How to configure SQL Server 2008 to allow network connections

This is a very common problem after you do a new install of SQL Server on a server. Moment you try to access it over the network, following error pops up in one form or the other.

A network related or instance specific error occurred, while establishing a connection to SQL Server.
The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that
SQL server is configured to allow remote connections.(provider: SQL Network Inrerfaces, error:26 -
Error Locating Server/Insatance Specified)(Microsoft SQL Server)

In SQL 2005, there used to be surface area configuration manager that you could use to enable network access to your SQL server. In SQL Server 2008, the interface has been changed a little bit. There is no surface area configuration manager per se. Here is the procedure you will follow in SQL 2008.

  • From start menu of SQL Server 2008, run SQL Server Configuration Manager
  • From left side view of SQL Server Configuration Manager, expand SQL Server Network Configuration
  • In the right view, you will find list of protocols for SQL Server. By default only Shared Memory is enabled. Others are disabled. Enable the other protocols to get your SQL server to accept connections over the network.

Connecting to named instance?

If you are trying to connect to named instance, make sure that you are specifying correct instance name and that instance name actually exists on target server and is running.

SQL Server Browser Service Running

Make sure that SQL Browser service is running on target server. Otherwise you will get the error that I have mentioned at the start.




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