I am currently studying SQL Database management, so I am new at this.

I have installed SSMS on a fresh copy of a Windows 2019 Operating System running on Hyper-V lab testing environment. The Server has an AD DS installed and operates as the Main Domain Controller for the domain "tropica.local"on a virtual machine with the computer hostname "Cluster2_A"

When launching SQL Management studio, I am asked to enter the server's name to connect to a server (please note the server that I'm trying to connect to is on the local virtual machine)

I enter my local server's name and the instance

However, I receive this error when I enter my server's name and the default SQL instance of "/sqlexpress"

A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 - Error Locating Server/Instance Specified) (.Net SqlClient Data Provider)

I have attempted troubleshooting by the following methods:

I have checked to see if I can enable the SQL service in Services.MMC however, there is no option to enable SQL in the Services.MMC

Services.MMC has no option for SQL

There is also no option, to add the SQL Configuration Manger as a snap-in. enter image description here

I have enabled UDP port 1434 for both incoming and outgoing connections.

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I have also tried to just simply browse for my local server from the drop-down box, but nothing shows in the list.

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I have tried all above troubleshooting methods however I am still receiving the above listed error.

Does anyone have any advice on how to get this SQL Management Studio, to connect to and use the local virtual machine as an SQL server?

  • 2
    SSMS is just the desktop application that is used to interact with SQL Server. You'll need to download and install the SQL Server service as well, if you want to have something to connect to.
    – AMtwo
    Sep 5, 2021 at 2:42

2 Answers 2


Did you actually install SQL Server on your virtual machine?

It's not enough to install SSMS, that doesn't make the virtual machine a SQL Server.


I worked this problem out by downloading and installing the full SQL server evaluation edition. The link to download the full edition of SQL can be found here. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-sql-server-2014-sp3

  • 1
    Why are you "evaluating" such an old release of SQL Server? It's in extended support now and will be EOL in a couple years. Unless you have a hard requirement otherwise, you should be installing the latest version.
    – alroc
    Sep 4, 2021 at 14:36

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