Error: Failed to generate a user instance of SQL Server...

18 Jan 2006 21:55

I was just hacking something together in Visual Web Developer Express, and was attempting to add a database to my App_Data directory when I ran into problems.

VWD kept timing out, and giving me a variety of error messages. Event Viewer contained the following: Failed to generate a user instance of SQL Server due to a failure in starting the process for the user instance. The connection will be closed. [CLIENT: <local machine="">]</local>

I did some googling, and discovered the solution: you need to delete the C:\Documents and Settings\_username_\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server Data\SQLEXPRESS directory.

What everyone else failed to emphasise is that you might need to restart Windows. Simply bouncing the SQL Server Express service doesn’t always fix it.

This is what I did:

  • Reboot the computer.
  • Log in as Administrator (I run with non-Admin privileges most of the time).
  • Delete the SQLEXPRESS directory for my normal user account.
  • Log back in as my normal user.

You can see if it’s working properly by using the SSEUTIL utility. “sseutil -l” (that’s a lower-case L) should list the databases currently being used by your user account.