Recently while working with a Windows Server 2008 I found myself unable to run any STSADM commands. No matter who I was logged in as I kept receiving an “Access Denied” error which seemed awfully strange.
I proceeded to search the web for this issue and I found multiple sources identifying the issue as part of the User Account Control functionality. All of those sources recommended disabling the feature, which requires a reboot. The feature has value so I wasn’t too keen on disabling it, and having to reboot a production system during business hours is never fun. I proceeded with disabling the feature, but decided to follow up with it afterward.
I have since learned that getting past this block is quite easy. It simply requires that the user right click on the Cmd prompt and select “Run as administrator” in order to have the command complete.
MS Support has published a good overview explaining the User Account Control feature: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922708
Hope this helps fellow administrators bringing up systems on Server 2008.