No process is on the other end of pipe

If you receive "No process is on the other end of pipe…" error when you attempt to connect to the SQL Server 2005, then check if:

  • SQL Server services are running
  • remote connections enabled
  • port settings are correct
  • DNS gets resolved properly
  • firewall is not preventing you from connecting successfully
  • and so on and so forth…

And, if after all of these checks the error is still displayed, then the bad certificate could the one to blame. In order to be successfully loaded by SQL Server 2005, a certificate must meet all the following requirements:

  1. The certificate must be in either local machine or current user certificate store
  2. The certificate must have a good time stamp, i.e. the current system time must be in the valid time window of the certificate
  3. The certificate must be meant for Server Authentication
  4. The Certificate's key spec must include AT_KEYEXCHANGE property.
  5. The certificate's subject CN must match the FQDN of the server machine or the FQDN of the virtual server if the server runs on failover cluster.

If for some reason the server cannot find a valid certificate, then the server will issue a self-signed certificate to encrypt data communication between the server and client. The login packet will always be encrypted, while the data communication will be encrypted only if the server and the client are configured to do so. Anyway, to resolve the issue with the certificate, do the following:

  • Open SQL Server Configuration Manager; under SQL Server Network Configuration right-click on Properties for your SQL instance, and click on Certificate tab. Then make sure that the correct and valid certificate is selected, and then reboot your SQL Server.
  • If invalid certificate is explicitly specify, then remove that certificate
  • Otherwise, Open Personal Store in Certificates (Local Machine and User) management console, backup all certificates in that folder and then remove all certificates from personal store
  • Reboot your SQL Server
  • To make sure that self-signed certificate has been loaded, open ERRORLOG file for your SQL Server and search for "A self-signed certificate was successfully loaded for encryption" line in the log file.
  • Attempt to reconnect to the SQL Server