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Uninstall SSRS If you are not using it

By Mohan Kumar,

SQL Server 2005 has many good features, many enhanced from previous versions, but the unplanned Installation of some of its features or tools can produce unpredictable problems. SQL Server Reporting Service is one of them, whether its service is running or not running, whether it is set to Manual or Disabled, does not matter because it can bring along weird errors.

Recently, I came across with one at my new client's place. I have been using this tool for a long time but never ever come across this situation. Hence I thought of sharing this with you to make your troubleshooting of similar problems easier.

One of our production server started reporting following error every minute in Application Error log:

Event Type : Error
Event Source : Report Server (MSSQLSERVER)
Event Category : Management

Event ID : 107
Date : 4/11/2008
Time : 10:18:41 AM
User : N/A
Computer : SQLITSBEN01
Description :

Report Server (MSSQLSERVER) cannot connect to the report server database.
For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

I started troubleshooting and as you might have thought; I thought one of the following reasons was behind this error:

  1. The SQL Server Database Engine service (MSSQLSERVER) is not running and is trying to start Report Server Windows service
  2. The Report Server Windows service account has not been correctly modified
  3. The Reporting Service Configuration is not correct
  4. The account used to run the service no longer has permissions on the database. etc

But this situation was different; Reporting Services on this server was not in use, so the service was stopped and the startup configuration was set to Disabled.

I spent almost 3 hours trying to figure out the possible reasons behind this error but could not find anything. Then I decided to turn on Reporting Service to see what if I start Reporting Service deliberately.

I was surprised to see this error when I changed the startup to Manual and started the service. Here what it reported:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Report Server Windows Service (MSSQLSERVER)
Event Category: Activation

Event ID: 120
Date: 4/11/2008
Time: 1:30:14 PM
User: N/A
Computer: SQLITSBEN01
Description: The report server cannot decrypt the symmetric key. Most likely, the service account or password has changed. To continue, run rsconfig.exe to update the report server account information.\r\n

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

Since the above error was not new to m, I performed the following steps:

  1. Opened Reporting Service Configuration
  2. Deleted the Encryption Keys
  3. Created a New Encryption Key
  4. Started the service (it started successfully)

This resolved the original issue

Since we did not want to run Reporting Services, so I again stopped the service and changed its startup configuration to disabled. There was no error on the server after that.

Conclusion

We all know we should not install anything that we do not want to use or if we have installed it and later thought of not using it then we should uninstall that feature. This applies to Reporting Services as well; do not install it if you are not using it. I understand there is a design issue with this tool that keeps on validating encryption keys even if you disable SQL Server Reporting Service.

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