SQL - Sql Server 2008 R2 ( Provider Named Pipes Provider, error:40- Could not open a connection to SQL Server)

Today I have installed SQL server 2008 R2 express edition to my local machine but when I tried to login to the server got the below error message.

Fig 0.1

I did install express edition some years back and was successful at that time and not remembering such issue came up at that time.

I tried below steps but still was not successful.

             - Enabled TCP\IP port
             - Added exception for SQL server and browser in windows firewall
             - double checked the server is running or not

But I was not lucky enough to get into the server.

Ignoring small things in life will cost you more some time as here in this scenario I have forgot to give the server name and the instance together before hitting the login button.

I am able to login to the express edition when I have given the server name as .\SQLEXPRESS.  Catch here is server will not listen if you give it as only dot(.) or [local host].


  1. Can you let me know how many instance you have in your machine.. Is it installed as Named instance?? This issue usually will come only if you install named instance..Other wise (.) or localhost or Machine IP will do.

  2. There is only one instance. Yes you are right, this error comes only if it is named instance and by default SQL express edition installed as Named Instance.

    1. Can you check the port number of this instance? Change to 1433 if it is not the same and try with localhost. I'm yet to install express edition and check to see this issue..


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