Posts Tagged ‘forgot sql server password’

How to Reset Forgotten SA Password without Stopping SQL Server Instance

November 18th, 2013 by Admin

Forgot your SA password or get locked out of SQL Server? How to connect to SQL Server database in case the ‘BUILTIN\Administrators’ group is removed from SYSADMIN server role? One of my previous articles covers how to recover sa password through single user mode, but that approach requires of restarting your SQL Server instance and causing some downtime. Sometimes this would be unacceptable. In this article we’ll provide you with another way to reset forgotten SA password in SQL Server 2012/2008/2005 without any downtime.

How to Reset Forgotten SA Password without Stopping SQL Server Instance?

  1. To get started, we need to run the SQL Server Management Studio as the system account. This can be done easily with the PsExec program. Download PsExec from Sysinternals website. Extract the PsExec.exe program and save it to a folder on your computer such as C:\.
  2. Open an elevated Command Prompt and run the following command:
    C:\PsExec.exe -s -i "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\Ssms.exe"
    Note: Your actual path of SQL Server Management Studio may be different from the one above.
  3. It will start SQL Server Management Studio as the system account. You’ll see that the username is shown as “NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM”. Simply choose the “Windows Authentication” mode and click on the Connect button.


  4. Once you connect, in the Object Explorer view, click the plus sign next to Security, and then the plus sign next to Logins. Once expanded, right-click on the SA user, and choose Properties. You can then change the forgotten SA password with a new one.


It is quite common to get locked out of a SQL Server instance, or simply forgot the SA password. With this approach you can reset forgotten SQL Server password easily! Quickly regain access to your SQL Server database without even any downtime.

How to Recover SA Password on Microsoft SQL Server

October 24th, 2013 by Admin

If you ever lost SA password, you may have thought your only option is to reinstall SQL Server and re-attach all of the user databases. However, SQL server provides a much better disaster recovery method which preserves objects and data in the master database. Simply start SQL Server in single user mode and you can recover SA password easily with the OSQL command. Here are the detailed steps:

Part 1: Start SQL Server in Single User Mode

  1. Open SQL Server Configuration Manager.
  2. Find the SQL Server instance you need to recover the SA password.
  3. Stop the SQL Server instance.
  4. Right-click on the instance and select Properties.
  5. Click on the Advanced tab, and add -m; to the beginning of Startup parameter.
  6. Click OK and start the instance.

Part 2: Recover SQL Server SA Password

  1. Open an elevated command prompt and enter the command:
    osql -S myServer\instanceName -E
    Replace myServer\instanceName with the name of the computer and the instance of SQL Server that you want to connect to.
  2. At the next prompts, enter the following commands:
    1> alter login sa enable
    2> go
    1> sp_password NULL,'new_password','sa'
    2> go
    1> quit
  3. Stop the SQL Server instance.
  4. Remove the -m option from the Start parameters field, and then start the SQL Server service.

At this point you should be able to login to SQL Server using the SA user account and the new password you gave it. Besides recovering SA password with OSQL, you can also reset / change your forgotten SA password using the third-party software such as SQL Server Password Changer.

How to Reset Forgotten SA Password in SQL Server 2008

May 29th, 2013 by Admin

I installed SQL Server 2008 sometime ago and forgot the sa password I set during setup. How can I connect to SQL server now? Is there a way I can retrieve sa password in SQL Server 2008?

If you ever forgot a SA password, you may have thought that the only option is to reinstall SQL Server. But this is not true. If you can still log in to your SQL Server with Windows authentication mode, or log in using other user account that is a member of sysadmin role, then you can reset the lost SA password easily! However I don’t think this approach will help you, otherwise you wouldn’t be sitting here reading article, would you?

Other method is to use this professional password recovery software – SQL Server Password Changer, which provides you with an easy way to reset forgotten SA password in SQL Server 2008 (R2). It also supports SQL Server 2012/2005/2000. Follow this tutorial and you can reset SQL Server password and regain access to your database easily and quickly.

How to Reset Forgotten SA Password in SQL Server 2008?

  1. Download and install SQL Server Password Changer on your computer.
  2. After installing, start the program and then click on “Open File” button.
  3. It will display a dialog box that prompts you to choose the master.mdf database of your SQL Server. But at this time you need to stop your SQL Server serivce in advance so this password recovery program is able to regain full control over the master.mdf file.
  4. Once you’ve chosen the master.mdf file, click on “Open”. The program will display all user accounts existing in your SQL Server database.

  5. Choose the SA user account and then click on “Change Password” button. Enter your new password and click OK. Now you’ve successfully reset your forgotten SA password in SQL Server 2008.
  6. Start the SQL Server service and then you can log in to the SA account using the new password.

Using SQL Server Password Changer you can also reset the password of any other user accounts existing in your SQL Server 2008 database. Resetting the password of SA is a breeze!

How to Change SQL Server Password

June 25th, 2012 by Admin

Forgot SQL Server password? A former employee forgot to leave you with the sa password for your SQL Server?  How to change the password or reset it? If you couldn’t fix this problem, you may have to reinstall SQL Server.  But if you have some very important data in the database, this may prevent you from reinstalling. Then, is there any effective way to recover or change SQL Server password?

This tutorial will explain how to change SQL Server password with SQL Server Password Changer, if you forgot sa password and can’t connect to your database using any user account. Once SQL Server is installed, a master.mdf file will be created and be used to stored the logins and passwords for all available SQL Server accounts. With SQL Server Password Changer you can easily change forgotten SQL Server passwords stored in the master.mdf database.

How to Change SQL Server Password:

  1. Download SQL Server Password Changer on your local PC, install and launch it.
  2. 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.Select the SQL Server master database file
  3. 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.SQL Server Password Recovery
  4. The old password will be replaced with your new password. Now you are able to log into the SA account using your new password.

Follow the steps above you can also change other user account passwords.  SQL Server Password Changer is a really useful utility and it can help you easily reset SQL Server passwords on SQL Server 2008/2005/2000.

How to Change SA Password in SQL Server 2005

June 11th, 2012 by Admin

Forgot SQL Server password and unable to login using the SA account? If you happen to forget your SQL Server password for sa account, then here’s a simple query to help you reset it:

USE master

In case you remember your old password and want to change the sa password, use this query:


You aslo can get a third-party tool to change SQL password. SQL Server Password Changer is one of the best MS SQL password reset tools which can help you change SQL Server password in a few seconds. It allows you to change SQL sa password on SQL Server and Express 2000/2005/2008.