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    Error "A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server"

    Status: Validated

    ISSUE
    When reviewing event logs, the following error message might be logged:

    A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection to SQL Server)
    ERROR CODE
    RESOLUTION
    1. Ensure the database engine is configured to accept remote connections:
      1. Start > All Programs > SQL Server 2005 > Configuration Tools > SQL Server Surface Area Configuration
      2. Click on Surface Area Configuration for Services and Connections
      3. Select the instance that is having a problem > Database Engine > Remote Connections
      4. Enable local and remote connections
      5. Restart instance
    2. Ensure that the firewall on the server instance of SQL Server has been configured to open ports for SQL Server and the SQL Server Browser port (UDP 1434).
    3. Ensure that the SQL Server Browser service is started on the server. Two useful resources for troubleshooting this issue can be found here:
    Verify that the application pool account that this database is associated with is a member of the SQL database role: WSS_Content_Application_Pools.

    Ensure that the NW database has the appropriate account configured as either dbo or db_owner on the database. Additionally, check that the timer service and the central admin account pool identity is the same account.
    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
    This error indicates an issue with the infrastructure allowing the necessary SQL connection between SharePoint and the SQL server. The message is a generic SQL error message that should be investigated by your Infrastructure/DBA team.
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