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Tip: Connecting To A Database Using Windows Authentication With Different Credentials Using SQL Server Management Studio

It is a good security practice to use Windows Authentication to connect to SQL Server because you don’t need to write the password on some configuration file or registry entry.

This practice also brings governance benefits. Managing users becomes part of domain administration and not part of each SQL Server instance’s administration.

But this becomes an hassle to users (in this context, the user is someone that needs to perform administration task of some kind – a SQL Server Management Studio user) who need to connect to databases using different credentials.

One workaround is using the runas command:

runas /user:DOMAIN\USERNAME "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\Ssms.exe"

But if you are working on an environment were there are several domains and your machine does not belong to the domain of the ser account you want to use, you’ll get the folloing error:

RUNAS ERROR: Unable to run - C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\Ssms.exe
1787: The security database on the server does not have a computer account for this workstation trust relationship.

But not everything is lost. Because you want to make a remote connection, you can use the /netonly switch, and it works just fine:

runas /netonly /user:DOMAIN\USERNAME "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\Ssms.exe"

SQL Server Management Studio still shows all the databases in the server (unlike what happens if you connect from a machine logged in as the user you want to access to the SQL Server instance), but ApexSQL Edit will only show the databases that account has access to.

1 Comment

  • Thank you. Its working on windows7. After typing the below command in run window, it asks for password. Once we enter the password, MMS will open, there we can type in the server name and connect with our own windows authentication. It works.

    runas /netonly /user:DOMAIN\USERNAME "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\Ssms.exe"

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