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Configuring Serv-U and FTP Voyager Scheduler To Access Network Files/Folders  -  KB Article #1156

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By default, both the Serv-U and FTP Voyager Scheduler services run as the built-in "LocalSystem" Windows account. Running as LocalSystem is normal for an installed service, but running as LocalSystem usually prevents the related service from accessing network shares.

The following instructions describe how to switch these services from LocalSystem to another Windows user so Serv-U or FTP Voyager Scheduler can access remote shares.

When Required

Clustered "web farm" deployments of Serv-U, in which multiple Serv-U nodes access the same remote share, typically require these instructions.

Any Serv-U deployment that accesses remote Windows shares, NAS, SAMBA shares, or mapped drives requires these instructions.

FTP Voyager installations that use the FTP Voyager Scheduler service to access remote shares require these instructions. However, if FTP Voyager will only be used to access remote shares through its "side by side" interactive mode, these instructions are not required.

How to Modify the "Run As" Service Account (Recommended)

The best option is to configure Serv-U/FTP Voyager Scheduler to run under a user account that has network privileges to the UNC path. In an Active Directory environment, this user may be a member of the Domain Admins group. In a Windows Workgroup, this will be a user who exists on both the local machine and the remote network resource, with the same user name and password on both machines.

To change the user account under which a RhinoSoft service runs, follow the steps below:

  • Navigate to the "Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services" menu
  • Right click either the Serv-U File Server or FTP Voyager Scheduler and choose "Properties"
  • Open the "Log on" tab
  • Select the "This account" radio button
  • Use the "Browse" option select the correct user account in your domain. In Windows Active Directory, the user account will be in the form of username@domainname.ext, and in a workgroup this will be in the form of SERVERNAME\username

    Selecting the log on user

  • Once the correct user is displayed, click "OK" to save the settings
  • If running in a workgroup, again ensure that the same account exists remotely on the network server
  • Restart the service by right clicking on it in the Services window and selecting "Restart"

If you encounter an error when starting the service, most likely you are encountering a user account issue, which will need to be diagnosed within the properties of the Serv-U File Server / FTP Voyager Scheduler service. The best way to avoid this is to use the Check Name option to make sure that your entry is correct.

NOTE: Windows System Services cannot recognize mapped network drives by letter. Any network location specified must be placed in UNC format (\\server\share).

How to Run Service Application In Foreground (Fallback)

If it is not possible to run Serv-U or FTP Voyager Scheduler as a service under an administrative user account, the workaround is to run the application in the foreground instead of as a service. To do so, right click on the related Tray Monitor icon and uncheck the "Start XXX as Service" option. This will cause the application to stop running as a service and restart running in the foreground, using the account privileges of the user who started the application.

The drawback to this workaround, and it is significant, is that the application must be left running in the foreground, and the user cannot log out of the server without shutting down the application. For this reason, RhinoSoft recommends using the "run as" instructions instead in almost every possible situation.


UAC Blocks Network Drives

In Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012 User Account Control (UAC, an extra security mechanism) prevents network services from accessing mapped network drives even if they are running as an application. There is no way to bypass this behavior in UAC, so to resolve it UAC must be disabled using the steps at Knowledge Base Article #1679.