Tech Tip: Redirect folders/View and manage permissions from a console

Windows 2000 Professional: Redirect folders

Managing users' data can be a real challenge. Most users aren't very good about backing up their documents, and many wouldn't know how if they had the inclination. You can reduce administrative overhead considerably and provide a better experience for users by redirecting their folders to a server, where you can control how and when they're backed up.

Windows 2000 group policy allows you to redirect the Application Data, Desktop, My Documents, My Pictures, and Start Menu folders. When the user logs on and group policy is applied, Windows looks to the specified network location for the folders. For example, you might redirect a user's My Documents folder to his or her home folder on a network file server. When the user double-clicks the My Documents icon, Windows displays the contents of the remote folder, rather than the user's local folder.

Redirecting a user's documents to a network share enables you to easily back them up. You don't need to worry whether the user has left his or her computer running, and you can schedule the backup as needed. The capability to back up at the server also eliminates the need to run backup agents on users' computers.

To configure Folder Redirection policies, open the user's OU in the Active Directory, create or modify a Group Policy Object (GPO) for it, and configure the policies in the User Configuration\Windows Settings\Folder Redirection branch as needed to redirect client folders to a server.

Windows 2000 Server: View and manage permissions from a console

Windows 2000 provides several mechanisms that enable administrators to view and manage permissions. In many situations, however, it's useful to be able to manage permissions from a console. Showacls.exe and Cacls.exe are extremely useful for viewing and managing Access Control Lists (ACLs), which control permissions, from a console or from a batch file or script.

Showacls.exe, included with the Windows 2000 Resource Kit, is a console tool that enumerates access rights for files, folders, and folder trees. The /S switch causes Showacls to include subdirectories; the /U switch lets you specify a user. Replace <path> with the file or folder path for which you want to view permissions:

Showacls.exe /S /U:(domain)\(user) <path>

For archival purposes, you can redirect Showacls' output to a file.

The Cacls.exe tool, included with Windows 2000, lets you modify ACLs. You can use Cacls.exe to modify permissions for a single user or multiple users, change ACLs for a single file or folder, or change them for an entire folder tree. Cacls.exe can add or remove permissions as needed.

For the Cacls.exe syntax and usage, execute the following command at a console prompt:


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