Tip

Drop user databases without using normal syntax

When you restore a SQL Server database to another server or PC, sometimes the sysusers table is not consistent and users can't be dropped from the database. Here's how to drop user databases if they can't be dropped using normal syntax like sp_dropuser. This method has been tested on Sybase 11 and Microsoft SQL Server 7 and 2000.

Only DBAs should execute this command!

  1. Configure "allow update". The default is 0:
    sp_configure "allow update",1
    use master
    go
    reconfigure with override
    
  2. Use (DatabaseName)
  3. You should see UID from table sysusers:
    select * from sysusers
    
  4. Now you can delete the users database:
    delete sysusers where uid = ?
    
  5. Check the UID and Name of Users for deleted
  6. Now configure the system database again:
    sp_configure "allow update", 0
    use master
    go
    reconfigure with override
    

Reader Feedback

Susan K. writes: This tip forgets that the user may also have permissions, own objects etc. If one is going into the system tables, one should get all the relevant tables.

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This was first published in February 2005

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