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A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server.

Windows 2008 R2

1) SQL Server should be up and running.

All Programs >> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 >> Configuration Tools >> SQL Server Configuration Manager >> SQL Server Services, and check if SQL Server service status is “Running”.

Run “sqlcmd -L” in your command prompt to ascertain if your server is included in your network list.

2) Enable TCP/IP in SQL Server Configuration

When two or more SQL Servers are connected across network they do all communication using TCP/IP. The default port of SQL Server installation is 1433. This port can be changed through SQL Server Configuration Manager. TCP/IP should be enabled for SQL Server to be connected.

Go to All Programs >> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 >> Configuration Tools >> SQL Server Configuration Manager >> Select TCP/IP >> right click and enable

3) Open Port in Windows Firewall

Go to Control Panel >> Windows Firewall >> Change Settings >> Exceptions >> Add Port

Make the following entries in popup “Add a Port” and click OK.
Name : SQL
Port Number: 1433
Protocol: Select TCP

1) SQL Server should be up and running.

Go to All Programs >> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 >> Configuration Tools >> SQL Server Configuration Manager >> SQL Server Services, and check if SQL Server service status is “Running”.

2) Enable TCP/IP in SQL Server Configuration

Go to All Programs >> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 >> Configuration Tools >> SQL Server Configuration Manager >> Select TCP/IP >>Right Click on TCP/IP >> Click on Enable

restart SQL Server Services

3) Open Port in Windows Firewall

Go to Control Panel >> Windows Firewall >> Change Settings >> Exceptions >> Add Port

Make the following entries in popup “Add a Port” and click OK.
Name : SQL
Port Number: 1433
Protocol: Select TCP

4) Enable Remote Connection

All Programs >> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 >> Configuration Tools >> SQL Server Configuration Manager
Right click on the server node and select Properties.
Go to Left Tab of Connections and check “Allow remote connections to this server”

5) Enable SQL Server Browser Service
Go to All Programs >> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 >> Configuration Tools >> SQL Server Configuration Manager >> SQL Server Browser

Change SQL Server (MSSQL) Password

If you’ve forgotten the sa password for your SQL server, you are probably in a panic. Fear not, for you can change the password and once again have access to the powers of the SA account using Windows Authentication mode.

Login into SQL Server using Windows Authentication.

In Object Explorer, open Security folder, open Logins folder. Right click on SA account and go to Properties.

sql-server-management

Change SA password, and confirm it. Click OK.

change-sql-server-password

Change SQL Server Password Using SQL Script

Open the SQL Server Management Studio.
Open a New Query.

Copy, paste, and execute the following:


    GO
    ALTER LOGIN [sa] WITH DEFAULT_DATABASE=[master]
    GO
    USE [master]
    GO
    ALTER LOGIN [sa] WITH PASSWORD=N'NewPassword' MUST_CHANGE
    GO

where NewPassword is the password you wish to use for the sa account.

Option 3: Change SQL Server Password with Third Party Software

Download SQL Server Password Changer on your local PC, install and launch it.

Click the Open File button. Select the SQL Server master database file (master.mdf). Typically it is located in the folder: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data.

open_sqlserver

The program will automatically decrypt the master database file and display all user accounts in your SQL Server. Select the SA account, click the Change Password button. Type a new password and click OK.

sqlserver_pwd

The program will replace the existing password with your new password, and also unlock your SA account if it’s already locked out or disabled.

SQL Server Firewall Rule in Plesk on Windows server

Enable the firewall within Plesk then add the needed rules to Windows Firewall (set the IP’s can connect on tcp/1433). Plesk does not have the ability to set the IP’s or IP range.

Resources
http://www.rackspace.com/knowledge_center/article/configuring-ms-sql-server-for-remote-access
http://www.rackspace.com/knowledge_center/article/creating-an-inbound-custom-allow-rule-for-windows-firewall-windows-2008