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If I create a file (TestFile.txt) as an non-admin user in a folder that user has full rights to, then deny all access to that file from the server as an admin, the user can no longer modify, copy, rename, etc, but for some reason is still allowed to delete the file....

Here's the output from the icacls command:

TestFile.txt STATE\CV0228U:(N)
             NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(I)(F)
             STATE\DOA MPERA Staff:(I)(S,RD,X,RA)

I thought 'Deny' took precedence over all other rights implicit or inherited? Thanks

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It's probably because the non-admin user is still the owner of the file. – GregD Aug 31 '10 at 17:11
I think you need to remove the owner: STATE\DOA MPERA Staff:(I)(S,RD,X,RA) - D is delete - isn't it? – Andreas Rehm Aug 31 '10 at 17:14
I thought about the non-admin user being the owner, so I created the file as the admin user from the server, then denied access to the non-admin user, but that non-admin user could still delete the file. The non-admin user is a member of the STATE\DOA MPERA Staff group, but the group's inheriting any rights it has...I thought Deny trumps all allows... Does ownership trump deny? – user52965 Aug 31 '10 at 17:37

The reason for this is because of this line:


That's inherited from the parent directory, and "DC" says it grants the "Delete Child" right. This allows rights-holders to remove files and folders in that directory. The explicit deny on the file itself is trumped in this case by the parent permission.

In order to do what you seem to want to do, avoid assigning the "Delete Child" right to the directory, and instead just assign "Delete".

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OK, so un-checking 'Delete subfolders and files' (but leaving 'Delete' checked) at the directory level did resolve not ALL inherited rights are trumped by explicit? Thanks for you help! – user52965 Aug 31 '10 at 18:49
@dsbigsky There is a reason Microsoft recommends against using the Deny right. It's somewhat unpredictable. In this case the rights of the file itself were never enumerated since it was a Child of a parent object that had the Delete Child right granted to it. Confusing, I know. – sysadmin1138 Aug 31 '10 at 19:00
Good to know...I'm just trying different scenarios to understand Windows file security better (coming from a Netware background) Thanks again for the help. – user52965 Aug 31 '10 at 19:11
Update: As i thought about this some more, it dawned on me that since this was a file I was denying access to, not a folder, it didn't have the 'Delete subfolders and files' attribute to take away, therefore the inheritance DID apply and the user could subsequently delete the file. I did the same test with a folder and didn't have the problem since the deny DID take away its 'Delete subfolders and files' priviledge. Thanks again everyone who responded. – user52965 Aug 31 '10 at 22:45
"the rights of the file itself were never enumerated since it was a Child of a parent object that had the Delete Child right granted to it" - you make it sound so simple ;) – Kara Marfia Sep 1 '10 at 2:37

Deny permissions don't always trump other permissions. My suggestion would be to look at the effective permissions on the file for that user.

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Effective permissions on the file by the non-admin user shows only 'Read permissions' and 'Change permissions'. Everything else is unchecked. What would trump an explicit Deny? – user52965 Aug 31 '10 at 18:05

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