How to connect to an AD Domain Secured SQL Server from a non-domain PC

The following are instructions for setting up a connection to an Active Directory (AD) Domain secured SQL Server using either SQL Server Management Studio or Visual Studio. This is especially applicable when not using a domain attached PC.

Step-by-step guide

In order to successfully connect you need to start the application of choice in the necessary Active Directory Domain user context.

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select New
  2. Now paste in the appropriate command line as below into the ‘Type the location of the item:‘ field, replacing the ‘{username}‘ with your AD Domain username. (also change the path to a suitable location for you app or version etc..)
    For SQL Server Management Studio 17 (SSMS)

    RUNAS /user:{AD domain}\{your username} /netonly "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\140\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio\Ssms.exe"

    For Visual Studio 2017

    RUNAS /user:{AD domain}\{your username} /netonly "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Enterprise\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"

  3. Click Next and give your new shortcut a suitable name. (e.g. ‘ssms – on domain’ or ‘vs2017 – on domain’)
  4. When you double-click on your new desktop shortcut you will be prompted to enter your AD Domain password in a command window.
  5. The app will now start in the correct context when connecting over the network. (Note: you may get some errors the first one or two times you start SSMS, but just close and try again.)

    NOTE: Incorrect password

    If you enter the wrong password the program will still start, but you will fail to connect. To see a failure run the same commend in the dedicated command window.

  6. Now you can create a registered server as normal. Choose Windows Authentication.

For more information see:

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