Agent startup error

  • Hi,

    I've got a really strange problem with SQLAgent. I get the following error when trying to start up SQLAgent (SQL Server starts fine)

    [241] Startup error: Unable to initialize error reporting system (reason: Access is denied)

    I get this same error whether I try to start this service normally or via the command line.

    Both SQL & Agent services are started up via a domain account. This domain account is not domain or local admin, but has the required priviledges to run both of these services. This config was running run until over the weekend, when all of a sudden this error has started occuring. None of the DBA's have changed anything and our IT department also claim not to have changed anything, but I guess something somewhere has changed because we are now getting different behaviour - the question is really how can I find out what has changed.

    If I change the service logon credentials (e.g. to my own), the service starts fine. I have even temporarily granted local admin to the orginal domain account used to start the service and it still fires the above error.

    We are running SQL2000 SP3a on Windows 2000 SP4.

    I have tried running both regmon & filemon and can not spot any access right problems.

    Anyone got any ideas of how I can track this one down?

    Thanks in advance

  • Finally tracked this one down....

    The service account had been added to the Guest group on the server - for some reason this caused this error. Wierd!

  • Thanks for adding this note...helped me figure out my issue...same thing happened to me.

  • I've got this same problem, however, due to a hardening of the SQL Server, I require the user to be part of the Guests group.  Everything (including SQLServer) is running 100% as is, it is only the SQLServerAgent that will not run unless it is removed from the Guests group.  Adding this user to the Users group results in the SQLServerAgent starting successfully!  I'm guessing there is a permissions thing somewhere, however i've been through the system/registry/security policies and can't seem to find where it would be.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Hi.

    Try looking at this article about Agent's permissions




  • Thanks for the advice.  I've checked it out, but it all seems like stuff I have already tried.

    I am seeing this error in the SQLAgent Error log:

    [241] Startup error: Unable to initialize error reporting system (reason: Access is denied)

    From what I understand, the error reporting system is what Microsoft use (new feature in SQL Server 2000 SP3) to automatically report errors with SQL Server running to Microsoft (same way Windows pops up a dialogue box asking 'do you want to send this error to Microsoft' when something messes up in Windows).  This however is an option to install at the time of SQL being installed, and we have not chosen to install it.  I can confirm this by opening the SQL Server properties and seeing that the 'Enable the Error Reporting Feature' is unchecked/disabled.

    It sounds as if the Error reporting is still being initialized when the SQLAgent is started, and hence, permissions related to this.

    Does anyone know more about the Error Reporting Feature, or more information about the error I have been seeing?

  • I don't add user to Guess group.  I do add user to USER group.  User group has read and execution but that's all.  On the program file permission, I grant the full privilege for that account, same thing for data, log and backups folder.  The user does not have to be an admin on the local box either.  I hope it works for you.



  • I can confirm that - adding the user to the USERS group works fine.  I'm trying to find out what it is I need to do (unlock/allow) so that I can add the user to the GUESTS group and for it to work.

    As mentioned SQL Server runs fine like this, but the Agent does not.

    The reason I want to add it to the GUESTS group is so the user that's running SQL has NO permissions on the box, except for the file/registry permissions I specifically unlock so it can do what it needs to.

    Only thing I have left to do is the Agent.  SQL is quite happy running under a user that is part of the GUESTS group.

  • That is an interesting concept.  Please let me know when you got it to work.  For me it's ok and we actually wanted the user to have access to the box.


    The otherway to have SQL Agent work is for it to run under local system.



  • I had recently upgraded SQL 2012 to SP2 and when done, the SQL Agent would not start.

    I was seeing Access Denied in the Event Log

    Here is how I fixed it. It may not work for you but, I wanted to throw this out there:

    sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1

    sp_configure 'Agent XPs', 1


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