MOSS 2007/ SharePoint 2010 – Cannot Generate SSPI Context


While working with MOSS 2007, you may come across the errors below while trying to open up your MOSS 2007 and Central Administration websites.

The error message “Cannot connect to the Configuration database” is displayed in the browser, while “Cannot generate SSPI context” is found in the Event Viewer.

Most of the online blogs and the solutions found on the Microsoft website are helpful, but none of them may be of any help to you.

One way to solve this problem is to:

  • Log into the SQL Server box, open up SQL Management Studio and once connected right click on the Server Name and select “Activity Monitor”. This should tell you if there are any incoming connections to the SQL Server.
  • If you notice there is no activity from the Web Server, then it is pretty obvious the Web Server cannot make contact with the SQL Server.

To test this theory, on the Web Server Desktop create a temporary “Test.UDL” connection file and try to connect to the SQL Server, first using the IP Address of the SQL Server and then using the Name of the SQL Server. Also, use either Windows Authentication of a dedicated SQL Account to connect.

You may be able to connect with the IP Address but not the name of the server or vice versa. This is a DNS issue which is preventing the Web Server from making contact. Immediately get in touch with your Network Administrator to resolve the DNS issue.

The problem may have occurred after installing updates on the Server.

A .UDL file must be able to connect to the SQL Server with the IP Address or the Name of the SQL Server. The .UDL file is created to test connection between the servers only and not for any other purpose.

You can also read How to Create a Three Tier SharePoint 2010 Development Environment Part 1 and then try and reproduce the above error and solution.


Derek Halstead is a SharePoint consultant as well as the founder and principal of and He has 16 years of experience in the IT industry, with over ten years focused on Microsoft SharePoint. He can be reached by using the Contact Me link in the top menu.
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