So I have successfully installed SQL Server 2012 on Windows Server 2012, and I am ready to play. Only I cannot connect to it from my laptop using SQL Server Management Studio. When I attempt to connect, it thinks about it for a little while and then hits me with the following error message:

I know already that the problem is not a network issue or a security issue, since I installed and configured the SQL Server environment myself. That leaves the “verify that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections part of the error“, which we fix by following these steps.

Configuring SQL Server 2012 to Allow Remote Connections

1. Since I cannot connect remotely, for this exercise, I had to RDP (remote desktop) into the actual database server.

2. Using SQL Server 2012 Management Studio, connect to the instance of SQL Server to configure.

3. Right-click on the SQL Server instance and choose Properties.

4. On the Select a page section on the left, choose Connections and check Allow remote connections to this server.

SQL Server Configuration Manager

1. If the above steps aren’t enough to resolve your problem, then check your SQL Server Configuration Manager.

2. Using SQL Server Configuration Manager, choose SQL Server Network Configuration and select the SQL Server instance to configure.

3. Make sure that TCP/IP is set to Enabled.

Windows Firewall

1. If you have followed both sets of instructions above and you are still experiencing remote connection issues, then it is most likely your firewall settings.

2. Using SQL Server Configuration Manager, choose SQL Server Network Configuration and select the SQL Server instance to configure.

3. Check the TCP/IP properties to determine what port number is being used for SQL Connections.

4. Go to Server Manager and choose Local Server.

5. Click on the Windows Firewall and ensure that the port number is not being blocked by the server’s firewall.

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