Cannot connect to the configuration database

Cannot connect to the configuration database

SharePoint can be extremely challenging to support, and mainly because there are so many thing that interact with SharePoint. When troubleshooting, you really have to narrow down the cause of the issue as SharePoint or some other application. In this case, a client was needing to move their SQL Server databases from the C: drive to the D: drive as their C: drive was running out of space. This task has little to do with SharePoint, oh, except that virtually everything SharePoint does is stored in SQL Server.

So in this case, the client turned their physical SQL Server into a virtual machine. We reconfigured all the settings so SharePoint would not know the difference and we received the dreaded message . . .

Immediately everyone started thinking it was SharePoint. We had not made any changes to the SQL Server. But as it turns out, somewhere between that computer being a physical machine and a virtual machine, the SharePoint_Config database became corrupt. It happens. It just happened for us during this process. There are several things you can try, but in our case a simple SQL script to ping the database told me it was hung.

Note: you must have sysadmin rights in SQL Server to perform the following functions.

select state_desc from master.sys.databases where name = ‘SharePoint_Config’

This was an indication that at some point SQL Server was trying to repair the database, but it was unable to complete. So next I ran the following scripts.

Once this was complete, which was indicated by a success message I tried to ping the database by running my original script

select state_desc from master.sys.databases where name = ‘SharePoint_Config’

This time the message was ONLINE.

When I opened Central Administration, all was good in SharePoint again. So, this is a perfect example of how troubleshooting SharePoint isn’t always about SharePoint.

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