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Error Converting a UNC Virtual Directory to a Sub Web

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This article was previously published under Q215459

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After you have created a virtual directory in Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) that is mapped to a Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) path, you attempt to convert the virtual directory to a sub Web. At the end of the conversion, you get the following error message:
Server Error: "Cannot read or set the permissions for file, \\server\web\: initializing the SD failed".
If you do succeed without receiving this error message, you will still get it by opening the Web in FrontPage and viewing permissions.

You will also note that FrontPage also incorrectly modified the permissions on the UNC folder attempting to apply the correct permissions. The access control lists (ACLs) will show Account Unknown because the accounts do not exist on the computer the UNC path points to.

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In a UNC path configuration, it is not possible to configure permissions that will provide adequate security. When you point a virtual root or virtual server's home directory at a UNC, you have to tell IIS the account to use when accessing the share. When a virtual directory or virtual server is configured as a UNC path, you cannot impersonate an authenticated user or the Anonymous account. All access to the files is done as the single specified user. For that reason, the drive works similarly to a FAT partition. You can turn Anonymous Access on or off, but even if it's off, any user with a valid Windows NT account has as much access to the content as any other. For this reason, configuring FrontPage Webs on a virtual server or virtual directory configured with a UNC is not supported.

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The resolution is to not install the server extensions on a virtual server or virtual directory that is mapped to a UNC path. The alternative is to create a virtual directory or virtual server on the server where FrontPage Server Extensions and IIS are installed. FrontPage does support non- contiguous Webs. You could create virtual directories anywhere on your server that FrontPage can convert to Webs as long as the virtual directories and virtual servers reside on the same computer as the server.

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Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions.

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Keywords: KB215459, kbpending, kbbug

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Article Info
Article ID : 215459
Revision : 2
Created on : 2/19/2007
Published on : 2/19/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 282