Windows File Permissions

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Probably one of the most powerful aspects of Microsoft Windows is the way you can share resources. Now, I'm going to have a lot of episodes that cover this. But to get us started, I want to create a scenario what we have here is one computer. In fact, this is the only computer that I have at my company. And on this one computer, when we shoot a video, we save it onto my E drive, I've got one little folder called video, and we put all these videos in here. And there are two groups of people who work at my company.

There are reviewers and there are editors. And what I want to do is set this up so that when a reviewer sits down at this computer, he can review the videos but he can't accidentally delete them or do something like that. And then if he logs out, and an editor comes in and fires up his editing software, he can go ahead and edit those videos. So what we're talking about is setting up sharing on a single system. There is no networking involved here at all. This is really the best way to begin your understanding.

Because really what we're going to be talking about here are NTFS permissions. So now that you've got the basic setup, let me show you how I've got my system up and running right now. So first of all, what I want to show you are the four users that I've made. I've made Harry, Jerry, rich, and Tom. Now if you take a look over in groups, I've made two groups, editor and reviewer. If we open up the editor, you'll see that Harry and Jerry are members of the editor group.

And if we take a look at reviewer, but how about if I click that just once, there we go. We can see that rich and Tom are members of the reviewer group. Now if you take a look over on my I've got a new drive in your E drive. And you'll see that right now. I have one folder in there called videos. And inside there are four movies.

So these are movies that I need these four guys to look at. Two of them are reviewers to make sure I'm saying the right stuff. And two of them are editors to make me look good. So, what we're going to do right now is go through the process of setting this up so that the reviewers can see, but they can't accidentally delete, or edit, and that the editors can see it and edit it. And they can even delete them if they need to, because well, they're editors. And that's what editors do.

So let's start by well doing it wrong. So take a look right now, here's one movie. So I'm going to right click on here, I'm going to select Properties. And I'm going to go to security. So what I want to do right now is I'm going to add one of those users. So I'm going to add, and in this case, I'm going to pick Harry.

And you can see when I click Check names here, it gets underlined, which means that is a real username. And now what I want you to look at are these options right here. These are the actual NTFS permissions. So these NTFS permissions, you can see we have full control, modify, read and execute, read, write, hold on, that's not all of them. And then so Special permissions. So, at this moment, I don't want to talk about exactly what these mean.

But I want to make sure you understand how we get to them and how we can change them if we want. So right now we've got Harry selected, and he has read an execute and read. Okay, so I will explain those to read an execute is an NTFS permission that really applies mainly to executable files. If I had an executable program in there, then if I check that Harry would be able to not only read that file, but he could actually run it as well. Read is more for data files. So if I check read in here, here, we can actually look at it, he could open it up in an editor, but if he hit File, Save, it wouldn't let him do it.

Alright, so we've got the setup. I'm going to hit OK. And then I want to talk about this for a minute because we've got a couple of problems here. First of all, what if he quits, if he quits, I'm going to have to go in here and take out all these NTFS permissions. So that's a bit of an issue, this time Second issue I have is what if I add more videos to this folder? Well, then I'm going to start running into a situation where I'm going to have to be setting these NTFS permissions up for every little file I bring in. So what that does is brings up what Microsoft calls a best practice.

Yes, you can do it this way. But there are more efficient ways to do it. In general, what we do is we create users, we put the users into groups, and then we give NTFS permissions to those groups. In general, when we're setting up those NTFS permissions, we set them up on a per folder basis for individual groups. Let me show you how this all works. So first of all, what I'm going to do is I'm going to apply NTFS permissions, not to an individual file, but to a folder.

So I'm going to right click on this folder. And I'm going to go to properties. Do you see sharing, you ignore that? That is a networking thing. We covered that in other episodes. There's no network here.

Remember, there's only one computer so we go to sleep curity now what I want to do is I'm going to add in this case reviewer. And hit check names, make sure the underline appears. And you'll see that reviewer is on here by default, it gets read an execute, list folder contents and read. List folder contents is actually a very interesting NTFS permission without it, you could get to those files, but you can't actually open the folder and see what's in there. So kind of interesting NTFS permission, but an important one. So what we've done here is we set up reviewers to have those particular permissions.

So I'm going to hit OK. Let's go through this process one more time, except this time, we're going to let the editors in there. So by default, you'll see read editors just get read and execute list folder contents and read permission. What we're going to do is give them the Modify permission as well, they have to have that so that they can edit these videos, and then save them in the same folder with the same name. So we hit apply, and we hit OK. And now we've got a basic setup. And this is a very common type of setup that you'll see on a more serious system that has a lot of users working on it. Now the next thing I want to talk about is something called inheritance.

