Enterprise Software

Prevent users from storing .MP3 files on your Windows Server 2003

You can use Windows Server 2003 to prevent storage of unauthorized file types, including .MP3 files on your Windows 2003 file servers. This tip will show you how to configure the File Server Management Console (FSMC) to prevent the storage of .MP3 files on your server, and also how to create a file group and a file screen.

You will need to access the Configure Your Server wizard to install the FSMC. To accomplish this, open the Configure Your Server wizard and add the role of File Server. Servers upgraded from Windows 2000 Server to Windows Server 2003 R2 have this role present. If your file server already has this role, you still need the FSMC, which you will install.

To install the FSMC component, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Open the Add/Remove Programs applet.
  3. Choose Windows Components.
  4. Select the Management And Monitoring Tools component.
  5. Click the Details button.
  6. Check the box for the File Server Management console and click OK.
  7. When the install completes, close the Windows Components wizard and the Add/Remove Programs applet.

Once you install the FSMC, open the console from the Administrative Tools menu; you can now create file groups for the disallowed file types. For example, you might create a file group called Music Files to contain .MP3 and .WMA files and create another group called Video Files to manage .MPG and .MOV files.

By creating file groups and creating a file screen that uses them, you can prevent the saving of unwanted file types. (There are other settings available for file screening, but they are outside the scope of simply preventing file saving.)

Follow these steps in the FSMC to create these groups:

  1. Expand the File Screening Management node.
  2. Right-click the File Groups object and select Create File Group.
  3. Provide a name for the file group (in this case, Music Files).
  4. Specify the types of files to include by entering the extension *.MP3. If you wish to disallow files with a certain pattern in the name, you can specify that pattern with wildcards — for example, you would add files beginning with Track using the pattern Track*.
  5. Click the Add button to add the file type or pattern to the files to include dialog.
  6. Add any types of files or patterns you wish to exclude from this group in the Files To Exclude box. Click Add.
  7. When you finish adding all the file types to the group, click OK. The FSMC will display your new file group in the Details pane when you open the File Screening node.

You may also want to consider redirecting users' most used folders to a network location; this will make it easier to screen files. Follow these steps to create a file screen:

  1. Open the FSMC and right-click the File Screening Management node.
  2. Click Create File Screen.
  3. Provide the name of the folder you wish to screen. An example would be the UNC path of the redirected personal folder of a specific user, e.g., \server01\users\jsmith.
  4. Select the Define Custom File Screen Properties option.
  5. Click the Custom Properties button.
  6. On the Settings tab of the Custom Properties box, select Active Screening. This will prevent anyone from saving files that meet your specified conditions to the selected folder.
  7. Select the Music Files group. (You will check the boxes of the file groups you wish to use.)
  8. Click OK on Custom Properties and the Create File Screen dialog box.

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About

Derek Schauland has been tinkering with Windows systems since 1997. He has supported Windows NT 4, worked phone support for an ISP, and is currently the IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Wisconsin.

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