Microsoft KB Archive/101234

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Knowledge Base

How to Set Up Share Level Security with Windows NT

Article ID: 101234

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q101234


It is possible to make Windows NT user level security act somewhat like share level security by creating a user account that is intended to be shared by many users. To do so, use the following procedure:

  1. Create a user account in User Manager.
  2. Choose User Cannot Change Password and Password Never Expires.
  3. Make sure User Must Change Password at Next Logon is not checked.
  4. Add this account to any groups as desired or grant access directly to resources as appropriate.

When you want to give someone access a share, inform them that they may use this special user account and password when connecting to the resource.

To access this shared resource from File Manager and Print Manager, enter in the Connect As field the account name you created in the procedure. You will be prompted for the correct password.

To access a shared resource from the command line use the NET USE command with the following switches:

   /User:<account> <password>

For connecting to other resources such as named pipes or for programs that do not allow entry of the user name or password, make a connection to the computer before running the program from a command prompt using the following command:

   NET USE \\<computer>\IPC$ /User: <account> <password>

Note: Once a connection is established to a computer using a particular account, the connection must be deleted before another connection to the same computer can be established using a different account. For example, if a user wants to use the shared user account to access a computer, they will have to first disconnect any connection they already have under their own user account.

Background on Share Level vs. User Level Security

Share level security provides a password controlled gate to protected resources. The advantages of this security paradigm is that it allows granting access to a broad range of people with very little effort. It is not very secure, since the password is widely distributed and there is no notion of personal accountability. Windows NT's security paradigm is based upon granting access to individuals each of whom has an account. This allows fine-grained control over per-user access and allows individual accountability. The disadvantage is that you must create a user account for each user you want to grant access to and you must grant that user the access (either directly or by adding to an appropriate group).

Additional query words: prodnt

Keywords: kbnetwork KB101234