Today I needed to initialize a pull subscription from a server that had been in the pool of subscribers for a published database, and had been out for sometime. In that time the distribution database had moved, so it was a case of re-creating the subscriptions all over. Once the pull subscription and distribution jobs created, I ran the snapshot agent, which uses a file share. When the snapshot agent had completed, I stared up the agent job on the subscriber. I had done this many times before, and was surprised to see an error not too dissimilar from the one below in the subscriber logs on Replication Monitor:
The process could not read file ‘\Server1\SQLShareFiles\unc\publication\2050530095003\slmnc.pre’ due to OS error 5. (Source: MSSQL_REPL, Error number: MSSQL_REPL21022) Get help: http://help/MSSQL_REPL21022 Access is denied. (Source: MSSQL_REPL, Error number: MSSQL_REPL5) Get help: http://help/MSSQL_REPL5
Oh. Access is denied? Quickly Googling the error I found a useful post at DBAStackExchange. Although we do use SQL Agent Authentication, what was missing was the permissions to the file share. Browsing to the file share and giving the Agent account full control of the file share resolved the issue for me. And though using Agent accounts does not follow best practice for the Replication Agent Security Model, it got the snapshot pushing out.