Recovering / Reset MS SQL 2008 SA Password

We recently dealt with an issue where the customer lost their MS SQL database “SA” password, and the “SA” account was disabled. They were unable to alter the structure of any of their databases.

We found this link which helped us reset the SA password.

Here are the steps we took.

  1. Logged onto the server and downloaded “PSexec”. We used this link to download it. Download
  2. Unzip the files and copy them to your “C:\windows\system32” folder. There will be a number of files and we needed more than just “psexec.exe” to perform this action, so we copied all the files from the download to that directory.

    We used this video to learn to us PSExec properly.

  3. Stop the database. We went into the MSSQL Server Manager and right-clicked on the top item and selected “stop”.
  4. We right-clicked and opened the command prompt as an administrator.
  5. We typed in the following command.
    PsExec -s -i ” C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\ssms.exe”

    I had to search for “ssms.exe” to find the path I needed. The path in the first article was different than ours.

    This will launch MS SQL Server Manager as “System”, so you are above SA.

  6. Once MS SQL Server Manager was launched we were able to go to the “Security” tab, enable SA’s account, and change the password.
  7. We logged back in a SA and everything was working.

Let us know if this helped you…




Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate »