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I'm trying to log in to SQL Server 2008, but the installation and the log_in user were done by my friend. Now I'm to trying to open the management studio but I get the error message "login failed" although SQL Server service is running. How can I check if the user is member of Server Admin role?

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Did you friend leave you with the sa password? Are you using Windows Authentication? – cole Dec 10 '12 at 12:27
Did you check if SQL Service is accessable over network? By default installation is blocking over TCP/IP. – Mr.T Dec 10 '12 at 13:53

Assuming you have the ability to log into the OS either remotely or locally and you have been granted elevated privileges, you have a couple of options...

  1. Execute T-SQL queries using SQLCMD under the SYSTEM account. You should be able to build out the T-SQL to add your account to the sysadmin fixed server role.
  2. Add your account to the SQL Server Database Engine service group. More information available here
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