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I have 2 instances of SQL Server installed on one server: SQL002.

One instance is a default instance, SQL2008 R2, and the SQL service is generally not running except for specific tests.

The other instance is a named instance, SQL 2014 (so SQL002/SQL2014). This is generally running all the time.

Today I just had a developer tell me that when they connect to SQL002 in SQL Server Management Studio it will connect successfully. I replicated this from my machine and also see a successful connection, however when I look at the properties of the connection it is reporting that it connected to the named instance.

What is going on here? Is there a redirect I'm not aware of?

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    Check your port numbers. Any chance that your SQL2014 is on port 1433 and your default instance is on a different port? – Kenneth Fisher Aug 19 '15 at 14:17
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There can be three reasons:

  • SQL Aliases: either you or that dev has an alias
  • Named instance running on port 1433. Connecting to the default instance means just connecting with port 1433 instead of asking the sql browser first (only applies to tcp)
  • Explicit port inside the connection string
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Whilst this is an old question and has already been answered, I thought it might be prudent to add the following:

I was experiencing a similar issue- I have three named instances on one server (no default instance) but was able to connect to the server by connecting to MYSERVER (note no backlash to denote the instance) and this would connect to InstanceA on that server.

I found the reason for this was that the pipe name for InstanceA had been changed in Configuration Manager from \\.\pipe\MSSQL$InstanceA\sql\query to \\.\pipe\sql\query

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