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SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance is taken offline when you change the password for the service account on the passive node

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.

Source: Microsoft Support
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Symptom
Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a SQL Server Failover instance that has 2 or more nodes.
  • You try to change the password for a SQL Server virtual instance on one of the passive nodes by using SQL Server Management Studio or by using the WMI Provider for Configuration Management.

In this scenario, you expect that the SQL Server instance remains online on the active node. Instead, you find that the instance actually goes offline.


Status
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a bug in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
Workaround
To prevent this problem, use one of the following methods:

Method 1

Note We recommend that you use this method if possible.

Schedule the password change during a maintenance window and change the password of the service accounts on each node of the failover cluster with the instance actively running on that node. The password must be changed through Configuration Manager as discussed in How to: Change the Password of the Accounts Used by SQL Server (SQL Server Configuration Manager).

Note When you change the password of the SQL Server service account by using the configuration manager on the active node, this does not change the password for the service account on the passive node. So if you do not change the password on each of the nodes as mentioned above, when a failover occurs, the service account uses the old password and the services using the account will fail to come online on that node with the following error message:

The SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) service failed to start due to the following error:
The service did not start due to a logon failureThe MSSQLSERVER service was unable to log on as <Domain\ServiceAcct> with the currently configured password due to the following error:
Login failure: unknown user name or bad password.


Method 2

Note You can use this method when you cannot afford downtime to make password changes.
  1. On the current active node change the password using SQL Server Configuration manager as discussed in How to: Change the Password of the Accounts Used by SQL Server (SQL Server Configuration Manager).
  2. On each of the passive nodes, change the password of the SQL Service account using Service Control manager (Services.msc), immediately after the passwords are changed on the active node through Configuration Manager.

More information
If you change the password programmatically by using the WMI Provider for Configuration Manager, find the owner node and connect to it when you get the SQLService Class object.

Refer to the following example script if you use this method:

Option Explicit Dim oCluster, oResource, oClusProperty ' Cluster Object, Resource Object, ClusProperty Object Dim strCluster, strResource             ' Cluster name, Resource name Dim strWQL, strInstance, strOwnerNode, strPassword    ' WMI Query, SQL Server Instance name, Owner node hostname, Password Dim oSqlSvc      ' SqlService ClassstrCluster = "ClusterName"              ' Cluster Network Name strResource = "SQL Server"            ' Resource Name of SQL Server Resource strInstance = "MSSQLSERVER"        ' Instance Name. MSSQL$InstanceName if named instances strPassword = "password" ' New password ' Get the owner node of the resource Set oCluster = CreateObject("MSCluster.Cluster") oCluster.Open strCluster For Each oResource In oCluster.Resources     If oResource.Name = strResource Then         If oResource.State = 2 Then    ' Online             For Each oClusProperty in oResource.OwnerNode.CommonROProperties                 If oClusProperty.Name = "NodeName" Then                     strOwnerNode = oClusProperty                 End If                 Exit For             Next         Else             strOwnerNode = "."            ' Connect to the local node if the resource is offline         End If         Exit For     End If Next ' Create WMI Query string strWQL = "" strWQL = strWQL & "WINMGMTS:\\" & strOwnerNode & "\root\Microsoft\SqlServer\ComputerManagement" strWQL = strWQL & ":SqlService.ServiceName='" & strInstance & "'" strWQL = strWQL & ",SQLServiceType=1"  'Set the password. Set oSqlSvc = GetObject(strWQL) oSqlSvc.SetServiceAccountPassword "", strPassword


References
For more information, see the following:
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Article ID: 972387 - Last Review: 01/06/2014 18:48:00 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Developer, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Developer, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard

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