Robocopy may report error 1338 "The security descriptor structure is invalid" or error 87 "The parameter is incorrect" when copying data from CIFS file servers.

Applies to: Windows Server 2008 EnterpriseWindows Server 2008 R2 EnterpriseWindows 7 Enterprise More

Symptoms


Robocopy may report one the following errors for some files, when copying files and their associated file security from a CIFS file server:



yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss ERROR 1338 (0x0000053A) Copying NTFS Security to Destination File <file pathname>

The security descriptor structure is invalid.



yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss ERROR 87 (0x00000057) Copying NTFS Security to Destination File <file pathname>

The parameter is incorrect.


The error only occurs when copying file security, e.g. by specifying /SEC or /COPYALL on the Robocopy command line. If file security is not copied, all files are copied successfully, and no errors are reported.

Cause


The error is usually caused by the CIFS file server returning invalid security information for a file. For example, if the CIFS file server returns a NULL Security ID (SID) for a file's Owner, or a file's Primary Group, when Robocopy tries to copy this information to the destination file, Windows will return error 87 "The parameter is incorrect" or error 1338 "The security descriptor is invalid". This is by design - file security information in Windows is expected to contain both Owner and Primary Group SIDs.

Resolution


On the CIFS file server, use the appropriate tools to correct the security information for affected files, and ensure that all affected files have both an Owner SID and a Primary Group SID.

More Information


This is by design - file security information in Windows is expected to contain both Owner and Primary Group SIDs. For more information about Security Descriptors and Access Control Lists:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc781716(WS.10).aspx