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I'm integrating with a third-party product via its SQL Server 2008 R2 database. In a previous version, I was able to access the database via SQL Server Management Studio and SQLCMD as a Windows administrator using Windows authentication.

The third-party product controls the sa account and keeps the password a secret.

After applying the vendor's latest product update, I can no longer access the database using Windows authentication. I even tried single mode, but no luck.

Here's how I switched to single mode:

net stop MSSQL$FOOBAR
net start MSSQL$FOOBAR -mSQLCMD

That seems to start the database.

C:\>sqlcmd /S .\FOOBAR
Msg 18470, Level 14, State 1, Server WINMAC\FOOBAR, Line 1
Login failed for user 'WINMAC\steve'. Reason: The account is disabled.

Is there a way in? Or is it more likely the vendor has closed a hole and I can't get in?

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Using PSExec to connect to an instance using the NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM account:

http://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/2682/recover-access-to-a-sql-server-instance/

However bear in mind that you may be breaking some contract, just wanted to note it :)

Original author is here

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  • Thanks. Not to worry about contracts. I don't have a relationship with the vendor (yet), just their customers. Interestingly, once I got in, I realised I no longer needed to make the previously required modifications because the vendor realized the error of their ways, which means I don't have to deploy PsExec to customers. Yay!
    – Steve
    Mar 13 '13 at 18:55

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