DFS links to shares on Windows XP SP2 do not work on local system

Well for the larger businesses out there, this may not be a useful tip. But for those of us that support small networks, like less than 50 or even 10 systems, utilizing shares on workstations is sometimes needed. For example, I have servers in most all of my networks, and their hard drives are fairly large, but I don’t want to save all my downloads and application CD’s on the server. With newer workstations loaded with larger drives than servers sometimes, I’d rather make use of that space there. Not with the main, business critical data, but only things that are not needed for backups or maybe read only archives. These 500+ GB drives give us a ton of space, and when you only have less than 10 people accessing this data periodically, this makes perfect sense. Constant read/write access with lots of users would require the server, rarely accessed stuff goes on a workstation.

Here’s the problem I ran into though. I like to use DFS and create a single shared, mapped drive for all the users. In there I might have a couple shares pointing to workstations. On XP SP2, this works fine, EXCEPT if you are accessing the DFS link from the system where the share resides. You will get an Access Denied error, even with all the correct permissions.

Here’s a registry fix that will overcome the issue.
(Remember, use the registry at your own risk. Back it up if you must. Heck, backup your whole system!)

Open this key on the XP system:


Add a DWORD value:


Change its value to 1.

Reboot the system.

Your share should now be working from DFS mapped drive from the local system. (the local system where the share is located.)