A Shared Documents Problem

By David M. Balean

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The Problem
It was impossible to access the Shared Documents folder on a computer running MS Windows XP Pro from any other computer on the local area network. The folder could be opened from the MS Windows computer itself but most but not all sub-folders could not be opened giving the ACCESS DENIED error even when running as the Administrator. There was no problem with that computer accessing other computers on the network and ping was working normally in both directions. From a computer running Linux (Fedora  9) using the smbclient command on the command line, the returned error was NT_STATUS_INSUFF_SERVER_RESOURCES although the computer concerned had 2GB ram.

The Cure
It took some time to realise that it was not one problem but two.

This was a memory problem as suspected and the culprit was IRPSTACKSIZE. For some obscure reason MS haven't allowed this to increase dynamically as required. The cure involved using regedit from run in the start menu. Search for IRPSTACKSIZE and increase its value. In this case I increased it from 12 to 15 decimal and the access problem from other computers disappeared when it was re-booted. I also have a laptop (dual boot) and IRPSTACKSIZE doesn't appear in its MS Windows registry...

This was rather tricky to sort out as even the Administrator account couldn't do anything. Somewhere I remembered reading about the cacls.exe command but the Administrator was still shut out. Eventually I tried starting in Safe Mode and I logged in as the Administrator. When right clicking on Shared Documents and selecting Properties I discovered that I could now see Security as one of the tabs. This was the breakthrough. Maybe safe mode is required for the cacls.exe command as well: I didn't try it.

So, go to Security and select Advanced. In the new window, select Owner and choose Administrators. Check the checkbox to include children and then click Apply. Now exit the windows and go to Properties - Security again. You should now be able to access ADD if it was unavailable before. (I assumed it was unavailable, but if the folder could be accessed then the ADD button should have been available). Click on the ADD button and select Advanced from the new window, and Find Name from that window. Now select all of the following by holding down the [Ctrl] key at the same time as clicking on each of the chosen names:-

Power User

Some of these names will have some extra info added, e.g. the computer name. Also Power User is not available in MS Windows XP Home, only XP Pro as far as I know.

Now click OK. These names should all appear in the panel. Click on the Check Names button to make sure nothing went wrong then click OK.

All the names should now be visible on Properties - Security. If not, exit and re-enter Properties - Security and they should all appear. Click on each one in turn and change their permissions as follows making sure you click on OK after each one:-

Administrator Full
Guests Read
Power User Modify
Users Read

There is still the problem of applying these changes to all the sub-directories and files. To do this re-start Properties - Security and select Advanced and in the new window select  Owner and make sure all the names are selectes. Make sure the checkbox for applying the changes to all the children is checked then click on Apply. If the folder is large it may take a while to apply the changes to all the sub-directories and files.

Now try rebooting in normal mode and any luck the whole of the Shared Documents folder should be available.

WHY WASN'T THIS AVAILABLE TO THE ADMINISTRATOR? - after all, it is administration!