AnsweredAssumed Answered

Boy, when they say don't put the admin in a group, they mean it!

Question asked by John Burrill on Oct 16, 2012
Latest reply on Oct 17, 2012 by John Burrill

Harrowing experience just now.

So today I was told one of our engineers quit and we needed to put his work back into the fray.  So after a little back-n-forth about whether we had all of his local work, I decided to delete his user account from the WorkgroupPDM Vault to release ownership of his files.  So I thought I went into the Vault Admin, switched to users/groups, picked his name and deleted it....except it didn't dissappear.  My boss calls me over to talk to him and the office manager for a minute and I promise to do something as sooon as I finish up this Vault thing I'm doing on my machine.

I come back and now I'm in a hurry, and I click his name and try to delete it again and then it hits me, I've been hitting delete in the Groups list, not the users.  I click his name in the users column, hit delete and get an error, 'User Not Deleted' along with a code, which escapes me at the moment.

"John, did you make a shipping drawing for the induct assembly?"

"Hang on, " I yell back and hit OK, see a nag box and hit cancel.  Vault Admin closes, I go talk to my boss and when I come back, there's the vault admin screen with a message

'Could not validate user.  'Login' Aborted

What's this?

I switch over to Solidworks and go to my vault vew and all of the files are grayed-out.  Explain access says I have no permissions in the vault-can't read, open r write files and that I am not an administrator.


So I go back to vault admin and try one of the other admin passwords.

'Could not validate user.  'Login' Aborted

and I go down the list of users

'Could not validate user.  'Login' Aborted

'Could not validate user.  'Login' Aborted

'Could not validate user.  'Login' Aborted

I try their logins in the vault view and they're all 'no access'

It's dawning on me that I have just eliminated all of the administrator accounts in the vault and that I'm not getting back into this thing.

Now I'm in a panic.  I'm hunting through discussion articles, knowledge base articles and the online help, looking for backdoors, loopholes-anything that will make it possible for me to get back into the vault admin and fix this thing.

I restart the server, hoping it's a port glitch, nope.  Online help isn't doing me any good, KB articles are all oblique on the subject.

Now, I'm down to trying hail mary passes before I have to goto my boss and say, 'That year of work that I promised was safer in the vault than some regular network directory backed up to the cloud-well that's gone because I pushed the wrong button.'  I goto my back-ups and there's fortunately a version from this morning.  OK, it's just me and one other guy and neither of us has checked anything in today.  Now if I restore this thing, overwriting my current vault folder, am I going to accomplish anything?  Are vault passwords in the windows registry or an encrypted file in the vault or an encrypted file in the installation directory or in the boot sector of the hard drive.

Passwords are stored in the vault folder somewhere.  when I restored the vault from this morning I was able to log on.  But now, I'm chiding myself for my narrow escape and trying to make sure that an errant move on my part can't wipe out my company and so I'm writing down the lessons that I've learned and invite anyone else with a near-death experience involving file management to comment and advise.

Lesson 1: near_death1.png

Lesson 2: While you can not delete the current Vault Admin login account, you can accidentally demote the account by deleting the admin group.  In my case, I only had administrative priveleges for the group not for individual users.  BAD JOHN!  BAD!  BAD! BAD!  making it possible for me to scuttle the vault.  Make sure you have at least one user account checked in the adminsitrators list:


Lesson 3: back-ups are your life.

Any notes or advice for the future is appreciated.