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.

29 comments
VamosRafa
VamosRafa

how to prevent compressed files copy according to their contents? because i can't deny compreesed files but i have to control their contents. thanx.

charles.ahpoe
charles.ahpoe

I mean even if you explicitly deny everything and allow only .doc, *.xls ....blah blah blah... what would it do if i just rename the .mp3 extension to any of the allowed extension....it will just allow the mp3 to be stored on the server under ...lets say a .doc extension............ my 2cent

kochiengmwango
kochiengmwango

I cannot find FSMC after following the steps you illustrated.what might be the issue?I need to accomplish this task.

amitdegoa
amitdegoa

Im using Windows 2003 standard server service pack 1 for which i dont have the option after management & monitoring tools - File Server Management console ( I dont Get this option) So what to do..? I get all 1) Connection manager administrationkit ,connection point service,network monitor ,simple network...but no File Server Management console option...Pls help..

jpmcca
jpmcca

Hi... I was going to try this but when I went to the add\remove the FSMC was not there... after checking and trying to rerun, was not able to add it... i have windows 2003 R2 sp2,,, any help on this....

tomofumi
tomofumi

I can't find "file group" in File Server Management, I'm running 2003 non-R2 version, is it for R2 only? But the title is misleding, it just said "Windows Server 2003".....

Kevin W
Kevin W

If your server licenses are all pre-R2, you need to pay to get R2 added on. If you have some pre-R2 and some post-R2 licenses, you should be able to juggle them around a bit and get the R2 functions you need on the servers where you need them.

cj
cj

I cannot find File Server Management Console in the location specified in the Add/Remove Programs. It's not in my Administrator Tools folder either. I have 2003 Standard SP2.

dcbrow2
dcbrow2

I am missing the file and server management option from my windows compents menu. I have a windows 2003 standard server with service pack 2. Anyone know why I don't see the option for File Server Management console when I go into the Management And Monitoring Tools??? Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!

itsp1965
itsp1965

I am assuming this console is avaliable only in the R2 Release of Windows 2003. I can't seem to find it on my Windows 2003 Enteprise. If this is the case, can it be downloaded?

smuthipudi
smuthipudi

Will this apply for windows 2000 terminal server also ?

TG2
TG2

I guess, the best thing would be to make sure its clear that the blockage is of file extensions only. .mp4 could be associated with winamp, and so could just about *any* extension if an employee wanted to. so this doesn't really solve the problem, just makes those that know better work harder to do what they want. On the flip side, you should add .r?? as in .rar, .r00, .r01, .r02 ..etc so you could block crackers that hack your box and try to store large multi chunk files (like a dvd movie or game rom) on the system.. not too many people are as familiar with RAR as they are ZIP.

wlad24
wlad24

''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.'' HOW we can create file groups?

alexc
alexc

First from what I've read you have to have r2 bits. Secondly I also had to install File Server Resource Manager. Also note I currently do not have AD on my network, I soon will but don't right now.

robg
robg

You have to purchase it from Microsoft. R2 was an add-on version that helsp with Storage Management and has some AD enhancements.

Aravinds1611
Aravinds1611

Is it possible to upgrade from Windows Server 2003 SP2 to R2? We are looking for File server management tools.. Thank you. Best Regards, Aravind.

itadmin01
itadmin01

To Kevin W, what do you mean "If you have some pre-R2 and some post-R2 licenses, you should be able to juggle them around a bit and get the R2 functions you need on the servers where you need them" I have 3 R2 licenses on other terminal/application servers but on the file server I need, I don't have R2. What do you mean I can "juggle" the licenses around? How can I add R2 from one of my servers that doesn't need it, to this file file server with no R2?

alexc
alexc

So I followed this to a "T". But now when I go back and look at my File Screens, the screening type is set for Passicve. When I created the File Screen I specifially chose Active. When I go back to edit the File Screen Proerties, it is selected as Passive and I choose Active and hit OK, the FIle Screen is back to Passive. What am I missing?

Derek Schauland
Derek Schauland

This explanation is given in the tip. To create a file group complete the following steps: 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.

Kevin W
Kevin W

It is no problem to install the R2 functions on a pre-R2 server. Just stick in the Windows 2003 R2 CD#2 and install it. It will ask you for a valid R2 license key, but otherwise it should install quite smoothly. You just have to be sure that to be legal, you are not using R2 functions on more servers than you have R2 licenses for.

Derek Schauland
Derek Schauland

What other options are configured? I tried this and was unable to duplicate the changing of the screening type. When I create new screens they show up as active, editing them after still leaves them active... Is there anything specific you might be doing, settings or any configuration options you are using?

umeshkmr
umeshkmr

Hi, I don't get the screening management option in my server, please suggest. Regards UK

alexc
alexc

1) File screen path: C:\ 2) Screening Type: Active 3) I select the File Group I created (In my umpteenth million try I chose a built in File Group Image Files) 4) No EMail 5) I do have it write an event log 6) No Commands 7) No Reports 8) and I do not create a template (have tried both ways) Am I doing something wrong? Will this only work with AD? I am on a Workgroup Network (Non-AD ...yet)

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