Error ‘DBNETLIBConnectionOpen (Connect()).SQL Server does not exist or access denied’ with SQL Server 2008


I received this error following a SQL Instance upgrade from MSDE to SQL Server 2008 R2 Express and tried to connect to the SQL Instance remotely via a third party application.

[DBNETLIB][ConnectionOpen (Connect()).]SQL Server does not exist or access denied

Fortunately the solution was simple:

Start the SQL Server Browser service and if required change the Startup Type from Disabled to Automatic

I looked up why the SQL Server Browser service is now disabled by default and the reason is simply that it’s a security best practice to disable the service.

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