I tried to connect over WiFi to SQL Server with SQL Server Management Studio from another computer, but it failed.

I have a computer with Windows 7 & SQL Server 2008 (lets say the server computer). Next to it I have a freshly installed computer with Windows 7 & SQL Server Management Studio (let's say the client computer).

What I did on the server computer:

  • Configure firewall by enabling port 1433
  • Enabled network protocols (TCP/IP) inside SQL Server Configuration Manager
  • Checked Allow remote connections to this server in server properties in the SQL Server Management application.
  • Started SQL Server Browser
  • Restarted services

(SQL Server Browser is stopped at this point, but I don't think it is necessary. Is it?)

Next, I successfully tested a ping on the port 1433 from my client computer with a tool named tcping (ex: tcping 1433). But I still cannot connect from my client computer to SQL Server on my server computer.

Ok, something new with this problem: Until now, I successfully connected to my "server computer" with Management Studio. What I did is type the computer name in the server name field in the connection window of Management Studio. My previous (failed) attempt was to type the computer name followed by the instance of SQL server (ex: COMPUTER_NAME\SQL2008). I don't know why I only have to type the computer name.

Now my new challenge is to be successful in connecting my VB6 application to this remote database located on my "server computer". I have a connection string for this but it failed to connect.

Here is my connection string:

"Provider=SQLOLEDB.1;Password=mypassword;User ID=sa;Initial Catalog=TPB;Data Source=THIERRY-HP\SQL2008"

Any idea what's going wrong?

  • What is happening ? Any error message ?
    – Stephane
    Aug 15 '11 at 7:38
  • 5
    SQL Server doesn't care whether you're connecting by Wifi or anything else. In any case, the key question is "You can't connect. Fine, what happens when you try?"
    – Rob Moir
    Aug 15 '11 at 7:53
  • Are both systems wirelessly connected only?
    – user48838
    Aug 15 '11 at 8:04
  • @Stephane: the error is: sql server a network related or instance specific error occurred... from Management Studio. And yes, both systems are wirelessly connected.
    – Bronzato
    Aug 15 '11 at 9:26
  • What is the SQL Server Management Studio Version?
    – Dee Yu
    Aug 15 '11 at 14:52

First, the way to address a specific SQL server instance is: SERVERNAME\INSTANCENAME

So, first step is to see if you can resolve SERVERNAME (use ping or change it for an IP address).

The second step is to see if the specific instance exists. Typically, the first instance of MSSQL server is using the default instabnce name (. or MSSQLSERVER). If that's the case, you can omit the instance name in your connection string and keep the server name only.

To check your instance name, open the service manager on the server and find the "SQL Server (xxx)" service. The "xxx" will be the instance name.

Once you've done that and made sure you're using the correct SQL address, you should validate the connection. Check if both your machines are on the same subnet. If they aren't, make sure the firewall isn't set to only allow the local subnet to connect (typical in "home" network profile).

Then, if both machines are on the same WIFI network, make sure your AP isn't setup for client insulation. If that's the case, you won't be able to communicate between two WIFI devices connected to the same AP.

Finally, make sure you have a login that works. The simplest way to do that is to create an explicit login on the SQL server, give it all necessary rights on your database and server and test it locally by passing the credentials in the command string. If it works, try it from the remote machine


Is the SQL TCP listening on the IP which WLAN can reach? You can configure it on SQL Surface Area Configuration, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms161956.aspx .


Put only the computer name in the connection string. With the instance listening on port 1433 there's no need for the instance name as that's the port that the client will attempt to connect to automatically. Also with the browser service stopped you'll never be able to connect to an instance with an instance name in there as the driver can't connect to the browser to get the port number of the instance. By connecting to what the driver thinks is the default instance (the SQL instance on port 1433) you bypass needing to connect to the browser service.


a) Check that from the workstation, you can ping the server by the name you use. (If not, use IP addy for now until you get name resolution solved)

b) Check the ERRORLOG on the SQL Server to see what IP port it is listening on. (search for 'listening')

c) Then from the client station, use telnet:

telnet <server name> <port number>

And make sure telnet can connect. If it cannot connect, chase firewalls, wifi hub, etc until telnet works. (We just had a wifi unit, commercial grade, that firewalls every workstation from each other!)

d) Now that networking is solved, the "server" element of your connection string would read:

<server name or IP>,<port>


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.