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"SQL Server Login Properties" dialog box seems to initialize with wrong password

This is a really odd problem. We're setting up a new server with SQL 2000. [v 8.00.818 (SP3)] The first time it was installed, we chose the authentication method to be "Windows Only". We then uninstalled it and re-installed it using "Mixed Mode (Windows and SQL Authentication)" I don't know if that's what caused this problem but it may be relevant.

The problem occurs in the "SQL Server Login Properties" dialog box. To get to that dialog box, open a server in the tree, expand "Security" and then click on "Logins". Double-click on a user in the list. The window that opens is the one I'm talking about. What happens is when I click on "OK" to close the window, it pops up the "Confirm Password" box, requiring me to confirm the "new" password before I can close the user's Properties. When I enter the correct password, it says "The confirmation password is not correct." I have to then go back to the "General" tab and enter the password there, click OK and then re-enter the password before I can save changes to the login's properties!

I develop windows applications myself so I suspect the bug is that when the Properties dialog box is initially shown, the value of the "password" variable is wrongly initialized. Then, when the user clicks "OK" the system compares the value of the password in the form with the one currently assigned to the user and detects they're different. It assumes the user has entered a new password in the form and prompts for them to re-enter it.

Has anyone heard of this kind of thing happening before? It's so obscure! It just frustrates me even more with SQL Enterprise Manager. It's good for some things but in other ways it can be quite erratic and I fear this might be another example of that. As I mentioned, this is a fresh install of SQL and I really don't want any quirky glitches floating around and I'd much rather kill them off right from the outset. Re-installing didn't fix it, though.
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tacf
Asked:
tacf
1 Solution
 
Anthony PerkinsCommented:
>>What happens is when I click on "OK" to close the window, it pops up the "Confirm Password" box, requiring me to confirm the "new" password before I can close the user's Properties. When I enter the correct password, it says "The confirmation password is not correct." <<
That is the way it works here.  You need to enter the same password as the user.  Suggest you use SQL Query Analyzer instead.
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sudheeshthegreatCommented:
>>the value of the "password" variable is wrongly initialized.
this is a safety feature. the number of characters in the password is shown wrongly with that purpose.
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tacfAuthor Commented:
What confuses me is that this behaviour is not the same as on our other SQL Server machine. With that machine, I can close the dialog box without needing to enter the password again. I've noticed the following differences between the two SQL machines:

1) The older machine is running on Windows 2000 and the newer one is Windows 2003 Server Edition.
2) The older machine is reporting SQL to be version "8.00.679 (SP2)" while the newer one is version "8.00.818 (SP3)"

What you're saying would make sense if it's a feature of SQL Server Service Pack 3. How could I check this out? The thing that confuses me the most is that it works ok on one machine but not on the other.
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tacfAuthor Commented:
I have investigated further and discovered something else. If I open our new SQL Server instance in my own workstation's Enterprise Manager, the problem does not occur. The problem only happens if I run Enterprise Manager on the machine itself.

This would suggest that the odd behaviour I initially mentioned is not a result of Service Pack 3. If it was, one would think that it would behave the same regardless of how it is opened. This seems to be a problem with Enterprise Manager running on Windows Server 2003. My workstation is running Windows XP Professional (SP2) and the other machine is Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition. (SP1)

I tried doing a registry repair on the server but the problem persists. Could this purely be a symptom of the fact that Server 2003 does not support SQL 2000? It's not a HUGE deal since I can at least use my own Enterprise Manager which behaves correctly.
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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
>>I can at least use my own Enterprise Manager which behaves correctly.<<
You are making the assumption that it is correct on your box, when in fact, I suspect you will find that when you upgrade your workstation (as you should in any case) to the latest service pack it functions the same way.
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tacfAuthor Commented:
True, that is my assumption. I tend to assume that things that make life more frustrating tend to be bugs rather than improvements but then I suppose that depends on your persepctive :)

I've installed SQL 2000 SP3a on my workstation (which was already up-to-date with regards to Windows Update) and the situation has not changed. I can still click "OK" on a login's "Properties" dialog through my own Enterprise Manager without being prompted for a password reminder but on the Windows Server 2003 machine I get a "Confirm Password" dialog.

