WinNT4 server file shares accessible from a Windows 10 desktop

A few weekend’s ago I had an opportunity to delve into a part of Microsoft Windows security policy land that posed a realistic challenge that is surely faced by many people going through migration activities.

Problem statement:
Allow Windows 10 systems to get access to file shares created under Microsoft Windows NT.

After doing a bit of digging, I came across information from Microsoft that suggested such is not supported, starting with Windows 7.  The reality is that starting with Windows 7 Microsoft instituted new default security policies that are designed to keep Windows 7 client desktops more secure.  In the context of what I was looking to do, security concerns took a back seat (relevant disclosures apply).

The below has been tested on a Windows 10 desktop. If this is something you’re interested in doing, please take appropriate precautions around security and encryption in your environment.

Steps:
1) Run secpol.msc
2) Go over to “Local Policies” -> “Security Options”, and find the entry called “Network Security: LAN Manager authentication level”
3) From the dropdown menu select “Send LM & NTLM – use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated”.
4) Apply the settings

Note that by default there is no negotiation attempted to a less secure protocol – which is a more secure option, arguably.
Assuming all other appropriate file and print sharing is enabled, along with network discovery, you should be able to get to your NT4 share via the common \\SERVER syntax from a Microsoft Windows 10 desktop.

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