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My SQL Server Windows service is set to use the NETWORK SERVICE account.

The server is installed to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL.

However looking at the permissions on that folder, NETWORK SERVICE does not have any permissions. The groups which are allowed access to that folder are...

  • CREATOR OWNER - who is this?
  • SYSTEM - sounds fine - so that Windows can access the folder I presume?
  • SQLServerMSSQLUser$Computer_Name$MSSQLSERVER - this is the interesting one - what is this?
  • Administrators
  • Users

If NETWORK SERVICE is a user with minimal permissions on the system and looks to the O/S as someone connecting from a network how does it have permissions to access any files in the SQL Server install folder?


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The group SQLServerMSSQLUser$Computer_Name$MSSQLSERVER should be a local group created during SQL Server setup, and if you specified network service as the service account during setup that user should be in that group. That membership allows access to the MSSQL folders and files.

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