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"#50070: Unable to connect to the database STS_Config

This is similar to the message I received when bringing up 2 VPC's (Virtual PC's) - one is the AD/DC (Active Directory / Domain Controller) with SharePoint Portal Server 2003 on it, and the other is my SQL 2K server - a member server of this domain.

I had completed these server configurations on these VPC's, and did so with the network IP property settings setup to pull their IP addresses from our corporate LAN.

Now, I'm in a different location, pulling a different set of IP's - and voila! - my DNS Server is not quite sync'd.

If you research this problem online you find more references to the WMSDE database not being updated, or being corrupt, or basically references to your database configuration not being what it should be. Well, that's not far from the problem - or is it?

In my case I found 2 indicators that helped me resove the problem.

On the domain controller, and SPS server, the Application Event Log revealed a hoard of events that had this error - basically  conveying that it could not connect to the database server.

On the member server and SQL Server at that, the System Event Log revealed something more subtle - a login was attempting to gain access to SQL Server, and the login could not be validated with any valid login server. MMMmmm This was interesting. For example, I'd see

This computer was not able to set up a secure session with a domain controller in domain <domainname> due to the following:

There are currently no logon servers available to service the logon request.

This may lead to authentication problems. Make sure that this computer is connected to the network. If the problem persists, please contact your domain administrator.

Reviewing the log further, I found a Kerberos error:

The kerberos subsystem encountered a PAC verification failure. This indicates that the PAC from the client <_serviceAccount> in realm <domainName> had a PAC which failed to verifiy or was modified. Contact your system administrator.

Now... We use _serviceAccounts for everything - SQL Server, SPS (SharePoint Portal Server), and so on. The root of the problem here? The DNS was cached on the domain controller. Even though I went into the DNS Server and reconfigured the Forwarding Zone, and even rebooted the DC, the DNS data was still cached - ON THE MEMBER SERVER. Ah, not so obvious.

If you build a VPC and member server VPC's, keep this in mind. It is best to hard code the network properties for TCP/IP on each server, and leave those settings. Yes, I already knew that a DNS Server is not supposed to draw an IP via DHCP - but it works, and when you're in a static development / test environment, it generally does not create a problem - like the one described here.

Hopefully another geek in need will find this useful.

Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 9:57 AM SharePoint Services , SharePoint Portal Server | Back to top

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