How to Fix the Error “Could not find the Database Engine startup handle” in SQL Server 2016, 2014, or 2008

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41 Responses

  1. RisingSon says:

    Hey, thanks for sharing…this has been quite an ordeal.

  2. Charles Mathew says:

    Thanks, this helped.

  3. Sunil says:

    Thanks a lot for the solution.I tried to resolve this issue by using many solutions from internet but this solution resolved my issue in the end.
    Post was really very helpful and bang on solution to my problem.

  4. Enes says:

    You are a great hero. Thanks it worked!

  5. William says:

    SQL is the best but the installation process is piece of garbage. I have tried everything and still getting the error.

  6. Zubair Alexander says:

    @William. Have you followed the instructions listed on the wiki page that I have mentioned at the end of this article because it has a lot more detail, references, links to forums, etc.

  7. Juan says:

    Thank you so much!!! You saved me hours of frustrations.

  8. Bruce Roberson says:

    After two days of installing, uninstalling and resintalling, this one tip did the trick. Now I can actually start using the database.

  9. Ahmed says:

    Thank you.

  10. Oksana says:

    Thank you. It works for me.

  11. Raihan Ahmed says:

    Thank you. It works like a charm.

  12. Derek says:

    Fantastic – I have installed, deinstalled and reinstalled multiple times without success until I saw this advice. All is working ok now.

  13. Andre says:

    Thanks! Spent hours trying to figure it out.

  14. Mateusz says:

    Hi All,

    I’ve got similar problem with my SQL Server 2014 installation. I’ve checked many forums and blogs. Nothing helped. Solution was ridiculously easy. I had SSL disabled in registry.

    After enabling it, everything is fine.

  15. Faheem Yaseen says:

    Awesome! After a struggle of many days , finally I have installed SQL management studio. Thank you. Thanks a lot. GOD BLESS YOU 🙂

  16. David says:

    It worked! Thanks!

  17. Martin Sanek says:

    Many, many thanks to you. I was too unhappy from couple of configurations and install/unistall SQL Express 2014 until I found your description.
    If you will arrive to Prague at any time – let me know. You just reservate couple of beers from my pocket!

    Thank you again

  18. Lawrence says:

    Thanks, worked for me.

  19. Jen says:

    Thank you so much!! You’re a god!

  20. Daniel says:

    Thanks. Worked :-).

  21. Sheldon says:

    After reading SO many articles and trying so many different things–yours was the one that finally helped me out after hours of troubleshooting. Thank you for documenting this fix.

  22. Zubair Alexander says:

    @Sheldon. Thanks for your feedback. I am glad the solution worked for you :).

  23. NguyenDai says:

    Thanks you so much !!!!!!

  24. Corey Schafer says:

    I was doing a inplace upgrade from 2008 R2 and got the same error message – in my case having TraceFlags in the startup parameters in 2008 cause this same issue. It is because of the difference in how SQL 2014/2016 handles traceflags.. Remove them from the startup parameters before you start 😉

  25. Tolga says:

    Thank you so much, It worked for me.

  26. Nate says:

    Thank you, I seriously spent hours messing with this.

  27. Amalraj says:

    Thank you. Awesome.

  28. Irfan Dar says:

    Thanks a lot. It’s great job. Appreciate your research.

  29. Nicola says:

    Thank you!!!
    I’ve lost a lot of time before reading this post!
    It works perfectly.

  30. iliya says:

    I am so exited after a day of install and uninstall after 3 time downloading of ISO this solution worked. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  31. Ramon says:

    Thank you for your help, it really works and you explain it all the way.

  32. Vu says:

    Thanks for your solution. It likes magic. I waste my time before visit your site.


  33. Alexander says:

    Hey, thanks for posting, that really helped me!

  34. Kiwicdk says:

    Thanks, this sorted out my installation issue.

  35. Pavan BP says:

    Did the trick for me. Thanks!

  36. Garry G says:

    This posting really helped to get SQL Server Express 2016 installed after many many attempts, but now port 1433 SQL servers Listening port is not available. At the end of your article you said “The wiki post recommends that after the installation is complete you should change this account back to a low-privileged domain account that will run the SQL Database Engine service.” I have not done this so perhaps that is the problem. My question is, how do I do this change of accounts back? Can’t find it anywhere. Please help.

  37. Zubair Alexander says:

    @Gary. I have added the instructions in an updated section at the end of this article on how to change the SQL Server service account to a low-privileged domain account.

  38. Mishel says:

    Thanks for this post.

  39. Mark Pangersis says:

    Thanks, for the article. This worked for me as well while installing SQL Express 2016. I had tried multiple times thinking it was something with my custom settings during install, but what you have documented corrected my errors. It was installed with my custom settings without error.

  40. Digvijay Singh says:

    Vow! This worked. Thanks a ton!!

  41. Alina says:

    The same way I have tried but still getting the same error. Could you please provide any other possibilities?

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