- Show all articles ( 12 ) Collapse Articles
How to reset the SQL password for the PDM Vault SQL Server
How to reset the SQL password for the SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault SQL Server
When performing a number of actions on SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server, it is necessary to login to the SQL server using the SQL administrative username and password created when SQL Server was installed. By default this username is ‘sa’, but this may have been changed during the SQL Server installation.
Some of the situations you will need this information for include:
- Installation or upgrade of SOLIDWORKS PDM server components
- The initial creation of a PDM Vault
- Correcting “Could not access the item in the database” errors due to an incorrect username, password or a locked-out SQL administrator account
Understanding the ‘sa’ user for SQL Server
The default administrative username for SQL Server is named ‘sa’. For security purposes, some organizations may prefer to disable this account. This is because it is not only a well-known username since it is built in to SQL Server, but it also provides owner-level access to the SQL Server. The ‘sa’ account is a special account with built-in permissions, which make it an “all-on” or “all-off” type of account.
Connecting to the SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is the simplest tool for PDM administrators to use in order to determine the correct account that the PDM Archive server should be using to connect to the SQL Server, as well as to reset the password for this account. This tool can be used on the server itself and/or on any other computer that is able to reach the server over the network.
The easiest way to download the current version of SMSS is to search on the Microsoft Download Center for it, click here to search now.
Logging in to the server using SSMS
If the SQL Server was installed with default options, then it will typically allow domain administrators or users with administrative rights on the server to access the security settings.
If SQL Server was setup to use SQL Authentication only, you will need to start the SQL server instance in Single User Mode so that you can login with a local Administrator account. See this article from Microsoft for performing this step:
- If your Windows account has administrative access to the server you can simply launch SMSS and login to the server using Windows Authentication.
- If you need to login with a special administrative account or must use Single User Mode you can log on to the SQL server (via remote desktop or directly on the server) and then use SMSS to login using Windows Authentication.
Determine the administrative username
There are two steps in determining if the default ‘sa’ user is in use. We will start by expanding the “Security\Logins” node in Object Explorer.
- To determine if the ‘sa’ account is active, double-click on the username or right-click and select “Properties”, then select the “Status” page. If the “Login:” setting is set to “Enabled” then the ‘sa’ account can be used to connect to the server for PDM tasks. If this is set to “Disabled”, then a custom account is being used
2. Examine the list of accounts in the Object Explorer. The first group of accounts listed will typically be built-in system accounts as well as the currently logged in user, with the ‘sa’ account being listed last. Any user accounts without the following prefixes: “##”, “NT AUTHORITY\”, “NT SERVER” or “<Domain Name>\” are custom created accounts
If there is more than one of these accounts you may need to examine the “Server Roles” page of the accounts to determine which is the correct account to use for PDM Archive server connections. If you have existing PDM Vaults then you can verify which account is currently used by using the Archive Server Configuration tool. See the instructions below for “Update the password on the PDM Archive Server” to see what the currently saved SQL username is.
Determine if the administrative username is locked out
Once you have identified the correct SQL username to use for database management in PDM, open the Login Properties page for that account by double-clicking on the username in the Object Explorer window.
Examine the status page to determine if the account has been locked out. If too many login attempts have occurred using an incorrect password the account may be locked out. Uncheck the “Login is locked out” box, click “OK” and try connecting again if you believe you know the correct password.
Reset the administrative password
Once you have identified the correct administrative user account, verified the account is not locked out, and determined that you need to reset the password, you can reset the password.
Open the Login Properties page for the appropriate account by double-clicking on the username in the Object Explorer window, then enter and confirm the new password (you do not need to enter the old password), then click “OK”.
Update the password on the PDM Archive Server
Now that you have the correct username and password for the SQL Server you must update the Archive Server settings to match this information.
- Log on to the PDM Archive server
- Open the “Archive Server Configuration” tool (click on the Windows button and start typing “Archive”)
a. If you click on the tool and it does not open then it is already running in the task pane. Expand the task pane, right-click on the “Archive Server Configuration” icon and choose “Open…”
3. Select “Tools”->”Default Settings”
4. Click the “Change…” button in the “SQL login” section
5. Enter the appropriate username then enter the password and confirm the password, then click “OK” on this window and the “Default Settings” window to complete the process
If you need to reset the PDM Admin user password you can follow the instructions in this article:
We hope you found this information valuable! If you have any follow-up questions and are an MLC CAD Systems customer, please contact support at