I was trying to establish a remote connection to SQL Server 2008 from another machine on my network. The server is running the XP firewall. I thought I had everything set up correctly on the server (TCP/IP enabled, remote connections enabled, TCP port 1433 enabled on the firewall). The remote connection repeatedly failed. Based on some information I found on another site, I tried to telnet from the workstation to that machine on port 1433 (telnet 192.168.15.102 1433) and got a message "no connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it". If port 1433 was open why would this happen? I finally set up an exception in the firewall for the SQL Server program (sqlserver.exe) and then the remote connection worked. But I wonder why this was necessary; I have never seen it happen before with previous versions of SQL Server.