How programantically enable file sharing (or 'why doesn't snetcfg.exe work?') RRS feed

  • Question

  • Howdy,

    I've been trying for a while now to programatically enable file sharing
    on Windows XP and Windows 2000 for a local application running under a non-domain controlled network, on a computer which has never been authorized for file sharing before. 

    It appears to me that there is no documented way to share a file or folder unless and until the user manually enables file sharing by using the file manager to either run the network setup wizard, or click the "just enable file sharing" checkbox in response to right clicking the file or folder to be shared in windows file manager and then selecting 'sharing'.

     According to Google anyway, the DDK
    sample program snetcfg is supposed to do what I want.  I've compiled the
    DDK version, and also written my own simplified version using ATL.
    Neither seems to really work.

    Uninstalling with snetcfg.exe works:

    snetcfg.exe -v -u MS_Server

    But installing starts the server service, but the user still has to use
    file manager's user interface to enable file sharing, both on XP and
    2000. Neither form of the snetcfg command line works for me:

    snetcfg.exe -v -u MS_Server

    or the long form

    snetcfg.exe -v -l %system%\inf \netserv.inf -c S -i ms_server

    I wrote a simplified version of snetcfg that uninstalls ms_server and
    then reinstalls it, since some google hits recommend this technique.

    In both the ddk sample snetcfg and my simplified version the api calls
    all succeed as expected.

    I'd appreciate any insights on how to programatically enable file and
    printer sharing that anyone might have.  An out line of my C++ attempt


    Jim Howard
    grayraven42 [at] gmail [dot] com

    // outline version of a c++ program to uninstall
    // and then reinstall ms_server


    // Get an INetCfg object
    CComPtr<INetCfg> Cfg
    HRESULT hr = Cfg.CoCreateInstance(CLSID_CNetCfg, NULL);
    // lock the object
    hr = Cfg.QueryInterface(&lock);
                    if (SUCCEEDED(hr))
                    { ....
                            hr = lock->AcquireWriteLock(
    // initialize the configuration object

    hr = Cfg->Initialize(0);

    // do the uninstall
    CComPtr<INetCfgComponent> ncc;
    const HRESULT HrNcc =
    Cfg->FindComponent(A2W(NETCFG_SERVICE_CID_MS_SERVER), &ncc);

    // get the configuration class pointer
    CComPtr<INetCfgClass> ncClass;

    hr = Cfg->QueryNetCfgClass(&GUID_DEVCLASS_NETSERVICE, IID_INetCfgClass,

    // get the setup pointer
    CComPtr<INetCfgClassSetup> ncClassSetup;

    // do the actual uninstall
    hr = ncClassSetup->DeInstall (ncc, &m_OboToken, NULL);

    // clean up

    //Install MS_Server
    CComPtr<INetCfg> Cfg
    CComPtr<INetCfgLock> lock;
    // here we obtain and lock net configuration object Cfg exactly as shown
    // variables setup here
    // copy netserve.inf using the setup api
    BOOL bSetup =  SetupCopyOEMInf(
                    path,              // usually c:\windows\inf\netserv.inf
                    NULL,               // other files are in the
                                        // same dir. as primary INF
                    SPOST_PATH,         // first param. contains path to INF
                    0,                  // default copy style
                    szInfNameAfterCopy, // receives the name of the INF
                    // after it is copied to %windir%\inf
                    MAX_PATH,           // max buf. size for the above
                    NULL,              // receives required size if non-null
                    NULL);              // optionally retrieves filename

    // do the actual install
    CComPtr<INetCfgClassSetup> ncClassSetup;
    CComPtr<INetCfgComponent> ncc;

    hr = Cfg->QueryNetCfgClass (&GUID_DEVCLASS_NETSERVICE,
        hr = ncClassSetup->Install(
            0,       // <upgrade-from-build-num>
            NULL,    // answerfile name
            NULL,    // answerfile section name
    // clean up


    return SUCCEEDED(hr);
    Friday, January 5, 2007 7:09 PM


  • Change this in the registry:


    that will make it so the user doesn't have to go through the network setup wizard to enable file sharing

    Friday, January 12, 2007 12:42 AM

All replies

  • Change this in the registry:


    that will make it so the user doesn't have to go through the network setup wizard to enable file sharing

    Friday, January 12, 2007 12:42 AM
  • Did you try to execute a "NET SHARE MyShareName=d:\mySharePath" from your program?
    Friday, January 12, 2007 4:12 PM
  • NET SHARE will only work AFTER you enable file and print sharing via the registry key or via the wizard.  The sharing hand will appear under the folder after a net share, but you won't be able to even see the computer from the network until file and print sharing is enabled.
    Friday, January 12, 2007 4:28 PM
  • Oops -- I figured that out right after I posted the comment.  Sorry for misunderstanding.
    Friday, January 12, 2007 4:51 PM
  • jtizzle, Thank you so much! I've been looking for this for a solid year!
    Wednesday, February 7, 2007 9:42 PM
  • So is there a final solution to enable File and Printer Sharing remotely? 
    Is there a compiled executable or source that will allow this? 
    Does this solution work with Windows XP Home as well?

    I have a few floating users that use Windows XP Home to access network services and I wanted to be able to use SysInternals PSTools on their systems.  I believe that enabling File and Print Sharing enables the default administrative shares necessary for PSTools to work.  But I wanted to be able to enable File and Print Sharing remotely.

    Can anyone help?
    Sunday, April 15, 2007 4:25 AM
  • hi ,

    Could someone please tell me where i could get snetcfg.exe and some of the command line switches?

    Also , can i access file sharing privileges. As in allowing netowork users to change shared files?

    I'd really be greateful if anyone helps , there is'nt much about this on the web.

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007 7:58 PM
  • Hi everyone. I know it's been a very long time since this thread started, but since I was like all of you trying to find a way to remotely enable/disable "File and Printer sharing" and other binded protocols for a specific network adapter, I thought I could give you the solution I found.

    There is now a tool called nvspbind that does just that. 

    It utilizes the INetCfg API.

    It is still a little buggy, and unfortunally the guy who coded it does not seem to work on it anymore, but it is still worth to check it out.

    Monday, January 23, 2012 2:06 PM