Connect to a remote instance of SQL Server

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PROBLEM

In SSMS (SQL Server Management Console - SQL Server 2005/2008/2012), a connection to a SQL Server instance on another computer fails.

SYMPTOMS

  • When attempting to connect in SSMS, the following error occurs: Cannot connect to MACHINENAME

RESOLUTION/WORKAROUND

  1. Ensure the SQL Server Browser service is started
  2. Ensure the "Client Protocol" in the SQL Server Configuration Manager has at least one protocol enabled, preferribly the TCP/IP protocol.
  3. Ensure port 1433 is not blocked by the firewall on the computer with SQL Server