Work-Around Targets SQL Server Agent Start Failure

Microsoft SQL Server version 7.0 users may find that changing the system administrator (sa) password from a blank to any other value on Microsoft Windows 95- or Microsoft Windows 98-based computers might prevent the SQL Server Agent from starting. However, if users change the sa password back to a blank, the SQL Server Agent works again. This problem occurs on the golden, SP1, and SP2 releases of the Desktop Edition and Microsoft Data Engine. The information needed for SQL Server Agent to start is obtained from the registry; however, the information doesn’t exist in the registry until after the sa password is changed by the SQL Enterprise Manager (SEM). This method is used on Windows 9x systems because they don’t support trusted connections, which is the SQL Server 7.0 default on both Windows NT 4.0- and Windows 2000-based computers. To work around the problem, take the following steps: In the SEM, locate the Management folder and select the SQL Server Agent; right click the SQL Server Agent and click Properties; click the Connection tab; and specify your desired login or password. Although you can program a new sa password with T-SQL statements, you must manually use SEM to adjust the sa password for the SQL Server Agent on the target computer. You can use SEM from another computer for this management if performing the task on the target computer isn’t practical. Go to for additional information.

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