Knowledge Base

Search Knowledge Base

KB #240065: Can’t access encrypted data or can’t start SQL Server 2005 after applying Service Pack


Known Issues


Service Packs and Hotfixes for SQL 2005 may make registry changes that will prevent an Encryptionized instance of SQL Server from accessing encrypted databases or columns. This utility will repair the instance.

Additional Information:

If you have attempted to apply a Service Pack or Hotfix to an Encryptionized instance of SQL Server 2005, you may find that the service pack fails, and/or that you can no longer access the encrypted databases or columns. If you have specified “Encrypted Master” when securing the instance, you may not even be able to start SQL Server.To repair this, run the Service Pack Fixer Utility as follows:

    • Download the Fixer Utility from
    • Unzip the included file, nlspfix.exe, into a the Encryptionizer installation directory, usually:
         %Program Files%\NetLib\secsql
    • Stop SQL Server if it is running.
    • Open a Command Window and CHDIR to the directory, e.g.,
         > chdir %Program Files%\NetLib\secsql
    • Run the Fixer Utility as follows:
         > NLSPFIX InstanceName

      where InstanceName is the instance that needs to be repaired. Specify . or (default) for the default instance. E.g.,

         > NLSPFIX CRM001
      > NLSPFIX .
      > NLSPFIX (default)

      Important: if running on a cluster, specify the local name of the instance, not the symbolic cluster name.

    • You will receive a message that tells you:
      • instance has been repaired,
      • instance was never Encryptionized,
      • instance does not need to be repaired, or
      • instance was not found.

      Please contact us if you do not get the result you expect.

At this point you should be able to start SQL Server and access the encrypted databases or columns.

  • We strongly recommend that you reapply the Service Pack or Hotfix that resulted in this problem using the Service Pack Helper Service in KB 240066 below.

    Related Topics:

    240066: How to apply a Service Pack/Hotfix to an Encryptionized instance of SQL Server 2005 or later