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On my Vista machine at work, applications and the SQL Server Management Console work fine connecting to SQL Server 2005. Sometimes they are ok for weeks at a time, sometime for hours and then they stop connecting.

I've tried everything to get it to work including the installation of SPII and running the user provisioning tool without any luck. The only way to fix it was to restart.

The Error:

Connections are refused with the standard error message:

Cannot connect to SERVER_NAME\INSTANCE_NAME

------------------------------ ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 - Error Locating Server/Instance Specified) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: -1)

For help, click: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?ProdName=Microsoft+SQL+Server&EvtSrc=MSSQLServer&EvtID=-1&LinkId=20476

The Fix:

Stop and restart the Sql Server Browser, Sql Server integration, SQL Server Active Directory Helper services.

Works like a charm.

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Have you checked your TCP connections when this happens, see if the connection limit is pressed? We had similar issues with using the network in general on a system someone had infected with a worm that was blitzing XP and once it hit a certain limit it would block TCP connections. Probably not it in your case but it wouldn't hurt to see if your network connections are going wonky. Is the server able to work normally while the SQL server is "Down"? Filemon/regmon/procmon showing anything unusual? –  Bart Silverstrim Aug 21 '09 at 15:46
    
If you want to post what is effectively an answer to a question no one has asked yet, don't post the answer as a question. Instead, post a question and then answer it yourself. –  Ryan Bolger Aug 21 '09 at 18:39
1  
Your fix doesn't really seem like a fix as it's not solving the root problem of why connections stop working. It's more of a workaround and a temporary one at that. –  Ryan Bolger Aug 21 '09 at 18:42
    
Bart - everything is 100% fine with everything else. Connections to named instances of sql server just stop working. I haven't done anything with filemon/regmon/procmon - i spent couple days trying to see what was wrong and apparently the SQL Browser service fixes it in this case. –  NTulip Sep 2 '09 at 14:32

2 Answers 2

After any sql patches are applied make sure "netstat -an" shows port 1433 is listening. If not, then re-enable the listener.

Also, on Vista/Windows7 disabling UAC and then running the SQL service as the user with the disabled UAC (such as your current user) might help.

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I think that Bart maybe on to something. The title says SQL2005 on Vista. Is it possible that Vista is limiting the number of connections, therefore tripping a limiter that affects TCP connections? I know XP had a limit to how many connections were allowed, I think it was ten. So if something grabs a connection and does not give it back, then restarting could be the 'solution'. If you are running SQL2005 for production work, it really should be on a Server OS.

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Wow, just looked at the date, not sure why this question popped to the top of the question list for me... –  BillN Jun 11 '10 at 22:08

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