How to determine service related privileges for Sql Server service account

By:   |   Comments   |   Related: > Security

I had a customer inquire as to how to verify service-related permissions for the Sql Server service account...i.e., Books Online indicates the Sql Server service account requires permission to start the following related services (amoung many other requirements): Sql Server Active Directory Helper and Sql Writer services.  Obviously, the service really wouldn't NEED permissions to do so if you weren't going to make use of said services, but let's assume for the moment that we are going to do so, and that you want to determine first of all if the Sql Server service account has these permissions and/or what permissions the account has to services on the machine in question.

There's a tool called "AccessChk" which will allow you to see this type of information, along with lots of other access-related information for given accounts. You can find information on the tool at the following link:

As an example, the following command line will give you effective permissions to all services on the local machine for an account named "LTCBOYDMS\sqlService":

 accesschk "LTCBOYDMS\sqlService" -vc *

To determine service-related permissions, the -c option must be used.  Without it, you get by default ACL information for files/folders/shares and other information (which is handy also). If you specify the wildcard character (the *), you'll get permission related information for the given account against ALL services on the machine...if you're looking for only a specific service information, you can replace the wildcard with the appropriate service name.  For example, to get effective permissions to only the SQLWriter service (the service name for the Sql Writer service), you could use the following command:

 accesschk "LTCBOYDMS\sqlService" -vc "SQLWriter"

and, for the Active Directory Helper service, something like the following:

 accesschk "LTCBOYDMS\sqlService" -vc "MSSQLServerADHelper"

Output from the command should look similar to the following:

 C:\Projects\Toolbox\accessCheck>accesschk.exe "DUMMYDOMAIN\svcSqlService" -vc *

 AccessChk v2.0 - Check account access of files, registry keys or services
 Copyright (C) 2006 Mark Russinovich
 Sysinternals -

 RW Alerter






 RW MSSQLServerADHelper


 R  Pml Driver HPZ12


 RW SQLBrowser

 RW SQLWriter



In the output, the "RW" designators at the beginning of each line indicate Read/Write privs (if present), then the service name, then using the -v option will provide you the additional output shown below each service above.  The SERVICE_ALL_ACCESS implies all access, if you don't have that, you should see individual service related privs like in the line above for the "Pml Driver HPZ12" service.

sql server categories

sql server webinars

subscribe to mssqltips

sql server tutorials

sql server white papers

next tip

About the author
MSSQLTips author Chad Boyd Chad Boyd is an Architect, Administrator and Developer with technologies such as SQL Server, .NET, and Windows Server.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

View all my tips

Comments For This Article

get free sql tips
agree to terms