Friday, June 29, 2012

Lost Sa Password for SQL Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2005

Below steps helps to reset the "sa" password if you forgot or lost without install SQL Server

1. Login into server using Administrator login
2. Open SQL Server Configuration Manager
3. Select SQL Service - Properties - Advanced -- Need to add (-m;) parameter to startup parameter of the
SQL Service, to start SQL Server in single user mode to reset the "sa" password
Note - Dont give any space after semicolon. Add -m; parameter starting itself it looks like below
4 Restart the SQL Service
5. Open Command Prompt
If you have two instances running on server say SQL 2008 R2, SQL 2012, then issue command as below
After invoking the SQLCMD it should display 1> prompt indicates login into server with admin login

Possible Errors

You may receive the below error when you run SQLCMD from command prompt
Login failed for domain\user or user doesnot have sysadmin permissions

If you got the above error please stop the SQL Service and change the built-in account to Local System and start the service in single user mode and run the below steps

1> select @@servername

1> create login [domain\kalyan] for windows;
2> go

1> sp_addsrvrolemember 'domain\kalyan','sysadmin';
2> go

If NP (named pipes) is not enabled in your system you may encounter the below error
HResult 0x2, Level 16, State 1
Named Pipes Provider: Could not open a connection to SQL Server [2].
Sqlcmd: Error: Microsoft SQL Server Native Client 10.0 : A network-related or instance-specific error has occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. Server is not found or not accessible. Check if instance name is correct and if SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. For more information see SQL Server Books Online..Sqlcmd: Error: Microsoft SQL Server Native Client 10.0 : Login timeout expired.
Then Enable the Named Pipes protocol from SQL Server configuration manager then again invoke 7th step
Issue the below commands to enable / reset sa password

1> select @@servername --> Make Sure Instance name is correct
2> go
1> alter login sa with password='kalyan@'
2> go
1> exit
1> alter login sa enable
2> go

Remove the (-m;) parameter from the SQL Server startup parameters, Restart the SQL Service and then Open SSMS with SQL Authentication. Then change the sa password as you like.


  1. Hi,
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  2. Yes this is perfect solution. worked for me.

  3. Fantastically described steps that how to reset SQL Server password when users forgot or lost it. This article gives users a brief information about that situation. I also want to share one more thing and the same one:

  4. Great article! There are also nice tools that could be used to reset lost SQL Server password: