Limit RDP Users from Viewing Folders in C: Root

Rupert Eghardt
Rupert Eghardt used Ask the Experts™
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Hi Guys,

We would like to limit RDP users from viewing  / accessing folders in C: drive on a specific server.
Such as C:\PROGRAM FILES, C:\WINDOWS, etc

Users have dedicated folders to which they have shortcuts on the desktop, thus they don't need to browse folders.

One way is to setup a security group for RDP users
Then add a Deny permission entry for this group on C: root

Thus folders in C: root should be visible to everyone, but the RDP users

Any ideas, Is this safe to do?
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"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015
Commented:
Using RDP means to have the same privileges as the logged-in user. You can restrict log in based on whether RDP is used, a network login or local login is performed, but that's it.
So you indeed have to create particular RDP users, manage them via a group, and assign proper privileges to that group.
However, you cannot limit read access for the Windows or Program Files folder, because the system needs to have access. You can put some effort into restricitng directory/file browsing, which then still allows access to folders and files with a full-known path, but that is very messy, and I predict system failures if you do.
Also, privilege changes on Windows and other system folders are subject to automatic correction by some of the repair and security systems implemented.

The Program Files folder's subfolders can receive different privileges for those the respective users do not need to have access to.

IMHO  it is not worth the effort you need to put in.
Rupert EghardtProgrammer

Author

Commented:
Thanks Qlemo,

The RDP users are easily identifiable, and we can put them in a group.

My idea was to put a DENY list-folder / read data option for this group on "C-root".
I've done this for a test-folder and seems to be working.

I agree, if the user knows the folder (tree), they would still be able to navigate, but at least they will be some restriction.

I just don't want to mess with the Windows installation, or structure in C: root
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015

Commented:
The file selection dialog used to open or save files is running an Explorer window too.
Aside from that, don't. As said, you block access to Windows and subfolders, and there are a lot of checks for optionally existing files in there. Denying access will certainly lead to changed behaviour or even failure.
You can deny access to particular folders, but don't for C: with inheritance.
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Top Expert 2016

Commented:
about all you can do is restrict explorer and other items that the user uses to access the file system from seeing c:
user group policy  (for versions of windows server prior to 2016 replace file explorer with windows explorer
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Rupert EghardtProgrammer

Author

Commented:
Thanks David,

Unfortunately they need to browse for documents in a specific folder.
I was hoping to restrict them to one folder, but doesn't seem plausible at this time.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Why would you want to limit read access on c:\windows and c:\program files? These users don't have write access already, why limit read as well? It is possible, but why would you?
Rupert EghardtProgrammer

Author

Commented:
Users have been saving personal documents in strange places (outside their assigned user folders)
Not necessarily in Windows and Program Files, but we would like to restrict their access as much as possible.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Yes, it's already restricted. Writing there is not possible, no need for action.

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