I am at my wits end with trying to access a remote SQL Server 2008 R2 Express instance. Here are the following that I have tried.

1) I enabled remote connections in the instance properties.
2) I enabled sql server and windows authentication mode and created an account to log in using sql server authentication.
3) I started the SQL Server Browser service
4) I forwarded ports 1433 and 1434 on the router to the IP address of the machine hosting SQL Server.
5) I turned off firewalls on both the Machine running the instance and the router.
6) http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/open-ports/ I used this to check whether or not both ports were open and it says that they are closed. I have the SQL Server Express instance running and the browser running. I have configured it to allow remote connections yet, it tells me they are both closed. I'm pretty confused at this stage.

On the client Machine I am trying to connect using the following format machineip\SQLEXPRESS with SQL Server Management Studio Express.

Thanks in advance

  • You tried everything this article suggests? linglom.com/2009/03/28/… – DOK Jan 9 '11 at 18:52
  • Yeah I followed that article to the T. – Barry Jan 9 '11 at 18:54
  • What is the specific error message you get when connection to the instance cannot be established? – John Sansom Jan 9 '11 at 19:23
  • John its 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: TCP Provider, error: 0 - A connection attempt failed because the connected party did not properly respond after a period of time, or established connection failed because connected host has failed to respond.) (.Net SqlClient Data Provider) – Barry Jan 9 '11 at 19:40

As you've not specifically listed the steps here's some more dumb questions:

  1. Have you verified that SQL is listending on port 1433 anyway. Take firewall out the equation initially and run netstat -a -b which should list the service somewhere and tell you which ports the server and browser service are running on.

  2. Is the instance name definititely IP\SQLExpress? I've confused myself lots of times when I've installed Express with an instance name of just the hostname/IP of the machine and spent ages wondering why I can't connect when I incorrectly use an IP\SQLExpress host name in the connection.

I previous question similar to this where we finally sorted it is here.


SQL Server Configuration Manager -> SQL Server Network Configuration -> Protocols for {instance_name} -> TCP/IP (should be enabled).

I'm sorry if I appear dumb with my suggestion, it's just not quite clear if it is covered with the list of measures taken by the OP and in the comments.

Also, because this is 2008 R2, the thing has probably been enabled by default, and yet, who knows...

  • Plus firewall - SQL does not autoconfigure a firewall hole for it's ports. THese two took me once a day to figure out why I can not reach a new installed SQL 2008 ;) – TomTom Jan 10 '11 at 8:01

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