SQL Server 2005 Import/Export Server Registrations

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the content posted at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/vDevasia/sqlserver2005importexportserverregistrations.asp

  • Exporting and Importing a sql group is fine. but i think there is no option to export or import selected servers within a group and also for selected server groups.



  • What a great feature !  Well done Microsoft and thanks Vinod for showing us how to do this 🙂


  • An excellent GUI feature from Microsoft. For last 10 years, I have been exporting and importing the registry, which does the same job.

    My approach is not recommended for ordinary users, but for DBAs it should very simple exercise.


    Faisal Al-Boutiahi 

    DBA - AXA Tech.

  • Faisal,

    I have no problems exporting and importing registry entries for Registered Servers X but it only works for the same login. For example if I move the registrations ti another server, but I login to both as the same domain login.

    This article too shows export and import working as the same Windows login. Are we sure the import will work for another user with different SID?

    For some (understandable)  reason it does not work if I import this reg file logged as another user. The entries are in the Registry OK, but it just would not show in EM.

    If you use Tools -> Options -> Read/Store User Independent then only new entries created after setting this option are available.

    Do you know the way of making existing entries available for another user?




    Regards,Yelena Varsha

  • Nice feature, but the artcle could have been written in two paragraphs.  We can play with the gui on our own, thank you.

  • I, for one, appreciate the graphical examples.

  • SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Manager stores information about registered servers in the following registry branch:

    HKEY_USERS\<UserSID>\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\SQLEW\Registered Server X.

    The registry values are binary and can not be transferred to another computer because they depend on user SID and computer where EM is placed. The SQL Server 2005 Server Management Studio no longer uses the registry to store this information, so that registered servers can be transferred using export/import feature.


    However, both 2000 and 2005 versions continue to use another registry branch that is very important for transferring registered server’s information, which isn’t mentioned in this article. When you manage a number of instances on the different servers and different domains it is very convenient to create aliases for those servers and use them for server registration. Both 2000 Client Network Utility and 2005 SQL Server Configuration Manager store alias information in this registry branch:


    So, if you import registered servers from 2000 EM to 2005 SMS on the same server, it works. On the other hand, if you use aliases and export registered servers from 2005 SMS, located on one server, to 2005 SMS, located on another server, the imported registered servers will appear on the SMS  “Registered Servers” window. However, you can’t connect to those servers, because the connection information is absent. In this case, you also need to import the registry branch that stores the alias properties.


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