Deleted folder from Windows 2012 shared folders

Harold used Ask the Experts™
We lost a parent folder that contained a LOT of data, we can restore, but how can I tell what user did this and prevent this from happening again?

Our backup runs at 8:00PM and the folder was still there, as I see it in the backup, I definitely need to know now, as this was way after hours.

Windows 2012 R2 Server.
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Unless you have auditing enabled (not a simple task), you are out of luck.
I had similar issue and so I purchased director monitor (not very expensive) and it tells me user who has deleted every file and folder.
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Most Valuable Expert 2015
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You need to have Auditing enabled on your domain. Meaning create a new GPO or use the Default domain Policy (new gpo would be better). Then you need to configure Auditing on the Server/share that you want to audit.

Once you have that configured the logs will be present in the Security log on the server.

Simply enabling Autiding from the GPO does not ENABLE auditing. You still need to configure it on the server level.

The TechNet below outlines all of the steps in detail.

If auditing was not enabled then you are out of luck this time for trying to find out who delete the directory. Also just remember that File Auditing will take a hit on your server as well and it will generate a ton of security logs as well so make sure that you increase the size of the Security logs and also move them to another server for Historical use .You can use Windows Event Subscriptions.

HaroldNetwork Engineer


PJAM: thanks, ya currently I'm trying to figure out which Audit is to be enabled. There are some enabled, just not sure which one tracks this.
Distinguished Expert 2017
On the file server where the share is get folder properties, advanced auditing. Here you can add group/users whose .... You want to audit, note that this will grow the data into the security event log....
Enabling auditing is just one converting the event log into searchable data..

The other way is to set security promises ions correctly, you could use group to set permission denied users delete rights, note however a delete right is needed to rename a file.

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