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"Windows cannot open this program because it has been prevented by a software restriction policy" error message when a user tries to open a file in Windows Server 2003

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

When a user in your organization tries to open a file that is listed under Designated file types in the Software Restriction Policies administrative tool, the user receives an error message that is similar to the following:
Windows cannot open this program because it has been prevented by a software restriction policy. For more information, open Event Viewer or contact your system administrator.
This symptom occurs in the following scenario:
  1. You (the administrator) set the default security level for Software Restriction Policies to Disallowed.
  2. You create a path rule and set the security level to Unrestricted.
  3. You configure the path rule to point to a mounted NTFS file system volume.

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.


No prerequisites are required.

Restart requirement

You do not have to restart your computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.

Windows Server 2003

   Date         Time   Version           Size     File name   -----------------------------------------------------------   17-Aug-2004  18:56  5.2.3790.199      573,952  Advapi32.dll    

Windows Server 2003 64-bit editions

   Date         Time   Version         Size       File name   -----------------------------------------------------------   17-Aug-2004  06:22  5.2.3790.199    1,383,936  Advapi32.dll     IA-64   17-Aug-2004  06:26  5.2.3790.199      573,952  Wadvapi32.dll    x86
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Article ID: 873419 - Last Review: 07/24/2007 19:30:00 - Revision: 1.10

Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)

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