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I've got an SQL server 2008 server which appears to have had all it's windows users removed from the logins and is set to windows authentication only. I can't login with any of my AD/Doman accounts or the local administrator on the machine it's running on. I've enabled SQL authentication through the registry but the sa password appears to have a default value as it isn't blank.

Is there anyway to get back into the server without doing an install/uninstall?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

If SQL Server is started in single-user mode, any user who has membership in the BUILTIN\Administrators group can connect to SQL Server as a SQL Server administrator. The user can connect regardless of whether the BUILTIN\Administrators group has been granted a server login that is provisioned in the SYSADMIN fixed server role. This behavior is by design. This behavior is intended to be used for data recovery scenarios.

So if you have access as an administrator to the machine, you can still access SQL Server - but single-user mode will be required.

Hope this helps.


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Brilliant, thank you, for anyone else with the same issue here is how to put sql server into single user mode… – Steve Temple Jul 9 '09 at 2:04

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