I'm trying to connect to SQL Server 2008 and I get the following message:

Cannot connect to .\SqlExpress.


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

I tried to use:


I got the same errors.

2 Answers 2


I usually use localhost/SQLEXPRESS, however I doubt that is your problem.

Ok, in the SQLSERVER configuration tools, make sure the SQLBrowser and SQLSERVER services are running.

  • it says "there are no items to view" =[
    – suffix
    Sep 28, 2011 at 19:01
  • 1
    @suffix So you go to Sql Server Configuration Manager->Sql Server Services and it says "there are no items to view?" If that is the case, then that is your problem. You do not have SQLServer installed properly. Sep 28, 2011 at 19:39

By default, newly installed instances of SQL Server are configured to only accept "shared-memory" connections. You'll need to use the SQL Server Configuration Manager to enable network connectivity.

Here's more info on MSDN... http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms174212.aspx

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