Resolving the "Login failed for user 'sa'..." error.

If you're getting this error when using Acctivate, take these steps.

The following error may occur when starting Acctivate if SQL Server is configured to use Windows Authentication only:

Login failed for user ‘sa’. The user is not associated with a trusted SQL Server connection

The following instructions are for SQL Server 2014, but are very similar in other versions:

  1. Run SQL Server Management Studio from the Microsoft SQL Server 2014 folder on the Windows Start Menu on the computer running SQL Server (Check this article if you don't see the application on your server.)
  2. Make sure the Server name is correct (ie COMPUTERNAME\ACCTIVATE)
  3. Select Windows Authentication from the Authentication drop-down, then click Connect to log in to SQL Server
  4. Right-click on the server name (ie COMPUTERNAME\ACCTIVATE) and choose Properties .
  5. Click Security in the list on the left
  6. Select SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode on the right and click OK
  7. Click OK to close the warning about restarting SQL Server
  8. Right-click on the server name (ie COMPUTERNAME\ACCTIVATE) and choose Restart and click Yes to restart SQL Server.