Getting Access Into Windows Internal Database Instance MICROSOFT##SSEE

Several Microsoft applications require databases that utilize the Windows Internal Database aka SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition.  These include WSUS 3.0 and WSS 3.0 (SharePoint Services).  The instance is noted by a name of ‘MICROSOFT##SSEE’.

If you ever need to get at the databases contained in the instance you will find that this isn’t conventional.  In SQL Server Management Studio UI you must use a named pipe identity in order to connect to this instance.  You optionally could also use SQLCMD or OSQL scripts.

  • Download and install the SQL Server Management Studio Express (if no SQL management tool is available)
  • open SQL Server Management Studio Express **As Administrator** (if in a newer OS where that is an option)
  • Connect the SQL Instance using named pipe
    • Server name: ‘\\.\pipe\mssql$microsoft##ssee\sql\query’  (no quotations)
      or for WID database:
      \\.\pipe\microsoft##WID\tsql\query
    • Server Type:  Database Engine
    • Authentication: Windows Authentication
    • options -> network protocol:  Named Pipes

***now months later I found this critically important to a SharePoint installation that was using this database instance.  What had occurred is that this separate and experimental lab server doesn’t have a regular backup routine; consequently, SQL’s log grows and grows until a backup is made.  My _log.ldf file was well over 30GB!  Also, the drive was less that 1% from full.  So a little Googling and up popped an Experts Exchange thread that had the information embedded – http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Development/MS-SQL-Server/SQL-Server-2005/Q_23983391.html  With the Express Management Studio GUI and a couple of clicks it was all sorted. 🙂  Lots of space released and I’m wiser for it.

a nice SQL reference:  http://blogs.mssqltips.com/forums/t/843.aspx

***editors note***
As I worked through an SBS 2008 migration, the Companyweb migration instructions specify to ONLY open AS ADMINISTRATOR (right click the shortcut) the SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE) before entering the Named Pipe path.  DO IT.   Trust me, if you don’t you won’t connect to the …##SSEE database.

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15 responses to “Getting Access Into Windows Internal Database Instance MICROSOFT##SSEE

  1. ***note that as I’m working with an SBS 2008 migration that the Companyweb migration instructions specify to ONLY open AS ADMINISTRATOR the SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE) before entering the Named Pipe path. Trust me, if you don’t you won’t connect to the …##SSEE database.

  2. Thanks, I needed this for setting up internet(forms) authentication

  3. >> sbsisyphus – thanks for your comment regarding ‘run as admin’, I had not thought of that and could not connect until now 🙂

  4. Thanks, great bit of info as been trying for a few hours to get into the ManagementStudio of the WSS3 service.

  5. Any idea how to schedule regular backups ? I can manually connect & run a backup, but I’d like to automate them and delete backups older than 2 weeks …. as I can do in regular SQL 2005

  6. use NTbackup if your are using a Windows 2003 Server box – in the Server 2008 world you will want a third-party toold for this. Backup-Assist might be sufficient …others such as Acronis and Shadow Protect provide bare metal imaging and are higher priced.

  7. You are a legend! Been trying to get into it for 2 days so I can move the databases onto another partition. Nowhere (except here) was the ‘run as administrator’ part documented. After doing that I finally managed to connect

    Thanks again

  8. Awesome! Thx for the tip! I also tried to access the DB for a while before i typed the right search string in google it seems 🙂

  9. Great! Your tip was 100% helpful.
    My database was 62Gig now 6Gig thanks.

  10. Reorg and Shrink Log Files

    I first re-organize the file and then shrank it.

    Again, using Microsoft SQL 2005 Server Manager Express,

    To Reorganize:

    First, from the Object explorer panel on the left, locate the offending database, click on it once then right-click to expose the dropdown menu

    Then high-light Tasks

    Then from the Tasks drop down menu, high-light Shrink

    Then from the Shrink drop down menu, high-light and click on Files

    Locate “File type” entry and change drop down selection to “log”

    Next locate “Shrink Action” and click the radio button to select “Re-organize pages before releasing unused space”

    Next locate the “Shrink file to” value, high-light the number, type 30

    Then click the [OK] button at the bottom of the Shrink Pop Window to Re-organize the File needing shrinking.

    To Shrink,

    Return from the Shrink Pop Up window (repeat steps 1 through 4 above)

    Then, locate “File type” entry and change drop down selection to “log”

    Next locate “Shrink Action” and click the radio button to select “Release unused Space”

    Then click the [OK] button at the bottom of the Shrink Pop Window to Shrink the file needing shrinking.

  11. Thank you!! again I have been searching and trying to connect for days and finally found you hint to run as “admin” and now I am able to connect.

    Katy G.

  12. You are the best … it worked miracles for me … Thank you very much

  13. C:\Windows\SYSMSI\SSEE\MSSQL.2005

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