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How do you add an administrator user to SQL Server 2008?

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4 Answers 4

If you're doing it via T-SQL:

Granting a Windows Login the ability to connect to SQL Server:




If SQL Server-based login:

CREATE LOGIN [LoginName] WITH PASSWORD = 'SomePassword';

After that, you can do one of two things. You can add it to the membership of the sysadmin fixed server role using sp_addsrvrolemember:

EXEC sp_addsrvrolemember 'LoginName', 'sysadmin';

or you can grant the login CONTROL SERVER permissions:

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Before that I think we need to be able to login to SQL Server first. I have experienced being a server administrator, but I couldn't login since SQL Server was installed by a Domain Admin account.

So you might need to start SQL Server with command-line option -m (single user mode),

sqlserver.exe -m 

and then do as K. Brian Kelley said.

More step-by-step instructions can be found in SQL Server 2008: Forgot to add an administrator account?

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That's exactly what I needed, thanks :) –  Mark Pim Sep 9 '10 at 9:50
Thanks for this. I've installed SQL Server 2008 before, for whatever reason I was unable to login with SSMS. Following your suggestion was exactly what I needed to do to fix the sysadmin account login. –  Jim Schubert Oct 27 '10 at 22:38

For completeness, the GUI method

From SQL Server Management Studio, under the Security / Logins folder for the database, right click Logins and select New Login:

Be sure to use the full domain\username format in the Login Name field, and check the Server Roles list to make sure the user gets the roles you want.

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Hmm, there are two different things this could mean.

  1. How do I create a new user account that has administrative rights?
  2. I already have a windows user that is an administrator, how do I add that user to SQL?


  1. In SQL Management Studio, create a new login and add it to the sysadmin server role.
  2. In SQL Management Studio, create a login connected to the Windows account or a group that it's a member of. You might well find BUILTIN\Administrators is already there.
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