SQL Server Agent fails to start with error 103

Posted on 2009-04-23
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I am running SQL Server 2005 standard as a 'play'\learning' instance on my laptop.
The SQL service and Agent services start in the context of the local system account. All services are running except the agent which will not start and I can connect the SQL server through SSMS -
In event viewer the returned error is 103. I cannot find reference to error 103 in BOL or on the WEB. Full message text below.
Also I cannot get access to SQL server logs.
MSDB seems to be OK
Can't think of anything else to report.

Any ideas. Thanks
SQLServerAgent could not be started (reason: Unable to connect to server 'HOME-LAP01\HOMETST01'; SQLServerAgent cannot start).

Open in new window

Question by:DavidHannen
    LVL 31

    Accepted Solution

    LVL 13

    Assisted Solution

    I would make sure that the SQLSERVERAGENT Service has a valid login.

    If currently LocalSystem you need to ensure that BUILTIN\Administrators has access to SQL, may not by default as you are on a named instance.
    If it's another account then that account must have SQL access.

    See here:

    Author Comment

    Thanks both. This is clearly a permission issue. I have got the agent running by changing the security context for the agent to my local login - which is an administrator account.

    But I am still confused.

    If the Agent is set to start in the context of the Local System account along with the SQL server service and the Builtin\Administrators account is an active Login wthin the instance - confirmed as sysAdmin. What issues are stopping the ASgent service running in that context?

    I thought I was getting to grips with SQL server security as a relative newbie - but perhaps not!!!!


    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    MS SQL and AGENT both are different services, it totally depends on how you have configured those while installation and what user with which rights you have assigned to those services.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    Maybe Local System is not able to 'log on as a service'

    But if it works for the SQL service then this is probably not the case.

    Author Comment


    I am aware that they are seperate sevices, but logic suggests that if both services log on as Local system, and builtin\administrator is present with sysadmin priviledges on the instance, then how can one service be able to log in with the account and the other not?

    As soon as I changed the login account for the agent to my own administrator account on the machine, the service started fine. This is the bit I do not understand!

    (NB. this a local learning install of SQL server, with no 'real' apps on it and no exposure to any other users other than myself, hence odd account for service - i'm just sussing things out here :-) )

    Featured Post

    Highfive + Dolby Voice = No More Audio Complaints!

    Poor audio quality is one of the top reasons people don’t use video conferencing. Get the crispest, clearest audio powered by Dolby Voice in every meeting. Highfive and Dolby Voice deliver the best video conferencing and audio experience for every meeting and every room.

    Join & Write a Comment

    This article will describe one method to parse a delimited string into a table of data.   Why would I do that you ask?  Let's say that you need to pass multiple parameters into a stored procedure to search for.  For our sake, we'll say that we wa…
    I've encountered valid database schemas that do not have a primary key.  For example, I use LogParser from Microsoft to push IIS logs into a SQL database table for processing and analysis.  However, occasionally due to user error or a scheduled task…
    To add imagery to an HTML email signature, you have two options available to you. You can either add a logo/image by embedding it directly into the signature or hosting it externally and linking to it. The vast majority of email clients display l…
    Excel styles will make formatting consistent and let you apply and change formatting faster. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use Excel's built-in styles, how to modify styles, and how to create your own. You'll also learn how to use your custo…

    731 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    15 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now