I just installed SQL server 2016 on a new 2012r2 vm. During the SQL installation I added the domain admin group and my domain account to the SA role. After the installation, I can connect using SSMS. The problem is no one in the domain admin group can connect. The group and my account are members of the local admin group on the server and we're only using RDP to connect to the db locally. The error I see in the log is "Login failed for user. Reason: token-based server access validation failed with an infrastructure error. Login lacks Connect SQL permission.[CLIENT:]"

When I check the effective permissions for the domain admin group I get the following error: Cannot execute as the server principal because the principal "domain\Domain Admins" does not exist, this type of principal cannot be impersonated, or you do not have permission.

I'm a fairly new to SQL server...any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • I think you need to add the domain user accounts to the SQL Security at the global level e.g. CREATE LOGIN [<domain>\<username>] FROM WINDOWS. I think you also need to ensure that the accounts you add also have CONNECT access to the SQL Server instance i.e. GRANT CONNECT SQL TO [<domain>\<username>]. The domain admin group likely won't work alone and you will still need to grant the access to the domain user account objects. Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 1:52

1 Answer 1


Those users would need to run SSMS as an administrator in order to connect. It's explained here.

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