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The installer was not able to connect to the database server

Hello,
I am experiencing the same issue reported here while trying to upgrade from version 4.9.5 to version 5.0.94.
“The installer was not able to connect to the database server. Please make sure that the password is correct and the server is running.”
Installed the latest sqlcmd utilities from here but still got the same error message. I even tried upgrading to v5.0.0 but that didn’t work either. I am able to successfully connect to the database from ssms and sql command line using the same credentials (admin privileges).

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The MSSQL server (2014 SP3) runs on a remote machine and HelpSpot is running under IIS. Keys are present in the following 3 Registry locations: **\100\Tools\ClientSetup, **\110\Tools\ClientSetup & **\120\Tools\ClientSetup. There are no keys for other paths listed in the upgrade log below

Log details:

Log started 11/14/2021 at 03:26:41
Preferred installation mode : win32
Trying to init installer in mode win32
Mode win32 successfully initialized
[03:26:47] ########## BEGIN DETECTING EXISTING INSTALLATION ##########
[03:26:47] Installed version: 4.9.5
[03:26:47] Upgrading to version: 5.0.94
[03:26:47] Installation directory: E:**\**\
[03:26:47] Detected Database Server: mssql
[03:26:47] Update MySQL: 0
[03:26:47] Detected HTTP Server: iis
[03:26:47] Domain: *website_url*
[03:26:47] Web name: helpspot
[03:26:47] ########## END DETECTING EXISTING INSTALLATION ##########
Could not find registry key *. Setting variable mssql_instances to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\170\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\170\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\160\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\160\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\150\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\150\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\140\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\140\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Could not find registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\ClientSetup Path. Setting variable mssqlclient_binary_directory_init to empty value
Executing -U “****” -P “****” -S “*server_name*” -Q “”
Script exit code:

Script output:

Script stderr:

Unknown error while running -U “****” -P “****” -S “*server_name*” -Q “”
Deleting registry keys

Thanks in advance!

Hi Karl,

I had a similar issue and the other post wasn’t the solution for me, but it did give me an idea of what might’ve been going on. Even though I had SQL Server Tools installed, I had the same issue. I ran the tool procmon.exe and did a search for the SQLCMD.exe the installer was calling for. Mine for whatever reason was looking for SQLCMD.exe in the root of C:. I’m not sure why, but what I ended up doing was copying the necessary files: SQLCMD.exe, bcp.exe, batchparser.dll, and xmlrw.dll. I believe that’s what it needed for SQLCMD to run. It then ran with no problem.

You can try copying these to the root of C:\ first and if that doesn’t work. Then I would run procmon.exe which is a tool you can download from Microsoft sysinternals.

Hope this helps.

Jonathan