Configure ABE from the command line

Implementing Access-Based Enumeration (ABE) on your Windows Server 2003 R2 file servers can help protect the privacy of sensitive business documents stored on your network. In my article titled Implementing Access-Based Enumeration in Windows Server 2003 R2 here on, I explain how to download and install a component that adds a user interface element (the ABE tab) to the properties sheets of your shared folders so you can enable/disable ABE on a per-share basis on your R2 file servers. In addition to the user interface however, you can also configure ABE from the command-line using abecmd.exe. This command-line tool lets you enable or disable ABE on a share, specify a server name to configure ABE on a remote server, and use the /all option to enable or disable ABE on all shared folders on a file server.

In addition, if you don’t want to install the GUI component of ABE on all your file servers, you can install it on a test server and then copy the abecmd.exe file from your %SystemRoot%\system32 directory into the same directory on your file servers. Or optionally, if you only want the GUI component of ABE on your file servers and not the command-line tool, you can copy the abeui.dll file from the %SystemRoot%\system directory your test server to the same directory on your file servers and then register the dll by running the command regsvr32.exe %SystemRoot%\system32\abeui.dll on each file server. Don’t forget that this only works on Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1 servers.


Mitch Tulloch is President of MTIT Enterprises, an IT content development company based in Winnipeg, Canada. Prior to starting his own company in 1998, Mitch worked as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for Productivity Point International. Mitch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking and security and has written 14 books and over a hundred articles on various topics. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch is also a professor at Jones International University (JIU) where he teaches graduate-level courses in Information Security Management (ISM) for their Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. For more information see

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