This is a weird one, and I've run out of ideas for how to go about troubleshooting this. Here's the issue, best as I can sum it up.
The SQL Server engine and Agent services are not started when the server first boots when they're set to Automatic. Looked through the Event Viewer, and found these errors:
The MSSQLSERVER service failed to start due to the following error: The system cannot find the file specified.
However, if I go into Services after boot and manually start the services, they start running without issue. More confounding is that this is not limited to a single server. They're all part of clusters/AGs if that helps.
Dug through some various websites and postings, and here's my comparison:
This is the same error that we see in the event log. When I looked into the properties of the service, I found that the path mentioned in “Path to executable” was an invalid path.
Does not apply here. I can start the service manually, and the paths in the service and registry are correct.
Domain account is being used (not a gMSA), and the password is set correctly.