Troubleshoot insufficient access rights error


Inbound user provisioning to Active Directory is working as expected for most users. But for some users, the provisioning logs displays the following error:

ERROR: InsufficientAccessRights-SecErr: The user has insufficient access rights.. Access is denied. \nError Details: Problem 4003 - INSUFF_ACCESS_RIGHTS. 

"Message":"The user has insufficient access rights.",
"ResponseErrorMessage":"00002098: SecErr: DSID-03150F94, problem 4003 (INSUFF_ACCESS_RIGHTS), data 0",
The user has insufficient access rights.

The provisioning logs displays the error code: HybridSynchronizationActiveDirectoryInsufficientAccessRights.


The Provisioning Agent GMSA account provAgentgMSA$ by default has read/write permission to all user objects in the domain. There are two possible causes that might lead to the above error.

  • Cause-1: The user object is part of an OU that doesn't inherit domain-level permissions.
  • Cause-2: The user object belongs to a protected Active Directory group. By design, user objects are governed by permissions associated with a special container called AdminSDHolder. This explains why the provAgentgMSA$ account is unable to update these accounts belonging to protected Active Directory groups. You may try to override and explicitly provide the provAgentgMSA$ account write access to user accounts, which won't work. In order to secure privileged user accounts from a misuse of delegated permissions, there's a background process called SDProp that runs every 60 minutes and ensures that users belonging to a protected group are always managed by permissions defined on the AdminSDHolder container. Even the approach of adding the provAgentgMSA$ account to the Domain Admin group won't work.


First confirm what is causing the problem. To check if Cause-1 is the source of the problem:

  1. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers Management Console.
  2. Select the OU associated with the user.
  3. Right click and navigate to Properties -> Security -> Advanced. If the Enable Inheritance button is shown, then it's confirmed that Cause-1 is the source of the problem.
  4. Click on Enable Inheritance so that domain level permissions are applicable to this OU.


    Please remember to verify the whole hierarchy from domain level down to the OU holding the affected accounts. All Parent OUs/Containers must have inheritance enabled so the permissions applied at the domain level may cascade down to the final object.

If Cause-1 is not the source of the problem, then potentially Cause-2 is the source of the problem. There are two possible resolution options.

Option 1: Remove affected user from protected AD group To find the list of users that are governed by this AdminSDHolder permission, Cx can invoke the following command:

Get-AdObject -filter {AdminCount -gt 0}

Reference articles:

  • Here's an example PowerShell script that can be used to clear the AdminCount flag and re-enable inheritance on impacted users.
  • Use the steps documented in this article - Find Orphaned Accounts to find orphaned accounts (accounts who aren't part of a protected group, but still have AdminCount flag set to 1)

Option 1 might not always work

There's a process called The Security Descriptor Propagation (SDPROP) process that runs every hour on the domain controller holding the PDC emulator FSMO role. It's this process that sets the AdminCount attribute to 1. The main function of SDPROP is to protect highly privileged Active Directory accounts, ensuring that they can't be deleted or have rights modified, accidentally or intentionally, by users or processes with less privilege.

Reference articles that explain the reason in detail:

Option 2: Modify the default permissions of the AdminSDHolder container

If option 1 is not feasible and doesn't work as expected, then ask Cx to check with their AD admin and security administrators, if they are allowed to modify the default permissions of the AdminSDHolder container. This article that explains the importance of the AdminSDHolder container. Once Cx gets internal approval to update the AdminSDHolder container permissions, there are two ways to update the permissions.

  • Using ADSIEdit as described in this article.
  • Using DSACLS command-line script. Here's an example script that could be used as a starting point and Cx can tweak it as per their requirements.

$dcFQDN = "<FQDN Of The Nearest RWDC Of Domain>"
$domainDN = "<Domain Distinguished Name>"
$domainNBT = "<Domain NetBIOS Name>"
$dsaclsCMD = "DSACLS '\\$dcFQDN\CN=AdminSDHolder,CN=System,$domainDN' /G '$domainNBT\provAgentgMSA$:RPWP;<Attribute To Write To>'"
Expression $dsaclsCMD | Out-Null

If the Cx needs more help on troubleshooting on-premises AD permissions, engage Windows Server Support team. This article on AdminSDHolder issues with Microsoft Entra Connect has more examples on DSACLS usage.

Option 3: Assign full control to provAgentgMSA account

Assign Full Control permissions to the provAgentGMSA account. We recommend this step if there are failures with a moving a user object from one container OU to another when these users don't belong to a protected user group.

In this scenario, ask Cx to complete the following steps and retest the move operation.

  1. Log in to AD domain controller as admin.
  2. Open PowerShell command-line with run-as admin
  3. At the PowerShell prompt, run the following DSACLS command that grants Generic All/Full Control to the provisioning agent GMSA account. dsacls "dc=contoso,dc=com" /I:T /G "CN=provAgentgMSA,CN=Managed Service Accounts,DC=contoso,DC=com:GA"

Replace the dc=contoso,dc=com with your root node or appropriate OU container. If you're using a custom GMSA, update the DN value for provAgentgMSA.

Option 4: Skip GMSA account and use manually created service account This option should only be used as a temporary workaround to unblock until the GMSA permission issue is investigated and resolved. Our recommendation is to use the GMSA account. You can set the registry option to skip GMSA configuration and reconfigure the Microsoft Entra Connect provisioning agent to use a manually created service account with the right permissions.

Next steps