How Initialize-SPResourceSecurity Works

Initialize-SPResourceSecurity or stsadm -o -cmd secureresources are responsible for security registry keys and the file system. But how does it work under the hood?

The command is fairly simple, it reads the registry keys under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\15.0\WSS\ResourcesToSecure\ and processes each value, applying the ACL to a registry key or on the file system.

Each key under ResourcesToSecure contains the following registry entries:

Permissions ResourceName ResourceType SecurityGroup SingleBoxOnly

The ResourceType has one of three values: RegKey (registry key), Directory, and File. This is the type of resource that the permissions will apply to. ResourceName is the path to the Resource Type.

Permissions have the following ACL mapping:

  • R - Read
  • W - Write (with implicit Delete, or Delete SubDirectories and Files)
  • E - Execute
  • D - Change Permissions (D? Really?)
  • FC - Full Control

SecurityGroup is an bitmask (enum) and therefore can contain multiple security entries. The values are:

  • 0 - WSS_WPG
  • 2 - LocalService
  • 3 - NetworkService
  • 4 - LocalSystem
  • 5 - Users

The last value, SingleBoxOnly, will either be 0 or 1. It denotes if the SharePoint server was installed in a Single Server Farm role, but otherwise does not have an impact on securing resources.

Now you know how this cmdlet works!

Trevor Seward is a Microsoft Office Apps and Services MVP who specializes in SharePoint Server administration, hybrid scenarios, and SharePoint Online. He has been working with SharePoint for 16 years from SharePoint 2003 on up, managing environments with terabytes of content for 150,000+ user organizations. Trevor is an author of Deploying SharePoint 2016 and Deploying SharePoint 2019. You can find him on Twitter and in /r/sharepoint.