I came across an issue removing user’s directories and files from Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2011. Even though I was using my account that is in the Domain Administrators group that is an administrator on the server,.
I could delete some of the directories and files but not all of them and was met with a “Folder Access Denied” advising that “you required permission from the computer’s administrator to make changes to this folder”.
On some directories going to the Owner tab and manually selecting a new owner then deleting worked, but this is quite a slow and laborious process and didn’t work for all directories.
In the example below I’ll demonstrate how I overcame this using the command line. This example is for a user in the D:\Users\FolderRedirections directory (your user files may be located in a different area).
Open a command prompt as an administrator.
Navigate to the directory by using the “change directory” command.
D: cd Users\FolderRedirection\username
Use the “takeown” command to take ownership of the directories and folders (in this example I show it just for the Downloads directory).
takeown /F “Downloads” /A /R /D Y
The /F switch indicates the directory
/A gives ownership to the administrators group
/D Y gives the default answer of Y to take take ownership
(Use takeown /? to see full explanation)
I tried to delete the folders again but was greeted with the same prompt. Viewing the permissions I could see the administrators group had full permission but it still wouldn’t let me delete the files.
Using the command line again to run icacls.exe program command.
D:\Users\FolderRedirection\username>icacls.exe Downloads /grant "domain\userName:(OI)(CI)F"
Note, if you are doing this in PowerShell then you’ll have to hold the icacls parameters in a variable and pass it the the command.
$icacls_params = "domain\userName:(OI)(CI)F" icacls.exe Downloads /grant $icacls_params
Finally I could remove the directories.
I made this into a PowerShell script that I run to remove old user’s directories and files easily which I will post soon.
Note: on one occasion this didn’t work and after running the above process I had to go into the properties of the directory by right clicking and selecting properties and add my user account to full access (even though it was already in there).