Microsoft KB Archive/174273

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How to Copy Files and Maintain NTFS and Share Permissions

Article ID: 174273

Article Last Modified on 10/31/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q174273


The procedure in this article outlines a method for copying NTFS files or directory structures while maintaining NTFS permissions and restoring Share Level permissions. This method includes copying between partitions, hard drives, or computers.


Copying multiple files and/or directory structures using the Windows NT Server 4.0 Resource Kit utilities Scopy.exe and PermCopy.exe in combination with each other, allows for maintaining NTFS permissions and the restoring of Share Level permissions. This procedure applies to the copying of directories and files between NTFS partitions only. This procedure can be used for copying files and directories across partitions, drives, or computers.

SCopy is a command-line utility used to copy files and folders from NTFS partitions with their security intact. This utility can be found in the Windows NT Server Resource Kit. Scopy syntax and available switches are listed as follows:

   Scopy [source] [destination] [/o] [/a] [/s]

   Where: [source] specifies the source for files to be copied.
          [destination] specifies where to copy files to.


      /o     copies owner security information.
      /a     copies security auditing information.
      /s     copies all files in sub-folders.
      /?     shows all command-line options.

Scopy tries to use the following user privileges in these cases:

  • The backup files and folders privilege allows you to copy files when ordinarily your access is restricted at the source.
  • The restore files and folders privilege is needed to use the /o switch to copy files that are not your own (/o switch copies ownership information).
  • The manage auditing and the security log privilege is needed to use the /a switch (the /a switch copies security auditing information).

NOTE: To copy your own files, you do not require any special user privileges. To use the /o or /a switches (or to copy other users' files that you do not ordinarily have access to), you must be logged on as a member of the Administrators group. You must be logged on to both the computer you are copying the files from and the computer you are copying the files to. Further information may be found in the Windows NT Server 4.0 Resource Kit.

PermCopy is a command-line utility that copies share-level permissions (access control lists [ACLs]) from one share to another. This utility can be found in the Windows NT Server 4.0 Resource Kit. Syntax is as follows:

Permcopy \\[source computer] [share] \\[destination computer] [share]

NOTE: Copying permissions to an administrative share located on an x86 computer will cause Services.exe to crash. This notice and further information may be found in the Windows NT Server 4.0 Resource Kit.


  1. Use the command-line utility Scopy.exe with the /s switch (other switches optional) to copy all sub-directories and files from the root directory to the target directory on the new partition. Verify that all directories were copied correctly. Depending on the number of directories and files, the results are printed in the command prompt window.
  2. The shares are not created or copied using SCopy. The shares must be recreated on the new directories before the share level permissions can be copied from the old share.NOTE: If the entire directory structure is being restored to another server, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    141589 How to Restore Share Definitions to Another Server

  3. You can create shares remotely using File Manager (Run: winfile).
    1. Open File Manager, click Disk on the title bar, and then Connect Network Drive.
    2. After you map a drive to the target computer, select the file, click Disk on the title bar, and then click Share As.
    3. Create the desired share and sharename.
  4. Step three above is repeated for each share that needs to be restored.
  5. Using the command-line utility Permcopy.exe, copy the share permissions of each original share to each new target share.

Additional problems may result when copying between domains. For more information, please see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

168470 SCopy Copies Local Domain Group to Other Domains.

NOTE: XCopy replaced SCopy in later versions of Resource Kits. Customers with newer Resource Kits should search for XCopy instead of SCopy.

Additional query words: acl xcopy prodnt

Keywords: kbhowto KB174273