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Error message when you install SQL Server 2005: "Cannot alter the login 'sa', because it does not exist or you do not have permission"

Extended support for SQL Server 2005 ends on April 12, 2016

If you are still running SQL Server 2005 after April 12, 2016, you will no longer receive security updates and technical support. We recommend upgrading to SQL Server 2014 and Azure SQL Database to achieve breakthrough performance, maintain security and compliance, and optimize your data platform infrastructure. Learn more about the options for upgrading from SQL Server 2005 to a supported version here.

When you install Microsoft SQL Server 2005, you may receive the following error message:
SQL Server Setup failed to execute a command for server configuration. The error was [Microsoft][SQL Native Client][SQL Server]Cannot alter the login 'sa', because it does not exist or you do not have permission.. Refer to the server error logs and Setup logs for detailed error information.
This problem occurs because you tried to install SQL Server 2005 on a domain computer that has a Windows group or a user who has one of the following names:
  • sa
  • Sa
  • sA
  • SA
The Setup program cannot call the sp_SetAutoSAPasswordAndDisable stored procedure to disable the sa login when Windows Authentication mode is selected.
To work around this problem, select the Mixed Mode (Windows Authentication and SQL Server Authentication) option when you install SQL Server 2005.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

Article ID: 917827 - Last Review: 06/11/2007 20:39:59 - Revision: 1.2

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition

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