I have been running this command in our test domain:

sqlcmd -L

And have found that amongst all the valid results, it also returns several servers that definitely do not have SQL server installed. It is possible they may have had SQL installed on then in the distant past, but definitely not currently.

How is this possible? I would have thought SQL Browser would have to be installed and running on a server for it to respond to the sqlcmd -L broadcast.

In case it helps, the servers that are false positives are: -a domain controller -a server for Microsoft SCCM -a server for PKI management

Thanks Mike

  • SCCM has a SQL Server backend technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/gg675930.aspx It is possible that your PKI management software also has a SQL Server backend. I would double check your domain controller and look for any software installed that could have a SQL backend. Backup software comes to mind.
    – stacylaray
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 5:17
  • @stacylaray - thanks. I had been checking in the start menu and services list, and not finding any sign of SQL. Turns out it was the WID - Windows Internal Database.
    – Mike
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


The servers might be running SQLServer Express and/or LocalDB

SCCM has a SQL Server backend with a runtime license, Domain Controllers might have a localdb instance and so forth, check in the services app on the servers for those or run the following on the command prompt

tasklist /FI "imagename eq sqlservr.exe"
  • Thanks - this tasklist command led me to the answer. I had been looking for signs of SQL being installed in the start menu and services list - but this doesn't find the "WID" - Windows Internal Database - described here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Internal_Database. Very strange that a sqlcmd -L from another machine would get a response from the WID though, as it is supposed to be inaccessible from the network.
    – Mike
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 21:25

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