I think it's a bug because when you are prompted for the password, entering the correct password does not work. I am told that the password is wrong although I know it is correct. I have tried it a number of times. I even made a really simple login with username "test" and password "test". When I click on "OK" to close the properties window, I am asked to confirm the password and upon entering "test", I am told "The confirmation password is not correct." If the password had been accepted then I could grudgingly accept it as an irritating new security precaution. However, the fact that the correct password is rejected seems like a bug. I am making another assumption, however, that the user shouldn't have to re-enter the password in the "General" tab each time they want to edit a login's properties.
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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
>>tend to assume that things that make life more frustrating tend to be bugs rather than improvements<<
I am also much the same way, that is, until I understand why.

>>I've installed SQL 2000 SP3a on my workstation (which was already up-to-date with regards to Windows Update) and the situation has not changed. <<
Than I have no clue.  That is the same setup that I have tested.

>>I think it's a bug<<
I suspect you will find that MS wil say it "is ny design".

>>entering the correct password does not work<<
As I mentioned previously, it works fine for me. In other words, when I input the password and then type it in again correctly it accepts it.  I have tested this with both Window 2000 and Windows 2003 servers.

>> I am making another assumption, however, that the user shouldn't have to re-enter the password in the "General" tab each time they want to edit a login's properties.<<
You are absolutely right, a user should not be using Enterprise Manager in the first place.  Let alone editting there permissions.

Again, if you find it frustrating than do like most DBA's, skip EM entirely and use SQL Query Analyzer.  You will fing it far less frustrating and much more powerful.
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tacfAuthor Commented:
>> As I mentioned previously, it works fine for me. In other words, when I input the password and then type it in again correctly it accepts it.  I have tested this with both Window 2000 and Windows 2003 servers. <<

Are you entering the password on the "General" tab or only in the "Confirm Password" dialog box? It works for me if I enter the password in the "General" tab first and then again in the "Confirm Password" dialog.

>> You are absolutely right, a user should not be using Enterprise Manager in the first place.  Let alone editting there permissions. <<

By "the user", I was referring to the user of Enterprise Manager, i.e. the DBA. I wouldn't give Enterprise Manager to a database user - I have enough problems explaining how to use our Web Application never mind starting on Enterprise Manager.

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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
>>Are you entering the password on the "General" tab or only in the "Confirm Password" dialog box? <<
I have to enter it in both places.  I thought this had changed recently, hence my suggestion re Service Pack.

>>By "the user", I was referring to the user of Enterprise Manager, i.e. the DBA. <<
You will find most DBA's (I am not one) on this site do not use EM and instead rely on SQL Query Analyzer, precisely for the reasons you state.
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tacfAuthor Commented:
There are arguments for and against using EM. I mean, on the one hand it's a bit quirky in places but on the other hand, it's a bit tedious typing everything in QA all the time and it's a lot easier to make a serious mistake there. I can work round this problem with EM, it just doesn't makes me nervous every time I find something else that seems a bit irregular in there.
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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
>>There are arguments for and against using EM<<
I agree with you.  I am just voicing the reality that most top DBA's (ScottPletcher on this site, for one) avoid EM like the plague.  I am not a DBA, so I do not fall in that category <g>
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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
Since I believe there is good information here not only from myself, but also sudheeshthegreat confirming the same issue and possible workarounds, I would suggest PAQ'ing instead of Deleting.
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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
P.S. For the record the questioner was told repeatedly that this was the way it works, but chose to ignore that.  Simply put, this is a case for:
The correct answer to some questions is "you can't do that"
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Databases/Microsoft_SQL_Server/help.jsp#hi54
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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
RomMod,

>>If you feel you deserve the points, please be sure to explicitly state so in your objections.<<
Nope.  PAQ'ing with my comments is fine.

Thanks.
Anthony
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tacfAuthor Commented:
Anthony, I appreciate what you're saying but I'm still not convinced. I did not ignore your opinion, as you put it, I just don't happen to agree with it. Lacking any more official word on the matter from documentation or the Microsoft website, all I really have to go on is your opinion on the set of circumstances presented to me. The fact that I contest your opinion is not ignoring it, just not taking it as gospel.

I'm closing down the question because it's not going anywhere, not because I feel I've reached a conclusion. RomMod, I suppose this is one for you to make the call on. I personally don't feel the question has been answered fully enough and I don't think it will be. I'll let you decide what should be done about the points.

(Please note that I will be out of the office until Monday, April 25 so I will not be able to respond to comments posted between now and then.)
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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
>>I'll let you decide what should be done about the points.<<
I have already responded to that.
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PashaModCommented:
Closed, 500 points refunded.
PashaMod
Community Support Moderator @ Experts Exchange
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