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Technical Article   Error:  Cannot connect to the database server. Failed to connect to Database Server

Article ID: 35278
Software:  ArcGIS - ArcInfo 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1 ArcGIS Engine Runtime 9.3, 9.3.1, 9.2 ArcGIS Server 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1
Platforms:  Windows 2000, XP, 2003Server, Vista, 2008Server

Error Message

When connecting to ArcSDE for SQL Server Express by adding database server in ArcCatalog, the following error displays:

"Cannot connect to the database server. Failed to connect to Database Server."


The SQL Server Express database service cannot be accessed by ArcCatalog with the specified credential information.
There are a few reasons causing the failed connection:
1. SQL Server Express service is not up and running.
2. The TCP/IP and/or Named Pipes protocols for the database server are disabled.
3. The SQL Server instance is using dynamic ports. The default port number for SQL Server Express is 1433.
4. SQL Server instance cannot accept the current Windows credentials.

Solution or Workaround

1. Ensure the SQL Server instance is running and configured to allow remote connections.
2. Enable TCP/IP and/or Named Pipes protocol in SQL Server Configuration Manager.
3. Enable SQL Server Browser Service.
4. Add the Windows domain account into the SQL Server instance.

    Related Information

    Created: 7/25/2008
    Last Modified: 4/28/2011

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