FIX: SMK initialization fails on one node of a SQL Server 2012, 2014, or 2016 failover cluster

Symptoms

When you use a SQL Server failover cluster, you may receive the following error message in the SQL Server error log after you start SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2014 or 2016:

Service Master Key could not be decrypted using one of its encryptions. See sys.key_encryptions for details.

Additionally, you receive the following error message when you create a certificate or try to open an existing database service master key (SMK):

Msg 15581, Level 16, State 7 Please create a master key in the database or open the master key in the session before performing this operation.

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

Properties

Article ID: 3132062 - Last Review: Jul 26, 2016 - Revision: 1

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