Let me show you how this works. First of all, when we look at the properties of video, you're going to see you see this guy right here, that's me. I'm actually the person who created this folder. I am the owner of this folder. So by default, whoever actually creates a folder can set up what other people can do to it. So as the owner, I've got a lot of power.

Now, what I want you to do is take a look. When we see editor here, you're going to see that there are two columns here. Allow and deny, let me show you how this works. What I'm going to do is go into videos. And I'm going to pick any one of these. Now remember, I have not set any NTFS permissions for this guy.

But when I go into properties, and I go into security, you'll see that editor right here has the same permissions that we had set earlier. But there's a big difference. Look at the color of the checkboxes. They're grayed out. What's happening here is when you set NTFS permissions for any one object, anything else you create in there, automatically gets those same permissions. We call this inheritance here.

I make it even cooler than watch this. So I'm going to right click right now New Folder. I'm going to call it Timmy. Now, I just made this folder poof I just made him. So when we go into properties, and go into security, you're going to see that these are all the same permissions that we had before here. here's, here's me I've got full control because I'm the Here's editors with their modify permission.

And there's reviewers with the same permissions we said before. And that's the power of inheritance. Anything that you put into one folder will automatically take on the NTFS permissions of that particular folder. So let's go ahead and take a minute right now and let's make sure you understand the basic NTFS permissions. NTFS permissions vary whether you have a folder or a file, let's go through those for a folder. First of all, full control means you can do anything you want.

Modify enables you to read, write and delete both files and sub folders within that folder. Read and execute enables you to see the contents of the folder and any subfolders as well as run executable programs. List folder contents enables you to see the contents of the folder and any subfolders read enables you to view a folders contents and open any file in the folder. And last right enables you to right To files and create new files and folders NTFS permissions for a file, start with full control. And as you might imagine, it enables you to do anything you want. Modify enables you to read, write and delete that file, read and execute allows you to open and run the file, read allows you to open the file, and last right enables you to open and write to the file.

Now, inheritance. There are some rare situations where you might want to say, look, I might be putting more stuff in here, but I don't want this inheritance thing. So let me show you what that's all about. So what I have here is I've got let's go ahead and cancel this. So here in this Fred folder, let me go right back. I'm going to select properties go into security.

And for some reason, anything underneath this Fred folder, I don't want that inheritance to go anymore. So what I can do in that cases, I can click on Edit and that's what these little denied buttons are for. denied checkbox they look, anything from here on down would stop the inheritance for those particular permissions. Generally using the deny button is pretty much proof that you haven't organized your folders well, and you're not doing your NTFS, right. But there are situations where it might be needed. So be aware that the deny button turns off inheritance.

All right. Now the last thing I want to talk about with NTFS is the idea of, well, I've got this folder and it's got a number of files and folders within it that have these different NTFS permissions. What happens if I move it or copy it? So this action varies depending on how you're moving, and copying and whether you're moving or copying even. Now, before we get too deep in this, I will make it easy for you. If you have something with NTFS permissions and you copy it to like a thumb drive with x fat or fat 32 That's easy.

When you copy it over there, all the permissions go away because fat doesn't support NTFS Test permissions. where things get a little bit more challenging is when you're moving and copying within different NTFS formatted partitions. To help you understand the issues with moving and copying an NTFS permissions, what I have here are two physical drives. Now, for demonstration, I'll say this is Dr. C, and this is dr. D. What's important is that they are different drive letters. Now, to get ourselves started, I've got this little orange cube here. And his job is to act as an object, he could be a file, he could be a folder, I don't really care what he is, he has an NTFS object that has NTFS permissions, this little purple cylinder is going to be the actual NTFS permissions that are on the original of this object, whatever it might be.

So let's start doing some moving and copying. First of all, if we copy from one drive letter to another, the copy will end up over here but it does not keep it NTFS permissions, it will take on whatever NTFS permissions are in the folder that it gets copied into. Now if we move it, when you move it, he loses all of his NTFS permissions. And again, he takes on whatever permissions are in the folder he gets copied to. Now things change a little bit when you're moving in copying within the same drive letter. If we're going to make a copy, when you copy it like this, he'll go ahead and you'll get the copy.

But again, he lose his NTFS permissions. If you move it. This is the only time out of all four of these little things we've just done, where the NTFS permissions actually go along with the object itself. The reason I'm harping on this is pretty simple. We know that company a wants you to know it from the objectives. And we know that it's an issue that comes up with people time and time again.

So NTFS permissions are powerful and amazing to And to be honest with you, we really just barely touched on it mainly because it only asked for a small amount you'd have to be going into your MCs ease to really tear it apart. Make sure you're comfortable with your different NTFS permissions and make sure you're comfortable with what happens with NTFS permissions when you move them and copy them.

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