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Introduction to Troubleshooting Access Control

Updated: June 8, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

This guide explains how to troubleshoot access control. If you are using this guide for the first time, review the following sections of this introduction:

When to Use this Guide

How to Use this Guide

When to Use This Guide

You should use this guide when:

  • You believe that a user is accessing a resource he or she should not have access to.

  • A user has been changing discretionary access control lists (DACLs) or system access control lists (SACLs) and you need to discover who is performing the changes.

  • A user who should have permission cannot access a resource.

Do not use this guide to find out how to perform a task, such as designing an access control strategy. Most access control problems arise due to the way the access control strategy was designed. While this guide can give you some guidance about how to best assign permissions and perform auditing, you should review the design documents listed in Additional Resources for Troubleshooting Access Control for more definitive advice.

This guide assumes that you have a basic understanding of access control, how it works, and why your organization uses it to control access to resources. You should also have a thorough understanding of how access control is deployed and managed in your organization. This includes an understanding of the mechanism your organization uses to configure and manage access control settings.

How to Use This Guide

This guide is divided into four sections. Each section addresses a type of problem, ranging from less complex to more complex.

Verifying Computer Settings for Troubleshooting Access Control

This section provides a list of prerequisites and settings that must be verified before you troubleshoot. Read this section first.

Access Control Quick Fixes

This section provides quick solutions to the most common access control problems. Read this section if you have verified your computer settings, but your problem persists.

Configuring a Computer for Access Control Troubleshooting

This section describes how to configure your computer for troubleshooting. Read this section if you cannot find a solution in the Quick Fixes section.

Troubleshooting Access Control Problems

This section provides step-by-step diagnostic procedures and possible solutions that help you identify and fix access control problems.

Additional Resources for Troubleshooting Access Control

Community Additions

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