One of the best tricks for us sms admins to use while troubleshooting access (amongst other things) is to use a CMD prompt elevated to SYSTEM context. A godsend for those of us that are permissions challenged, such as Secondary site servers that we the sms admins have no permissions to access, but the parent site server does, or doing diagnostic tests (such as running Internet Explorer in SYSTEM context etc).

Traditionally, we could pull this off on pre-Vista\W2008 OS's, but Microsoft have controls in place now to try to stop this kind of elevation from taking place (session 0 isolation).

Kim Oppalfens linked me to Ben Griswold (JohnnyCoders) blog on how to make it happen. Definitly worth a read.