I'm in the process of decommissioning a database server and migrating the databases from one server to another. I was attempting to get the the properties of the database and received a SQL Error popup.

Property Owner is not available for Database '[database name]'. This property may not exist for this object, or may not be retrievable due to insufficient access rights. (Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo)


  • Server 2003 Standard with SP2
  • SQL Server 2005 Standard - 9.0.1399
  • I'm a sysadmin, so it shouldn't be perms issue
  • Had another sysadmin perform the operation with the same error
  • DBCC CheckDB listed no errors
  • Able to backup w/o error
  • Took DB offline/online w/o error

Any suggestions or tests that I can perform and report on?


2 Answers 2


You could probably have just set the database owner to [sa] (or any valid login really) rather than detach / re-attach.


This probably happened because the login responsible for creating, attaching or restoring the database initially no longer exists. The UI isn't smart enough to fail gracefully when there isn't a valid owner.


Fixed the issue, but not sure what caused the problem.

I detached/reattached the database and then was able to access the database properties.

It appears that this database lost its owner somehow. How does that even happen?!

  • 2
    The database owner might have been John Smith. John was a contractor who has now left. The system finally cottons on to his non-existence. I would not recommend detaching / reattaching - a bit risky if Aaron's solution does the trick Jan 30, 2017 at 9:37

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