How to fix an error "change password failed for login sa"?

Sometimes you receive the following error while resetting the MS SQL sa password via SQL Management Studio using Windows Authentication. Follow the below steps to resolve it.

Error Message While Resetting SA Password

1. Log in to your Windows VPS via RDP (Remote Desktop Access). This tutorial will guide you to connect to a Windows VPS server using the RDP from different operating systems.

2. Click on Start and go to SQL Server Configuration Manager.

MS SQL Configuration Manager

3. Right-click on the SQL Server and select Properties. In the Properties window, select the Startup Parameters tab.

Startup Parameters

4. In Specify a startup parameter field, type -m; (including semicolon), and click on Add button.

Add Startup Parameter

5. Click Apply button, and you will be asked to restart the MS SQL service; Click OK to close the popup window and click OK to close the properties tab.

Restart MS SQL Service Pop-up

6. Right-click on the SQL server, and restart the MS SQL service.

Restart MS SQL Service

6. Now, open Command Prompt and run the below query assuming your SQL Server instance name is SQLEXPRESS. Note that we've reset the password to "AccuWebHosting" for this example, but you'll have to replace your choice of password in the @new argument.

osql -E -S .\SQLEXPRESS
exec sp_password @new='AccuWebHosting', @loginame='sa'
go
alter login sa enable
go
exit


MS SQL Query From Command Prompt

8. Again, go to SQL Server Configuration ManagerRight-click on the MS SQL server and select Properties. In the Properties window, select the tab Startup Parameters. From the startup Parameter list, select -m; from the list and click on the Remove button.

Remove Startup Parameters

9. Click on Apply button; you will be asked to restart MS SQL service; click OK to close the popup window and click on OK to close the properties tab.

Restart MS SQL Service Pop-up

10. We need to restart the MS SQL service again. Follow step #6 to restart the MS SQL service. Now you can log in to SQL Server Management Studio using the new password AccuWebHosting.


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