After installing a fresh instance of Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008, you may find that you are unable to make a remote connection from another machine. There are a number of items you should check to troubleshoot this:

Enable the TCP/IP Protocol for the Instance

  1. Open the “SQL Server Configuration Manager”
  2. Expand the settings for instance you are trying to connect to
  3. Select “Protocols”
  4. Right-click on the “TCP/IP” protocol and click enable

Start the MS SQL Browser Service

  1.  Go to Start -> Run -> Services.msc
  2. Right click on “SQL Server Browser” and go to properties (The service is likely disabled at this point)
  3. Change the “Startup type” to Automatic
  4. Click the “Start” button to start the service

Disable or Configure Windows Firewall

  1. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall
  2. On the left, click the option to turn Windows Firewall on or off
  3. Turn the firewall off


  1. Open Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
  2. Right-click on “Inbound Rules” on the left
  3. Select “New Rule”
  4. Select “Port” and click next
  5. Select “TCP” and enter port 1433 (or whatever port you have configured) and click next
  6. Select “Allow the connection” and click next
  7. Check Domain/Private/Public and click next
  8. Enter a name for the rule (ie. MSSQL) and click finish

Make sure Remote Connections are Enabled for the Instance

  1. Open up “SQL Server Management Studio Express”
  2. Connect to the server
  3. Right-click on the server and select properties
  4. Select “Connections”
  5. Ensure “Allow remote connections to this server” is enabled

Finally, after doing any or all of these steps, make sure you restart any SQL server services before trying to connect!