Windows NT FTP Server

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

A common use of FTP is to allow public access via anonymous log on. When configuring FTP server, the admin assigns the server a user account for anonymous log ons and a default home directory. The default anonymous user account for FTP is GUEST. This should be changed to a different user account and should have a password. Also, this account should not be member of any privileged groups so that the only default group that shows up in the security token during log on is Everyone. The account should not be allowed "Logon on Locally" user right to restrict "insider attacks". The home directory parameter should be configured carefully. FTP server exports entire disk partitions. The admin can only configure which partitions are accessible via FTP but not which directories on that partition. Therefore, a user coming via FTP can move to directories "above" the home directory. Therefore, in general it is recommended that if FTP service needs to run on a system, it is best to assign a complete disk partition as the FTP store, and to make only that partition accessible via FTP.

FTP clients other than IE may have problems with Microsoft FTP servers. The default for the world is to use unix-naming conventions in ftp directories. Microsoft uses DOS naming conventions by default for FTP server. To force Microsoft to be compatible with the rest of the world, apply the following windows nt registry hack:

Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Key: SOFTWARE\CurrentControlSet\Services\ftpsvc\Parameters
Name: MsdosDirOutput
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 0 use unix directory conventions
Value: 1 use DOS directory conventions

Such registry hacks are presented for problem-solving purposes. You should use a registry hack when indirect hacks fail. The MSDOS versus Unix style directory style is a check box option available when you view the Properties of the FTP server.

FTP tips:

FTP Server background info
Set NT's FTP admin account
Set NT's FTP admin email address
Set NT's FTP default domain
How to Use Directory Annotation with FTP Server in NT Q103077
How to Log Incoming Connections with FTP Server Q103076
How to Format Directory Output with FTP Server Q103075
How to Customize the Maximum Connections Message with FTP Q103074
How to Create Greeting and Exit Messages with FTP Server Q103073

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