Typically, you would set the startup accounts for SQL Server services (SQL Server, SQL Agent etc) during the startup.

 

However, there are times when you might want to change it after installation.

 

Many DBAs are so used to Services.msc console that they use it to change the startup account of SQL Server 2005 or 2000 services as well.

 

But this is NOT a healthy practice.

 

You should change the startup account of SQL Server services ONLY through SQL Server Configuration Manager in SQL 2005 and SQL Server Enterprise Edition in SQL 2000.

 

Reason?

 

The startup account for each SQL Server service needs to be granted:

 

-         Certain Windows Privileges (like log on as a service etc.)

-         Adequate permissions on the SQL Server registry keys

-         Permissions on the SQL Server folders on the file system

 

When you specify the startup account during setup, the setup program grants these takes care of the above. However, if you change the startup account through services.msc, then these activities cannot be performed and you could very well end up with a broken SQL Server installation.

 

How To?

 

  • To change the startup accounts for SQL Server 2005 services using Configuration Manager, refer to the BOL section.
  • To change the startup accounts for SQL 2000 services using Enterprise Manager, refer to the article here.

In case you don’t want to use Configuration Manager or Enterprise Manager, you can still change the startup accounts manually as per the instructions highlighted in KB 283811. However, we still encourage that you use the tools.

 

Special considerations for SQL Server Clusters

If you decide to change the startup account of SQL Server 2005 services on a cluster, you should do the following:

  • Add the new account under the domain group in Active Directory. For example, if you want to change the startup account of SQL Server Agent on the cluster, you should add the new startup account to the SQL Server Agent domain groups in your AD.
  • Change the startup account on the active node of the cluster using Configuration Manager.

To know more, refer to KB 915846

For SQL 2000 failover clusters, follow the instructions highlighted in KB 239885.

POSTED BY : Sanchan Saxena