Getting error "A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server..."

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Normally, I'd be able to figure this out. But, what I have going on is I have an MVC4 app that, in its current state, will NOT connect to any kind of data source. I believe that MVC, out of the box, comes with some default data connection properties.

The whole point of this is to just show our clients what the app "could" look like by hard coding some data values into the app itself. So, running the app resolves with the error:

A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 - Error Locating Server/Instance Specified)

I need to remove anything SQL related in my app, I removed the connection string already in the web.config.

Question: where else in the template code is it trying to establish a SQL connection (assuming that's what it's trying to do, based on the error)?


The base MVC template has Membership built in, so that's why it requires a connection. You need to either strip that all out or do a blank intranet template.

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For a case like this, I usually search the whole thing for the name of the database or something like "data source =". It could be in Global.asax also.

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All I had to do was remove the <authentication /> portion of my web.config, and that resolved it.

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I my case it was an issue related to roles management to solve it i had only to add

<remove name="RoleManager" />   


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  • This question is difficult to answer without any code...
  • It may be using Machine.config. There's a LocalSqlServer connection string in there that some of the services (e.g. Membership) that ship with the MVC framework will default to using if they can't find one in your web.config.
  • @brian It will be difficult to post relevant code because this really isn't specific to my code. I was just hoping someone would know where in the MVC template code it's trying to make a connection, if it's even there.
  • +1 Agree - it will be looking for LocalSqlServer in Machine.config