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Monday, 28 November 2011

Service 'SQL Azure Data Sync Preview' failed to start

While trying to install and start the SQL Azure Data Sync Preview Service I ran across the error message "Service 'SQL Azure Data Sync Preview' (SQL Azure Data Sync Preview) failed to start. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to start system services." Here are the step I had to take to make it start working.

You have to get all of these right to be able to install and start the service successfully. Most are not very obvious and the final step I seem to be the only person on the internet with this problem (hence the blog post)! Anyway, here goes:

Get your username and domain right

Although it says you can enter the account with examples of "domain\user, .\localuser", you can't; it is a lie! You should ensure that you fill out the "User Name" field like MACHINENAME\Username. So MYMACHINE\Colin if you were me.

Verify you have sufficient permissions

Your user may not have permission to log in to Windows Services so you need to make sure you can.

Go to:

  • Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Local Security Policy
  • Open Local Policies > User Rights Assignment
  • Click on Log on as a service
  • Click "Add User or Group..."
  • Set location to your machine
  • Type your user name into the box and click OK then Apply

Ensure you have a password

This was the problem I ran into. The installation just didn't seem to complete because my Windows user did not have a password. I Ctrl + Alt + Del > Change password. I gave myself an actual password rather than leaving it blank which I had done in the past. It then installed without a hitch.


So quite a few snags you may run into when installing the Data Sync service but hopefully with my little check list it wont take you as long as it took me. I'm guessing these sort of bits are just a symptom of the service being in Preview not RTM so they are understandable really.

For what it's worth the preview of SQL Azure Data Sync is a great service, installing this Windows Service was the only issue I had in an otherwise simple process. The benefits of using the service are great, you can sync multiple databases both inside or outside of the Azure data centres. You will only get charged for data leaving the data centre too so any SQL Azure to SQL Azure synchronisation within the same data centre is free! Well, free for now anyway since it is still in preview so I'd keep an eye out when it becomes production ready. Happy syncing!

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  1. Thanks for the information. I did not have a password, so I created one and the installation went through. Thanks again!

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