We are trying to setup the FTP on our stand-alone dedicate Windows Server 2003 (Standard, 32bit, SP2) IIS6. We are NOT using AD.

It is NOT setup for user isolation, as I need the "administrator" account to be able to access any part of the D: drive (which the FTP has setup as it's root).

I want to be able to restrict a single user account (created on the local box) to only be able to access a particular sub-sub-directory structure on the drive. I do not want to allow this user to read/write/navigate to any other part of the D: drive. If necessary I can accept directory listings, but certainly nothing more than that.

In IIS6 I have created a virtual directory using the username (as the user mentioned above) as the alias - logging into FTP using the credentials puts them straight into the directory, which is correct and what I'm after. But I cannot find any way of blocking them from navigating outside of "their" structure.

I have tried Denying them permission at the root of the D: drive, but of course the Deny overrides any attempt to Allow them permission in "their" directory.

I have also tried creating a group, so that should I need to I can add other users into this group and they will also be denied access to anything that isn't their directory structure.

As you might have gathered, I'm not a Network Admin by trade, so please be gentle!

2 Answers 2


You would do this through NTFS permissions on the drive. This requires the drive be formatted with the NTFS file system and you setting the security settings on all the folders to be the appropriate settings.

You should seriously reconsider this design though, as logging into a FTP with root access to a drive with an administrator account is bad security practice. Hopefully at least you have installed a SSL certificate and are using ftps instead of unencrypted ftp.

  • The drive is already NTFS. Are you saying that all the directories have to be given permissions individually? There are a lot of directories! And yes, unfortunately that is the current setup, as I say I'm not a sys-admin by trade, so I've setup as best I can. I'm happy to take suggestions on the best practise for what I'm trying to achieve.
    – freefaller
    May 16, 2012 at 17:01
  • You could setup inheritance from the root and reset permissions on down, but that would overwrite any security settings you already have on existing directories. If that is not a factor, then go for it. After doing that, you would just need to add permissions to that one user's folder for their account.
    – Bad Dos
    May 16, 2012 at 17:21
  • Thanks for your help, you pointed me in roughly the right direction. I have added exactly what I ended up doing as my own answer - I hope you're not offended by that (not 100% sure what the etiquette is on things like that)
    – freefaller
    May 16, 2012 at 18:16

Thanks to Bad Dos, he has sent me roughly in the right direction and I have figured out a way of setting up the permissions that works for us. As he says, our current FTP setup is not ideal, and we will look at changing it in the near future.

In the mean time, I have done the following things:

  • Created a group (called "AllFtpUsers") and allocated the new user (mentioned above) into it.
  • Removed both the "Users" group and "Authenticated Users" group from the root of the D: drive
  • Added the "AllFtpUsers" group to the root of the D: drive, with just "List Folder Contents" allowed.
  • All directories in the root of the D: drive have had the "AllFtpUsers" group set with "List Folder Content" denied (meaning they can see but not alter files in the root directory, and not navigate into any of the sub-directories)
  • Set the permissions on the "sub-sub-directory" (that IIS has the virtual directory set to) to "Modify" control

This means that we still have full control with our normal login, but the new user can only change their sub-sub-directory (despite also being able to see all files in the root).

The reason for remove the "Users" and "Authenticated Users" group from the root was that as soon as the new user had logged in, they were given all the permissions of those groups - leaving us access to the files/directories as normal through the "Administrators" group.

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