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Need help gaining SA access to Backup Exec 2005 SQL Database?

Posted on 2013-01-24
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Last Modified: 2013-02-03
A vulnerabilty scanner reported ; Attackers could potentially gain arbitrary access to the file or registry system on the SQL Server host.  This vulnerability could possibly lead to further compromise of the SQL Server's integity.

One of the the sugesstion was to usw SQL Server Management Studio Express remove the BUILTIN\Administrator for the SQL 2005 Database login while keeping the SA account. After I deleted the BUILTIN\Administrator group access. My SA account login will login before but now I get an error " Login failed for user 'sa' The user is not associated with a trusted SQL server connection Error 18452.

When I tried to change the SQL server properties  for security from just Windows Authenication  to SQL and Windows Authenication I get an error; The  Execute permissions is denied for object 'xp_instance_regwrite' database mssqlsystemresource, schema 'sys' Microsoft Error :229

 Can someone help me switch modes to gain SA access ?
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Question by:355LT1
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Ryan McCauley earned 500 total points
ID: 38819543
You're getting that error because the user you're logged in as doesn't have SA, which you need to in order to change that configuration setting. Luckily, you can change this with a registry setting and an instance restart:

http://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/1441/correct-the-sql-server-authentication-mode-in-the-windows-registry/

Essentially, stop the instance, navigate to the appropriate key in your registry (Usually "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQLServer\LoginMode" for your default instance or "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.n\MSSQLServer\LoginMode" for a named instance), and change the "LoginMode" value to 2 (it's set to 1 now - that signifies Integrated Authentication Only).

Start up the SQL instance again and your SA account should now be able to connect without that error message.

Note: I definitely advocate removing the "BUILTIN\Administrators" group's default SA permissions (and likely that group's permissions altogether), especially when you're in an environment when the servers are managed by a different group of people than the DBA group. However, always make sure you've explicitly added yourself as a sysadmin before you revoke the default rights :)
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