”. In practical terms ,that means there is no centralized security authority and each PC is doing it’s own login checking against its own user/password list. That’s very different from your situation at work, where a central authority called a domain controller is doing the checking for every attempted communication between any 2 PCs.

If you fire up a command prompt (MS-DOS window) and type “net view”, you’ll get a list of all the PCs on your home network. The same list is available in Windows Explorer under My Network Places | Entire Network | …

When you reference one as \ip.ip.ip.ip\sharename or as \computername\sharename, the username and password you are logged in with locally are sent to the other machine.

If that username and password matches one it recognizes on its username/password list, then you are “authenticated”. In other words, it now knows who you are. If not, you’re rejected and the connection doesn’t work.

So if you have two machines, and both have an “admin” account, the passwords need to be the same. That way when your’re logged onto Machine1 and try to access \Machine2\sharename, then the logon works. If the machine’s passwords are different, then the logon fails. Just like if you’d sat down at Machine2’s console and tried to login as Machine2’s admin using Machine1’s admin password.

Depending on some details, when the passwords don’t match, sometimes you’ll see a logon box displayed, and sometimes not. If so, enter Machine2’s account and password and you’ll be in business.
Finally, getting the user name and password correct is only 1/2 the battle. That “authenticates” you , where now the other machine knows who you are. The second step is “authorization”, deciding what to let you do, based on who you are.

The admin user has essentially unlimited rights, so authorization can be all but ignored. But if you set up users with less-than-admin rights, then you need to ensure they have access to the resources they need. You do that by, while logged on as admin, changing the security settings on the folders, files, and registry sections the low-powered user may have.

In my home workgroup I’ve got two accounts on each machine, the admin and the low-powered user. The two account names and matching passwords are the same on each machine so sharing works transparently. I’ve spent the time to carefully adjust security on th elow-powered user upwards from total lockdown just enough to permit the usual daily use of each machine. Result: very high resistance to malware. But boy, was it a PITA to set up.
Security setup gets real deep real quickly, and is a lot of why Windows has such a lousy reputation for security. The OS’s security facilities are really OK, but it’s effectively turned off on most machines as shipped because it takes too much expertise for the clueless home user to manage correctly.

And they’re stuck in a chicken and egg situation with current commercial 3rd party software that assumes security is off, so MS can’t turn it on without breaking almost all of the user’s programs. XP SP2 will do womoething similar to this, but almost exclusively within the browser. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops when it’s released and breaks many commercial websites for its users. Which will win, safe computing or out-of-box ease of use? I know how I’m betting. Unfortunately.

All the PCs I couldn’t get into had simple file sharing selected.

Again, unless the user name and password on both PCs was the same it won’t work.

If Machine1 has a user named “Admin” with password “green”, and Machine2 has a user named “Administrator” with password “purple” it ain’t gonna work.

If both machines have a user named “Admin” with password “green”, then it’ll work.

All my PCs at work have an account named ADMIN with the same password.
The machines that asked for the guest account password had Simple File Sharing enabled. Un checking the box made them accessible.

This is wrong. If you are sitting on a machine named “laptop”, where your admin is “administrator” with a password of “purple”, and you want to log into the machine “jack”, where the admin is “admin” with a password of “green”, you simply log in using “jack\admin” as the username, and “green” as the password.

In XP, most places which ask for a username will accept the more explicit format “domain\username” (and when speaking of workgroup situations, the domain is simply the machine name). So even if both machines had a user named “fred”, you can disambiguate between the two by specifying “laptop\fred” or “jack\fred”.

The PC being seen asks for the user with that format
ame\user, but won’t accept it.

ame\my documents finds My Documents on Name.
How does Windows know the difference between fred as a user an fred as a folder?

As a matter of interest what error message or other feedback do you get back from this command?

net use r: \ip.ip.ip.ip\c$ /user:administrator

where r: is some drive you have spare on the connecting machine.

It is my experience that if you have administrator accounts on different machines with different passwords that windows will have difficulty connecting administative shares between them. I expect to see an error along the lines of " a conflicting set of credentials exist" if this is the case. Either synch the passwords or log onto the connecting machine as a user that doesn’t exist on the hosting machine.

The password or user name is invalid for \ip.ip.ip.ip\C$

Enter the password for ‘administrator’ to connect to ‘ip.ip.ip.ip’:
and after doing so
the command completed successfully.

So is your R drive now connected to the remote machine’s C drive? If so will this work as a solution for you or do you need something else?

Yes, it maps the drive with differing passwords and accounts.


The format is not \computer\user, it’s computer\user (no leading backslashes). The \computer\foo format is used for shares, computer\foo is used for users.

I see we got the OP straightened out; great.

I was interpretting his question as wanting a seamless way to refer to other-machine files / drives / shares with no logon required. Certainly he can either “net use” or just refer to a named share, and supply destination-machine credentials at that time.

Thanks again, all.
Where does one find documentation?