New Twist on SQL Server does not exist or access denied.

May 24, 2006 at 7:00 pm 2 comments

In my day, I've had more than one encounter of the error message:

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][Shared Memory]SQL Server does not exist or access denied.

More often than not the cause has stems from one of the following scenarios:

  • Bad login information
  • If using SQL Server Authentication, they were once using good login information but someone changed the account password.
  • If using Windows Authentication, the account making the request (can certainly be tricky for web applications) did not have permissions to the SQL Server.
  • The IP / Server Name specified was incorrect (ie they are trying to connect to instead of
  • The SQL Server Services were simply stopped on the server– sometimes for legitimate causes such as server maintenance or a reboot.

Well this year through QualTrax work, my colleague Derek and I ran into a new twist on that error message.  After a preliminary discussion with the customer, it sounded like login information was correct.  So we took a peak at the server where SQL Server was being hosted. 

Sure enough in the System Tray, we could see the SQL Server Service Manager was showing the SQL Server as being stopped:

Here's the twist, when we right clicked on the icon and tried to start the service, we got an error message:

The service did not start due to a login failure.

Followed by another error message:

An error 1069 – (The service did not start due to a logon failure. ) occurred while performing this service operation on the MSSQLServer service.

The issue turned out to be related to the Log On Identity of the actual MSSQLServer service.  This particular MSSQLServer service was not set up to run as the Local System– it was running under a specific account and apparently that account's password had changed recently.  It is very easy to correct:

  1. Open the Administrative Tools section of the Control Panel
  2. Open the Services option (you can also get to this through the Computer Management Console)
  3. Scroll down to and right click on the MSSQLServer service and select Properties.
  4. Click on the Log On tab.
  5. Update the credentials as needed and hit apply.

Once we keyed in the correct password, we were able to start SQL Server.  Once SQL Server was started, the applications and users could resume their connections.

A happy ending for all.

Entry filed under: SQL Server.

Corrective Action Without Root Cause Analysis: Air Conditioning RATC-Maintained Trail – DONE!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Girish  |  May 6, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Thanx a lot dude… its really helped me lot..

  • 2. DAVID  |  July 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    the SQL service wasn’t started! Doh!

    Thanks for this.



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