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I'm trying to reinstall vCenter SSO and it is prompting me for the "sa" password. I set it up previously, but cannot remember what I used. I uninstalled SSO (as well as the vCenter Server, and Inventory Service), and I'm running through setup again. I can't get past setting up the database without the password.

How can I reset this?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted


Welcome to What you are looking for is the SQL Server SA password which was probably installed with VCenter, or it was installed prior and VCenter was configured to use that SQL Server.

Option 1: If you have admin rights to the server, you can try logging in 'as a windows user' and seeing if the admin was configured to have SA rights. If you can get in, you can change the SA password.

Option 2: If you do not have access to SQL via Windows Logins, you can still use what some people consider an exploit, and access SQL Server via the NT Authority System userCheck out some blogs on it here, it's pretty easy to do. This is the command as copied out of the blog:

PsExec -s -i "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\Ssms.exe"

Recover access to a SQL Server instance. Written by our very own Aaron Bertrand.

Option 3 (The nuclear option): If you are sure there is nothing you need on this SQL Server and it was only installed for VCenter you could always uninstall and reinstall. This is a last resort however, I don't see any reason why you would have to entertain this idea for your current issue.

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Doing option 3 - I'm new to learning VMWare, so this was a test machine for practice that I had set up and nothing on it was being used. I'll save this question for the future for if/when I run into the issue and can't blow away the DB. – User_1403834 Feb 28 '13 at 17:43
Understood, but if you would like to 'test' option 2 all you have to do is download psexec from microsoft, it doesn't require a installation, then copy/paste that command up there (assuming you installed SSMS in the default directory) and you're pretty much golden but good luck with VMWare! – Ali Razeghi Feb 28 '13 at 17:45
great! That's good to know. I'll go grab that once I get things up and running. – User_1403834 Feb 28 '13 at 17:47

sa is treated as any other SQL login for this purpose, so you will need to use the ALTER LOGIN command:

ALTER LOGIN [sa] WITH PASSWORD='45tr0ngP@55w0rd';

You will need to connect to the server using another login with sufficient rights to do this.

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Another option, if you can't remember your SA Password you can start SQL Server in a single user mode after that anyone who is member of windows local administrator group can access SQL Server as member of sysadmin fixed server role .

This is described in SQL Server BOL

Connect to SQL Server When System Administrators Are Locked Out

after connecting to SQL server, you can reset password using ALTER Login T-SQL command suggested earlier.

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