WSS 3.0 updates are causing "Cannot connect to the configuration database", but can't remove updates

Posted on 2011-09-16
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We are running an SBS 2008 server with WSS 3.0 for our SharePoint site. Some updates were applied last night, and this morning I am getting a "Cannot connect to the configuration database." when trying to access the site.

The updates were a bunch of .NET Framework 4 Client Profile and Extended updates, and one Security Update for WSS 3.0 (KB 2493987)

I was trying to back the updates out to at least get SharePoint functioning again, but the WSS update does not allow me to uninstall it from the "Installed Updates" screen. I can removed the .NET updates though.

So, 2 questions: 1) does anyone know why I would suddenly be unable to connect to the configuration database from these updates, and 2) why does the uninstall option not come up on the WSS update item?
Question by:AidaPakIT
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Expert Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 36550165
Maybe this will help

Today I've received another of the cases when SharePoint (v2) couldn't connect to the configuration database. This can be a common problem but it's not so horrible to solve it.

The reason for this is that SharePoint lost the connection to the database.

Reasons may be the following:

SQL or WMSDE database may not be running
IIS may be running in IIS 5.0 isolation mode
The account for connecting to SQL or WMSDE might be gone or with changed password
update - SQL Server Embedded Edition might not be running (check services) - Thanks, deanoc (see the comments)
The solution to these is on the following link:

But I've found another reason that could be. Simple: The SQL is running, credentials are also ok and IIS isn't in the 5.0 isolation mode. The problem may occur if sharepoint simply can't find the database. Reasons for this may be many: the database has moved, dns has changed, ... In my case was the later. By changing the DNS server in the network we've had to add one more record manually to point to the correct one and the sites started to work.

Author Comment

ID: 36550303
While this link is relevant, it does not seem to help my current situation. It is specified for WSS 2.0, and I have 3.0 on this server. Also, I have verified the SQL database is running, I am using IIS 7.0, and no changes were made to the login accounts. I also verified that all SQL services are running, even restarting them as well.

No changes to DB location or DNS server either, so I'm still stumped as to what is causing this.
LVL 30

Accepted Solution

Randy Downs earned 500 total points
ID: 36550446
try this

On your database server, try to activate both TCP/IP and Named pipes through your surface area configuration tool.

Don't forget to restart your sql server service, once done.


On the server hosting wss 3.0, open notepad and save this Blank file as connection.udl, on the desktop.

Once done you have a tool that permit to test your connection to the database.

So open this file (run it with the credential used by wss to connect to your database).

On the provider tab choose "Microsoft OLE DB provider for sql server" then click next.

On the connection tab, enter the server name hosting your databases, and then choose you connection method (windows authentication, sql server authentication)


So Try to choose a database listed in the "select a database on the server" drop down list box and try to the connection by clicking on the "test the connection" button.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 36550478
More possibilities?

You have to open TCP/UDP ports 137, 138, 139 and 445.


This kind of issue mostly related Network Card or Routing Issue.

1. Check the routing

use the command tracert <DBServer>

check the number of hopes it taking and check with your network guys about the routing.

2. Netwwork Card Issue

Network card could be a potential culprit in most of the case check the follwoing article


Some issue are related Windows 2008

Go to the Network Adapter Properties

 Configure button for the Network Card

Advanced Tab and Disable

1. IPv4 Checksum Offload

2. IPv4 Large Send Offload

3. TCP Connection Offload

Author Comment

ID: 36573038
So, I ended up contacting Microsoft on this, and it turns out my SharePoint Search Service was trying to call the database using an invalid account. I am not sure why this suddenly stopped working, but they were able to get me squared away again.

Thanks for you help.

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