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I have a staging SQL Server that is not joined to the domain. When I access the server, I log into remote desktop as a local user on that machine.

However, I can connect to the SQL Server instance in SSMS from my machine using Windows Authentication. However, I can't find how this is working. I don't see my domain username included in the list of logins.

Is there a way to tell how my domain account has permissions to log in? This server in general is a mess and I need to start cleaning it up and setting up other users to use Windows Authentication instead of SQL Server Authentication.

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What version of windows is the sql server running on? – Jack B Nimble Dec 4 '09 at 19:48
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Ok, this is easy.

I believe that if the non-domain SQL Staging machine has a local account name that matches your domain name and it's password (minus the domain name credential), then the access will appear to be seamless without the staging server needing to be part of the domain.

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Although this method is rather troublesome, and certainly adds some complication to the security. :( – ewall Dec 4 '09 at 22:13
Awesome!!! Thanks! – Mike Cole Dec 17 '09 at 23:12

Was the server at one time connected to the domain, maybe the SQL server has an old LOGIN that is linked to the domain user.

  1. In SSMS connected to the SQL Server look under Sercurity => Logins, and Security => Credentials for users that are the same as your domain user.
  2. Check Local Users on the Windows machine to see if your username exists.

If you cannot find any obvious user connection, try disabling users one at a time until you are no longer able to connect to the SQL server using Windows Authentication.

I have seen behavior with renamed user accounts where they maintain their old relationships because the SID never changed, just the username.

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