Migrate shares from one Windows NT server to another

Windows NT allows users to access files over a network through a share folder that holds the files. In this Windows NT tip, learn how to create these shares, and find out how you can export the share information from one computer and import it into another.

Windows NT's easy-to-use file server functionality allows users to access files over a network through a share folder that holds the files. You can create this folder by right-clicking any folder and selecting the Sharing option. Then, all you have to do is select the name for the share and define the permissions.

Windows NT 4 stores all share information in the registry. This allows you to export the information from one machine and import it into another. To access the share information, open the Registry Editor by going to Start | Run, typing regedt32.exe, and clicking OK. Then, navigate to the following key:


This registry key lists all shares. To move a share from one server to another, follow these steps:

  1. In the Registry Editor, go to Registry | Export Registry File.
  2. Save the settings in a .reg file by selecting a location and clicking Save.
  3. Close the Registry Editor.
  4. Copy the .reg file to the destination computer.
  5. Right-click the file, and select Merge.

In order for the shares to show up, you'll need to restart the machine. Or you can start and stop the server service (enter Net Stop Server and then Net Start Server at the command prompt) and other services that require server service.

Be aware that this procedure will migrate all of the shares from the source machine. In addition, you must store the folders on the same drive as before. For example, if you copied the C:\test share from one machine, you must copy the folder to the same location (C:\test) on the destination machine.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

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