How can I test a Server / Database connection from a workstation?

Answer: Occasionally, it is helpful to test the connection between a workstation and the SQL Server and Database outside of ExpressMaintenance.  If you can connect via ODBC / DSN from Windows, you will be able to connect through ExpressMaintenance.  Likewise if you are unable to connect via ODBC / DSN from Windows, ExpressMaintenance is not going to successfully connect to the SQL Server either.

If you are unable to connect via ODBC / DSN from Windows, the problem is not related to ExpressMaintenance and is likely a network permission, firewall or SQL authentication issue.

Take the following steps to create a ODBC / DSN and test the connection via Windows.

You can check for MDAC and force a TCP/IP connection to the server by creating an ODBC Data Source. On some computers (especially Windows 98), it is necessary to force a manual TCP/IP connection one time to activate the SQL communications.  This can be done by creating a system DSN as outlined below.  Try creating a system DSN to ExpressMaintenance by following the steps below:

Creating ODBC DSN

  1. Click on Windows / Start / Control Panel
  2. Double Click on Data Sources (ODBC) Note: some versions of windows, click Administrative Tools first
  3. Click the System DSN tab
  4. Click the Add Button
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the driver list and click SQL Server
  6. Click the Finish button
  7. Type ExpressMaintenance in the Name & Description field
  8. In the Server field, type the IP address of the computer where SQL Server (MSDE) is running
  9. Click the Next button
  10. Click the “With SQL Server authentication …” option
  11. Click the Client Configuration button
  12. Click TCP/IP option for the network library
  13. Make sure the Server Alias and Server Name fields have the IP address of your server
  14. Click the Ok button
  15. Click the “Connect to SQL server to obtain…” option
  16. Enter “sa” (no quotes) for the user name,
  17. Use the password of ‘welcome’ unless you assigned another password for ‘sa’ during installation
  18. Click the Next button
  19. Click on “Change the default database to:…” option
  20. Click the Database drop down list and select ExpressMaintenance
  21. Click the Next button
  22. Click the Finish button
  23. Click the Test Data Source button
  24. Note the results
  25. Repeat the process except in steps 16 & 17 use the login of ‘etuser’ with a password of ‘etrik22’
  26. Note the results

Other important links:

Creating the ‘etuser’ login account

Setting up the ini file for SQL connection