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I have an existing Windows File server running Windows 2003 R2. I want to upgrade this to Windows 2008 R2. The server has a lot of other unnecessary software installed, so I thought the best way for me to just install from scratch.

Currently the OS sits on c:\
Files sit on D:\

What could I use to save or copy the file permissions on all folders on the D:\ so that once the new OS is installed on the c:\ drive I could replicate those permissions back?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

As uSlackr already mentioned there is a big different depending on whether your server is a member (standalone) server or in a domain with permissions only set to domain accounts.

If you are in a domain, you don't have to do anything, because the DACLs on your files have ACE with Domain SIDs in them, they are still valid after you installed a new OS.

If you have a standalone server, it is more complicated. Even if you create users and groups with the same names, the ACEs will no longer work. Copying files including they DACL information will not help you because the DACL on the source files are broken.

If you only have a handful of different permissions at the top folder levels, it may be easiest to clear all permissions and set them new from scratch using a script which then also acts as a documentation for your permission policies.

If you have lots of different users/groups with many different permissions on different folder/files, you have to create a program or PowerShell script to replace the old ACEs with new ones. You would use a mapping table between the old SIDs and the new ones and then replace all ACEs on all files/folders recursively. I can image there are already tools out there that do this, but I don't know of any of hand.

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There are several ways. Using xcopy with the /I switch will copy ACL information. Robocopy and the /SEC or /copy:DATS will include ACL information as well. Of course, you could leave the disk in tact and the data & perms will be fine.

One big caveat! If these ACLS are associated with local accounts (not AD accounts), the ACLs will be useless after a rebuild from scratch as the new accounts will have different SIDs.

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I agree with previous answer but would use robocopy instead with /MIR (stands for MIRROR).

ROBOCOPY Source_folder Destination_folder /MIR

Some references:

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