As an administrator, there are times when you are unable to access data. Most often this happens when you need to access data within a user’s home directory that was assigned from the account properties. Sometimes this occurs when the owner of the file or folder has removed the Administrators group from the permissions list.

When and if this happens, you will need to take ownership of the data so that you then have the ability to change the permissions to access it. This is another one of those NTFS Permissions rules. The first rule is that in order to change permissions for other accounts to access the data, you must have full control permissions. The second rule on this topic is that in order to grant yourself full control permissions, you must have ownership over the file or folder. Members of the administrators group are the only accounts that have the ability to take ownership without first having full control.

The process of actually taking ownership is a bit different in Windows Server 2003 than it was in Windows 2000. To take ownership of a folder or file, open Windows Explorer. Open the Properties window for the object and select the Security tab. Click the Advanced button. From the Owner tab in Advanced Security Settings, you must click on Other Users and Groups and enter the account manually. The account can be checked by using the Check Names button on the right. A list of names can be provided by clicking on the Advanced button again and then clicking on the Find Now button. Once you have taken ownership over an object, you can the go ahead and change the existing permissions.