We have individual developer edition SQL Server 2012 databases set up on each of our developers PC's. All PC's are Windows 7, firewall is disabled and everything runs fine.

We're now looking to upgrade to Windows 8.1. We have had some problems with the firewall but have put in exceptions for port 1433 and 1434. We can connect using SQL or Windows authentication when using sqlcmd and osql, however if we try to connect via SSMS we get an error:

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)(Microsoft SQL Server)

What's confusing me is that we can connect without any problems using osql and sqlcmd. SSMS has no problems when running locally on the computer.

TCP looks to be setup correctly and listening for connections (and accepting connections from osql and sqlcmd).

What else do SSMS need to connect to SQL Server?

1 Answer 1


Can't explain why, but the firewall seems to be a problem on this computer. Turning the firewall off completely blocked all access (can't even ping or connect to network shares using UNC). We enabled the firewall and removed all of the blocking rules and it now works.

  • Is it possible sqlcmd and osql were using named pipes while SQL Server was using TCP/IP? Did you enter the remote server the exact same way in all cases? (E.g. did you use IP for one, and simple computer name or FQDN for another?) Commented May 28, 2014 at 4:25
  • I think I used the same connection type each time. I tried connecting to "computername\sqlinstancename" when using SSMS and sqlcmd and osql. Just double checked and named pipes is not enabled on that instance
    – Greg
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 6:41

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