When carelessly lost SA password and cannot connect to server, you can reset SA password easily by login with Windows Authentication. The problem is when Windows Authentication was disabled or you failed to login with Windows Authentication, how to reset SA password and recover your SA user.
Some people may thought it should be impossible to reset SA password when SQL Server lost SA password and Windows Authentication was also unavailable, and the only option is to reinstall SQL Server and get a new SA user.
Absolutely not, you can reset SQL Server SA password without any login. Let’s have a look at how to perform.
Step 1: Stop SQL Server services
It is very important to firstly stop all services in SQL Server before you start to reset SA password.
Just open SQL Server Configuration Manager to stop SQL Server services.
Step 2: Install SQL Password Geeker on your PC
With SQL Password Geeker you can reset/change SA user or other users passwords for MS SQL Server 2000/2005/2008/2012/2014.
Download SQL Password Geeker and install it on your PC.
Step 3: Import master.mdf file
By importing master.mdf file into SQL Password Geeker you can view all users in your SQL Server. Then you can select the SA user to reset its password.
- Run SQL Password Geeker.
- Click Open File button.
- Navigate to the disk where your SQL Server is installed. Go to Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data. Select the master.mdf file and click Open button. So the master.mdf file should be imported into SQL Password Geeker
Step 4: Reset SQL Server SA password
As you can see, all users are displayed. And the SA user password is labeled "Unknown".
- Select and highlight the sa user.
- Click on Reset button.
- Type a new password for the SA account.
A small dialog box saying "password successfully changed" pops up. It proves you have successfully reset your SA password. And you can see the SA password is changed to a new one from "Unknown". Remember the new SA password and close SQL Password Geeker.