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This feels like a stupid question, and one that should (although I can't find it) have been asked before.

I have a shared folder on a Windows Server 2003 R2 setup. We do NOT use AD, just local accounts. What if a user is deleted from the server, what happens to the files that (s)he owns in a shared folder? Will they be left with a link that points to a now non-existing user or will Windows automatically adjust for this and appoint someone else as owner?

I want to ask before I do something stupid.

And before you ask, yes I know I can disable accounts, but in this case I need to delete the account.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The files will still be owned by the non-existent user. An administrator can still add permissions to the files that were owned by that user, or change the permissions or owner at any time.

Sometimes the permissions GUI is a bit annoying... and there are tricks to deal with them. Here is a random command line fix example I just found and have not tested.

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Thank you for your answer. So if I delete the user and look in the permissions file list, will the owner be listed as the full name (ie. "John Doe") or will it be the identified of the user I deleted (ie. "S103203365123" (or similar)). Also, thanks for the link. Very useful. :-) – Felthragar Nov 20 '12 at 13:31
It will dispay the GUID of the deleted user. – Dave M Nov 20 '12 at 14:10
Alright, then I know. Thanks. – Felthragar Nov 20 '12 at 15:41

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