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Three Ways to Reset SA Password!

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over 6 years ago

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Three Ways to Reset SA Password!

A few days ago, I had a painful exprience that I lost sa password on my MS SQL Server database, and I almost took the whole weekend to look for some efficient SA password recovery solutions. I asked friends, searched on Internet and even bought some books... Fortunately, I finally got MS SQL Server Password Unlocker and it instantly changed the SA password but no data loss. Besides, I also got a couple of good "recover SA password" solutions in order to save your weekend in case you have lost or forgot MS SQL Server passwords (SA password!)

Option 1 : Use MS SQL Server Password Unlocker to Change SA Password

The most direct, efficient and fastest way to reset SA password is to take use of the third part utility - MS SQL Server Password Unlocker. Just two steps:

Step 1: Access to master.mdf file, which is default at C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Data\master.mdf

reset sa password

Step 2: Select SA password and reset SA password

change sa password

So, Change SA password success!


Option 2 : Change SA Password with Other SQL Server Login

If there is any other SQL Server Login that is a member of sysadmin role, you can log in using that account and reset SA password of SQL Server. Change the SA password account as described here : 
SQL SERVER – Change Password of SA Login Using Management Studio.

Login into SQL Server using Windows Authentication.

In Object Explorer, open Security folder, open Logins folder. Right Click on SA account and go to Properties.

change sa password

Change SA password, and confirm it. Click OK

Make sure to restart the SQL Server and all its services and test new password by log into system using SA login and new password.

Option 3 : Reset SA Password with Windows Login that is a member of Windows Admin Group

If there is any other Windows Login that is a member of Windows Admin Group, log in using that account. Start SQL Server in Single User Mode as described followings : 

SQL SERVER – Start SQL Server Instance in Single User Mode.

There are certain situation when user wants to start SQL Server Engine in "single user" mode from the start up.

To start SQL Server in single user mode is very simple procedure as displayed below.

Go to SQL Server Configuration Manager and click on  SQL Server 2005 Services. Click on desired SQL Server instance and right click go to properties. On the Advance table enter param ‘-m;‘ before existing params in Startup Parameters box.

Make sure that you entered semi-comma after -m. Once that is completed, restart SQL Server services to take this in effect. Once this is done, now you will be only able to connect SQL Server using sqlcmd.

Make sure to remove newly added params after required work is completed to restart it in multi user mode.
Create a new login and give it sysadmin permission.

Note : If you have SQL Server Agent enabled, it starts before SQL Server service. If you have enabled SQL Server in a single user mode, it will connect it first, so it is recommended to turn that off before attempting any of the above options.

Reference : Blog (
Password Unlocker(

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