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Connecting to a SharePoint site gives you: Cannot connect to the configuration database.

You try to connect to a SharePoint site and get the error “Cannot connect to the configuration database.” Optionally, you get a runtime error such as:

Server Error in ‘/’ Application.
Runtime Error
Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed.


Per Microsoft there could be a few reasons for getting the “Cannot connect to the configuration database” error, but most likely your SharePoint can’t connect to it’s database. Try this:

  1. Go to C:program filesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions14LOGS
    Note: It may be 14, 15, etc., depending on the version of SharePoint.
  2. Open up the latest log file of the filename format SERVER-YYYYMMDD-HHMM.log.
  3. Near the end of the log, look for the text “Can not connect to configuration database: System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: Cannot open database”.

Here is an example:

03/12/2014 10:37:18.27 OWSTIMER.EXE (0x1868)                   0x25E8 SharePoint Foundation         Topology                       887w Unexpected Can not connect to configuration database: System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: Cannot open database “SharePoint_Config” requested by the login. The login failed.  Login failed for user ‘SOMEUSERSharepoint_admin’.     at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionPool.GetConnection(DbConnection owningObject)     at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionFactory.GetConnection(DbConnection owningConnection)     at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionClosed.OpenConnection(DbConnection outerConnection, DbConnectionFactory connectionFactory)     at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.Open()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.SqlSession.OpenConnection()     at Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.SqlSession.ExecuteReader(SqlCommand command, CommandBehavior behavior, SqlQueryData monitoringData, Bool…  

Ah! So something is not right either with the AD account tied to this database or something related to that user account. Now we know how to dig a little more.


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