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In Management Studio, if I go 'Security' --> 'Logins' --> 'New Login' --> something simple like username='test' and password='test', I am still unable to use this login - why? Is there something really obvious that I am missing?

If I create 'X.UDL' in windows explorer and use 'Microsoft OLD DB Provider for SQL Server', the only way I can get a list of databases is by using 'Windows NT Integrated Security' - none of my logins work.

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Check if Mixed Authentication Mode (SQL Server and Windows) enabled for your SQL Server instance. Use SQL Server configuration Manager or right click on server name in Management studio -> Properties -> Security

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