How to backup and restore share/NTFS permissions

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This can come handy in critical situations. By following some steps, backup and restore of the Share/NTFS permissions can be done. Here it is how:

Share permissions Backup/Restore

To backup share permissions, export the Shares registry key.

1.Open Regedit to the following location:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares

2.Right-click the Shares registry key and select Export. Give it a file name such as shareperms.reg.

When you want to restore the permissions, double-click shareperms.reg to import it back into the registry.

Use the Reg tool to backup the registry key from the command line:

reg export HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares shareperms.reg

If you need to restore it at some point, just run:

reg import shareperms.reg

NTFS permissions Backup/Restore

Use this command to backup NTFS permissions:

icacls d:\data /save ntfsperms.txt /t /c

The /T switch allows it to get subfolder permissions too. The /C switch allows it to continue even if errors are encountered (although errors will still be displayed).

Use this command to restore them:

icacls d:\ /restore ntfsperms.txt

Note that in the command to save the permissions, I specified the target folder D:\Data, but when I restored them, I specified just D:\ as the target. Icacls is a little funky like that, and here’s why.

If you open the text file with the exported permissions (ntfsperms.txt in the above example), you’ll see that Icacls uses relative paths (in bold below). Underneath the relative paths are the permissions for the folders in Security Descriptor Definition Language (SDDL) format.

data

D:AI(A;ID;FA;;;BA)(A;OICIIOID;GA;;;BA)(A;ID;FA;;;SY)(A;OICIIOID;GA;;;SY)(A;OICIID;0x1200a9;;;BU)(A;ID;0x1301bf;;;AU)(A;OICIIOID;SDGXGWGR;;;AU)

data\folder1

D:AI(A;ID;FA;;;BA)(A;OICIIOID;GA;;;BA)(A;ID;FA;;;SY)(A;OICIIOID;GA;;;SY)(A;OICIID;0x1200a9;;;BU)(A;ID;0x1301bf;;;AU)(A;OICIIOID;SDGXGWGR;;;AU)

data\folder2

D:AI(A;ID;FA;;;BA)(A;OICIIOID;GA;;;BA)(A;ID;FA;;;SY)(A;OICIIOID;GA;;;SY)(A;OICIID;0x1200a9;;;BU)(A;ID;0x1301bf;;;AU)(A;OICIIOID;SDGXGWGR;;;AU)

Had I specified D:\Data in the command to restore the permissions, it would have failed looking for a D:\Data\Data folder:

D:\>icacls d:\data /restore perms.txt

d:\data\data: The system cannot find the file specified.

Successfully processed 0 files; Failed processing 1 files

You might think specifying D:\ as the target in the restore command may somehow mess up the permissions on other folders at that level, but as you can see from the ntfsperms.txt output file, it only has information about the Data folder and sub folders, so that is all it will change.

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