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3 Options for Recover or Reset SA Password

Elva Chrys

Apr 09,2012 06:12 / Posted by to MS SQL Server Tips
Follow @Elvabluesky

A few days ago, I had a painful experience that I forgot SA password on my MSSQL Server database, and I almost took the whole weekend to look for an efficient way to reset SA password. I asked friends, searched on Internet and even bought some books….  Fortunately, I finally got a SQL Server password recovery software and it instantly reset SA password without data loss. And I also got a couple of good “reset SA password” solutions to save your weekend in case you have lost or forgot MS SQL Server passwords (SA password!)

Option 1 : Use MS SQL Server Password Unlocker to Reset SA Password

The most direct, efficient way to reset SQL password is to take use of the third part utility - MS SQL Server Password Unlocker. Viewing the video about how to reset MS SQL Server 2008 password instantly :


Please follow the instruction and learn how to reset SQL Server password with MS SQL Server Password Unlocker.

Step 1: Download MS SQL Server Password Unlocker on your local PC, install and launch it.

Step 2: Access to master.mdf file, which is default at C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Data\master.mdf

sql password recovery

Step 3: Select SA account and change SA password

reset sa password

So, Reset SA password successfully!

Option 2 : Recover SA Password with Other SQL Server Login

If there is any other SQL Server Login that is a member of sysadmin role, you can log in using that account and reset SA password of SQL Server. Recover SA password account as described here :

SQL SERVER - Reset SQL Password of SA Login Using Management Studio.

Login into SQL Server using Windows Authentication.

In Object Explorer, open Security folder, open Logins folder. Right Click on SA account and go to Properties.

Then type a new SA password, and confirm it. Click OK.

Make sure to restart the SQL Server and all its services and test new password by log into system using SA login and new password.

Option 3 : Reset SA Password with Windows Login Which is a Member of Windows Admin Group

If there is any other Windows Login that is a member of Windows Admin Group, log in using that account. Start SQL Server in Single User Mode as described followings:

SQL SERVER – Start SQL Server Instance in Single User Mode.

There are certain situation when user wants to start SQL Server Engine in “single user” mode from the start up.

To start SQL Server in single user mode is very simple procedure as displayed below.

Step 1: Go to SQL Server Configuration Manager and click on SQL Server 2005 Services.

Step 2: Click on desired SQL Server instance and right click go to properties.

Step 3: On the Advance table enter param '-m;' before existing params in Startup Parameters box.

Make sure that you entered semi-comma after -m. Once that is completed, restart SQL Server services to take this in effect. Once this is done, now you will be only able to connect SQL Server using sqlcmd.

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