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I have a number of XP machines that have a SQL 2005 Instance running on them, and they are set to start automaticly in Service Control Manager.

On 1 or 2 of these machines when you reboot, the SQL Instance doesn't start. Nothing makes it into the event log that something was wrong.

If you subsequently go to Service Control Manager and Manually start the service, it starts up with no issue.

I was wondering if anyone had any clues about what might be going wrong with these?

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Is there any information in the SQL Server error log rather than the Windows event log? Does it happen every time? Sure it's the SQL service that's set to auto-start and not SQL Agent, for instance? (Apologies if that's too simple a question for you - I've seen stuff like that before). – Paul Randal May 31 '09 at 23:08
Yeah, it's definately SQL Server (not agent) it's a SQLExpress install. On the few machines that it happens on, it happens every time (after restart). Thanks for the tip on the SQL Logs i'd forgotten about that one, thinking that if it didn't start up in Windows SCM, that the SQLLog wouldn't have seen any activity. – Paul Farry Jun 1 '09 at 0:19
My guess is that it's trying to start and something's going wrong - let us know what you find in the SQL log, if anything. – Paul Randal Jun 1 '09 at 0:26
I'll just have to wait a bit to get the logs from the client – Paul Farry Jun 1 '09 at 1:49

A possible answer is that the SQL service is trying to start before another required service (or driver) has started. If this is the case you can fix it by setting the dependencies for the SQL service.

As a test you could try doing that anyway - pick one of the last services to start and make SQL dependent upon it.

You could also check the dependencies of the working machines and see if they are the same (though you could have different requirements on different machines if, for example, you use different connection libraries).

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Have you checked that the windows account you've associated with the SQLAgent service has "logon as service" properties in the group policy applied (active directory domain)?

If its a workgroup or standalone install you can run gpedit.msc (computer configuration, windows settings, security settings, local policies, user rights assignment, log on as a service) - otherwise you need to edit on our of your network domain controllers.

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Downvoted. If this right wasn't granted, they wouldn't start manually. – Steve Jones Jun 2 '09 at 15:17

The Windows log and the SQL Server error log are your best places to look. I like the answer about the dependency. That would be my guess. I thought perhaps unable to verify domain credentials, but that shouldn't be an issue. Windows usually caches these.

I've seen this with agent, and it's been the dependency thing, but not with the main db service. Be sure that you have the right instance set to auto start. sometimes with Expresss, there are multiple installs, and you might be confusing the services.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I think I may have also found another contributing factor to this kind of does not start on reboot error.

It appears that if the Windows Event Log is set to Overwrite Events > 7days.. size 512kb.. But a lot of activity has occurred within this window, then Event Log is effectively full because it can't overwrite the number of events generated inside that timeframe. If you set the eventlog to a much larger size OR to Overwrite as needed then you won't experience this issue.

You don't actually get to see anything in the eventlogs because of this. SQL's logs don't get any data either because it doesn't get far enough into the startup of the service to write to it's own logs (afaik)

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