SQL Server does not start with %%17051 error

SQL Server might not start from all variety of reasons including permission issues, master database not available or corrupted, service account issues, etc. In this article I will talk about diagnose of failed service start and how to fix %%17051 error.

Diagnostic SQL Server service failed to start

General information are being logged into Event log whereas additional information are being logged into Error Log located by default in DRIVE_LETTER:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Log\ERRORLOG

When SQL Server does not start which you would find out by simply looking into configuration manager …

… Then first place where you should start looking is the Event Log – System category. Find an error generated by Service Control Manager.

Sometimes error codes are “Googleable” “Bingable” through the Error Log (path is mentioned above) messages are more verbose. Let’s take a look into the Error Log …

Mind the row number 13 “SQL Server evaluation period has expired.” Now you have two options. Uninstall your evaluation copy of SQL Server or run Edition Upgrade – you will need to enter your Product Key during upgrade process.

Edition Upgrade

For Edition Upgrade you will need SQL Server setup files. In SQL Server Installation center navigate to Maintenance section and click Edition Upgrade.

Check whether all Setup Support Rules are marked as Passed and click OK.

Again check whether all Rules are marked as Passed or Not applicable and click Next.

In Product Key step change Radio Button to option Enter the product key and type in your key.

In next steps accept license terms, specify your instance you wish to upgrade, check edition upgrade rules and finally click Upgrade button.

I my case Upgrade and Back button had been gray for a few minutes. When the upgrade process is done you will see similar screen with link to Setup Boostrap Log.

Now you might need to start your SQL Server Services manually.

When you connect to your instance you may check your edition by running script bellow.


Note for SQL Server setup files

Your setup files does not need to be at same Service Pack level as your instance (no need for slipstreaming). Tested by myself 🙂


About Jiří Hubáček

Experienced consultant and blogger for Microsoft SQL Server and related products. Likes cats, workouts and delicious food. Enjoys sailing, traveling, time spent with wife and friends.
This entry was posted in Microsoft SQL Server and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to SQL Server does not start with %%17051 error

  1. Thank you very much for this post. I’m a stay-away-from-SQL type of sysadmin and could not find what was the problem with a SQL service until I stumbled with your blog. Thank you again.

  2. Westwoodmao says:

    for some reason, after the upgrade, I still cannot get my MSSQLSERVER running. It still gave the same error…..Maybe I need to build a new stand alone version instead of trying to fix the old one…so sad…

  3. Microsoft says:

    If your evaluation period has expired, service will not start. Change the date on your local PC and start the SQL Service and then revert the date to the current date.
    100% working
    Please don’t tell Microsoft 😛

  4. Alfonso Vargas says:

    I updated my SQL and it was correct, but it does not start the service, I verified the LOG:

    2017-06-17 22:40:44.07 Server Error: 17051, Severity: 16, State: 1.
    2017-06-17 22:40:44.07 Server SQL Server evaluation period has expired.
    2017-06-17 22:40:44.07 Server SQL Server shutdown has been initiated

    The same mistake 😦

  5. just change the date of your pc into the past…. back to the future :))) very creative hehe

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