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I have several SQL 2008 boxes that are exhibiting a strange problem. Whenever I do a reboot on any machine, I make sure all the services are set to 'Manual' startup. After the boxes come back up, the SQL Server Service manages to start itself.

For testing's sake, I disabled the Sql Service, set it to manual, then rebooted. It did no start up this time by itself, but when I re-enabled the service, about 1 minute later, it did automatically start.

Has anyone ever experienced this before? Is there any possible way to see what other service/app is causing SQL Service to start itself?

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migrated from Apr 25 '11 at 22:14

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Is SQL Server Agent (or any other SQL Server related services) set to Auto start? – Daniel Renshaw Apr 25 '11 at 19:20
Every SQL service is set to 'Manual' start. Like I mentioned, even if I set Sql Service to 'disabled' and 'manual', once I switch back to 'enabled'...about 1 min later, it start's itself. I thought maybe it was Quest Spotlight, but I turned that off and the same issue happened. – Upstart Apr 25 '11 at 21:21

It must be that you have another service that is on auto-start and declares a dependency on SQL Server. When you disabled SQL Server, this other dependent service must had traced an error into the system event log complaining that a service it dependents on is disabled. Look into the system even log, whoever complained that the SQL Server is disabled must be your culprit, the service that starts SQL Server.

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+1: sounds feasible... – IAbstract Apr 25 '11 at 20:05
Unfortunately, I scoured the Event Log the best I could, but could not find anything that jumped out at me. I see where the service started, but I didn't see anything before it that would indicate something was depending on it. Would the Event Log track 'outside' services that are expecting SQL to be up? I.e. could it be some sort of monitoring tool that is ping-ing SQL to see if it is up and if it isn't, it starts it? Would this be tracked on the box's Event Log as well? – Upstart Apr 25 '11 at 21:10
Try this from the command prompt as admin: sc EnumDepend mssqlserver (or sc EnumDepend mssql$<instancename> if named instance) to see all the services that depend on SQL Server – Remus Rusanu Apr 25 '11 at 21:25
After running that from the command prompt, the only dependency returned is SQL Agent. – Upstart Apr 25 '11 at 21:29
IS agent on auto start? sc qc SQLAgent$instancename. Also, is there any service that depends on SQL Agent in turn? sc EnumDepend SQLAgent – Remus Rusanu Apr 25 '11 at 21:32

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