I'm not a sysadmin, but I play one on TV: I'm trying to fix a problem for my mom's tiny non-profit company's server. I set up a Windows Server 2003 machine as a domain controller and file server. Everything has been working well for a few months, but lately when she tries to save changes to a Word (Office XP) document stored on the server, Word will intermittently report that the file is read-only. Saving to an alternate file in the same directory works, and when she closes Word and re-opens the original document, it'll save changes just fine. No one else ever has these files open.

I've checked security and share permissions, and everything's OK. We've tried rebooting the server, but the problem continues, but intermittently.

I have no clue what's going on. Help!

  • When you show a file being "read only" what happens when you "manage" the server and look at the open files? Does it show anyone else having it open? What are the current settings of the file? Does the user ever leave the file open for long periods of time where a network interruption could occur? – Mr Furious Nov 27 '09 at 0:50
  • Take a look here, we had a similar problem. serverfault.com/questions/564677/… – user281617 Apr 14 '15 at 15:04

Try running Sysinternals Procmon on the client computer while saving changes to a Word document on the server. It will show you every file operation in great detail, and indicate success or failure. You might get additional clues by looking at the failed file operations.

Recommended filter:

  • If [Process name] [Is] [winword.exe] then [Include]
  • If [Result] [Is] [Success] then [Exclude]

is it possible someone else on the network has the file open for read-write? log into the file server & start the Shared Folder MMC snap-in (short is fsmgmt.msc) Have a look at Open Files and sessions to help you troubleshoot the issue.

  • Thanks, Nick. Yes, I did check that. The server was reporting that only one user had the file open. – Larry Hamelin Jan 28 '10 at 12:45

Are you using a separate partition for user files?

You may want to check to see if the files are "blocked" if they are downloaded.

Check and make sure there are not strange user permissions, mostly by setting them to everybody, or just the users who need to get to it recursively on the root folder for the saves.

  • Thx: There are 5 client systems. Server 2003 is $50 for nonprofits, so what the heck. I'll try setting the user permissions to everyone (happily, it's a closed network) and see if that helps. But I don't think it will, since permissions problems are rarely intermittent. – Larry Hamelin Aug 27 '09 at 20:31
  • And yes: separate partition (actually a separate drive) for user files. – Larry Hamelin Aug 27 '09 at 20:32
  • Sorry, also: the files aren't downloaded: they're documents she's created. – Larry Hamelin Aug 27 '09 at 20:33
  • ok, server 2003, do you use the full directory structure? cause having an AD DC for 5 users is overkill, the DNS, DHCP, web services, (and email i think) can all be done without AD. AD on this small of a scale might cause over complications. – Jimsmithkka Aug 27 '09 at 21:02
  • 2
    I disagree about AD being overkill for 5 users. Without it, you're left with using peer-to-peer on desktops or user accounts on the server. They typically are a bigger pain in the butt than just setting up the AD. You don't have to go hog wild with AD; just setting it up very basically gives you flexibility and continuity in the future for other applications. For example, some small businesses really enjoy having roaming profiles. – Mr Furious Nov 27 '09 at 0:47

I think you should consider using Google Docs. You can edit it and collaborate with anyone with a Gmail email address. I think this is a whole lot easier and safer too than giving full permissions to everyone.

  • Interesting suggestion. I fear the conversion, however. – Larry Hamelin Feb 3 '10 at 11:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.