SQL Server Setup Password Validation Failure

During a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (standard or express) upgrade from a previous version or while updating SQL Server to a newer service pack (SP), you may receive the following error:


Error ID: 15116

SQL Server Setup has encountered the following problem: [Microsoft][SQL Native Client][SQL Server]Password validation failed. The password does not meet Windows policy requirements because it is too short.. To continue, correct the problem, and then run SQL Server Setup again.


Variations may appear depending on your configuration, including:

This will appear during the install process, but you may also have failed installs through Windows Update and not realize that this is the cause. The origin of the error is that your Domain or computer has a password policy set that a password that is hardcoded into a SQL script used during the upgrade fails to meet. Yes, it's an issue that Microsoft should have forseen. Yes, it's also an issue that Microsoft should have created a KB article for. Yes, The Grim Admin will fill in the holes...

The hardcoded password is "Yukon90_" and most often fails due to being too short. To complete the upgrade successfully, you have a couple options. The easiest solution is to temporarily change your password policy so that the hardcoded password meets the requirements and apply it to the server, then retry the installation. Alternatively, you can change the password in the upgrade script so it meets your current password requirements by performing the following steps.

  1. Run the SQL Server installer, accept the licensing terms, install/verify prerequisites, and let it scan your configuration so that you eventually end up at the "Welcome to the Microsoft SQL Server Installation Wizard" screen.
  2. At this point, navigate to the folder where SQL is currently installed and open .\Upgrade\sqlagent90_msdb_upgrade.sql in a text editor.
    • e.g., C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Upgrade\sqlagent90_msdb_upgrade.sql
  3. Find the line encryption by password = 'Yukon90_' and change the password so it meets your requirements. This password may appear a couple times in the script so search for it more than once.
    • Side note: If you run into this error during an install rather than an upgrade, you can do a similar edit to the .\Install\instmsdb.sql script (the offending password appears twice in this script).
  4. After saving the upgrade script, continue on with the install, which should now finish without the permission error.

Tag: microsoft microsoft sql server what were they thinking

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