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Month: January 2018

Connect to SQL Server when you don’t know SA account or don’t have sysadmin access

Below are the steps you need to perform to grant SYSADMIN access to a user in SQL Server in case you are completely locked out.

1. Download PSexec to connect using SQL Server Management Studio using the NT Authority\System

Download PsTools from
Unzip the content and copy PsExec.exe to C:\Windows\System32

2. Stop the SQL Server and SQL Server Agent services on the server.

3. Open a cmd prompt window as administrator and navigate to SQL Server’s Binn directory. You may need to adjust your path based on your install location.

ex. C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11\MSSQL\Binn

4. Once you are in SQL Server’s Binn directory run the ‘sqlservr -m’ command to start SQL Server in single user mode as shown below. Had to add the location of the ERRORLOG

sqlservr -m -e C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11\MSSQL\Log\ERRORLOG;

If it’s a named instance:
sqlservr -m -s <instancename> -e C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.SERVICECORE\MSSQL\Log\ERRORLOG;

After the SQL Server instance was started in single user mode, I was receiving logon errors form other users that were trying to logon from the application, when it was restarted in single user mode. I ignored the errors and moved on.

5. Execute PsExec – may need to adjust the ” marks and file locations

run cmd as administrator

PsExec -s -i “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\Ssms.exe”

The above command will launch SQL Server Management Studio and gives you a “Connect to Server” window and the User Name will be pre-populated with NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM

6. Click Connect and then go in to Security > Logins and add your account as a sysadmin

7. restart the sql server services




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