SQL Server 2008: Forgot to add an administrator account?

How to recover SA password on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

First start SQL service in a Single User Mode.

  • Stop the SQL services

  • Edit the properties of the SQL Service

  • Change the startup parameters of the SQL service by adding a –m; in front of the existing parameters

    • Start the SQL services. These are now running in Single User Mode.
    • Start CMD on the SQL server


Start the SQLCMD by using below command.

sqlcmd -S Computername\SQLEXPRESS -E


Now we create a new user. Enter following commands


Now we grant the user a SYSADMIN roles using the same SQLCMD window.

exec sp_addsrvrolemember ‘vijay’, ‘sysadmin’

  • Stop the SQL service again
  • Change the SQL service properties back to the default settings

  • Start the SQL service again and  login with newly created user(vijay in my example) with SQL Server Authentication.
  • Go to security panel and access properties of sa and change the password.

Now Change SA password.


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