MakeSelfRelativeSD function

The MakeSelfRelativeSD function creates a security descriptor in self-relative format by using a security descriptor in absolute format as a template.


BOOL WINAPI MakeSelfRelativeSD(
  _Out_opt_ PSECURITY_DESCRIPTOR pSelfRelativeSD,
  _Inout_   LPDWORD              lpdwBufferLength


pAbsoluteSD [in]

A pointer to a SECURITY_DESCRIPTOR structure in absolute format. The function creates a version of this security descriptor in self-relative format without modifying the original.

pSelfRelativeSD [out, optional]

A pointer to a buffer the function fills with a security descriptor in self-relative format.

lpdwBufferLength [in, out]

A pointer to a variable specifying the size of the buffer pointed to by the pSelfRelativeSD parameter. If the buffer is not large enough for the security descriptor, the function fails and sets this variable to the minimum required size.

Return value

If the function succeeds, the return value is nonzero.

If the function fails, the return value is zero. To get extended error information, call GetLastError. Possible return codes include, but are not limited to, the following.

Return code/valueDescription

One or more of the buffers is too small.



A security descriptor in absolute format contains pointers to the information it contains, rather than containing the information itself. A security descriptor in self-relative format contains the information in a contiguous block of memory. In a self-relative security descriptor, a SECURITY_DESCRIPTOR structure always starts the information, but the security descriptor's other components can follow the structure in any order. Instead of using memory addresses, the components of the security descriptor are identified by offsets from the beginning of the security descriptor. This format is useful when a security descriptor must be stored on a floppy disk or transmitted by means of a communications protocol.

A server that copies secured objects to various media can use the MakeSelfRelativeSD function to create a self-relative security descriptor from an absolute security descriptor and the MakeAbsoluteSD function to create an absolute security descriptor from a self-relative security descriptor.


Minimum supported client

Windows XP [desktop apps only]

Minimum supported server

Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps only]


Winbase.h (include Windows.h)





See also

Low-level Access Control
Low-level Access Control Functions