In SQL Server 2008, sometimes the product name and the data source information goes blank in Linked server properties window for a Linked server of provider type Microsoft OLEDB provider for SQL Server or SQLOLEDB.
When we create a Linked Server of type Microsoft OLEDB provider for SQL Server or SQLOLEDB, provider value is compared with list of the known providers registered with SQL Server. Before the SQL Server 2005 native client installation, nothing matches during the comparison and product name and data source information shows blank.
After the installation of SQL Server 2005 native client, It sets the Provider = SQL Native Client, which does match the check SQLNCLI=SQLCNLI, and will display the text of the properties, since it’s a known provider.
1. Install SQL Server 2005 native client on the machine were you have the SSMS installed and the product name or data source will be visible when you open the Linked server properties
2. Query the table Sp_linkedservers to find the linked server information.
SE, Microsoft SQL Server
Karthick Krishnamurthy Technical Lead, Microsoft SQL Server