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Sql Server agent can not start

I could not start the SQL Server Agent (SQLEXPRESS) instance as it will give me this error:

The request failed or the service did not respond in a timely fashion. Consult the event log or other applicable error logs for details

I search for some solution and they say that I should remove SQL Server 2008 Express Edition. However, I do not have SQL Server 2008 Express Edition and thus did not install it.

Also, I notice another SQL Server Agent (MSSQLSERVER), in which I am able to start it and let it run. However, I try using my local account and even the sa account, I could not get into this instance. (The SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) is running too)

So, may I know what am I missing?


SQL Server Agent is not available with Express. It does install but that is just the false hope Microsoft puts in for some reason.

If you are seeing the "(EXPRESS)" within SQL Server Configuration Manager it was likely installed at some point in time and an attempt to remove it left some things behind. Express edition can get installed if you happen to have installed Visual Studio 2010 for instance.

Since you see the "(MSSQSERVER)" it would tell me that the default instance is the full version (Standard or higher) of SQL Server. There are a few ways to "break" into the default instance you have on your machine/server. However it depends on your environment as to what method you want to use.

  • Thanks Shawn Melton. You are right. It seems that the Visual Studio 2010 will install an Express Edition, which is the (EXPRESS) that I saw. I have remove all the SQL Server installation and just install the SQL Server 2008 Enterprise. Now, I am able to see the SQL Server Agent (MSSQLSERVER), which is ok for me since the SQL Server Agent (SQLEXPRESS) will never ever work as you mention that it is just the false hope that Microsoft put. I have mark your answer as the final answer. Thanks.
    – Jack
    Oct 3 '12 at 1:10

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