Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

Changing SA passwords

How to fix SQL Server Error 21776: "[SQL-DMO] The name 'dbo' was not found in the Users collection."

Ever try and change your SA password only to get an error like this: "Error 21776: [SQL-DMO] The name 'dbo' was not found in the Users collection. If the name is a qualified name, use [] to separate various parts of the name, and try again."

Yes, we've probably all seen it. You can still change the password by using sp_password but that doesn't fix your problem. This error, from my experience, occurs when you DTS or restore a database from one server to another. If you look in the users collection you will not see the SA account.

To fix this error, run sp_changedbowner 'sa' on each database that does not have SA as a user. NOTE: You may have to go into each user collection and refresh to see the account. I have had to use this at one time or another on almost every SQL server I administer (12). Hope this helps someone out there.

Reader Feedback

Jaime M. writes: "I thought this tip was very helpful. Many DBAs do not actually check the default settings for the SA password."

Richard B. writes: "Mr. Higdon's tip was very helpful. Thanks!

For More Information

  • What do you think about this tip? E-mail the Editor at with your feedback.
  • The Best SQL Server Web Links: tips, tutorials, scripts, and more.
  • Have an SQL Server tip to offer your fellow DBA's and developers? The best tips submitted will receive a cool prize--submit your tip today!
  • Ask your technical SQL Server questions--or help out your peers by answering them--in our live discussion forums.
  • Check out our Ask the Experts feature: Our SQL, Database Design, Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, metadata, and data warehousing gurus are waiting to answer your toughest questions.

Dig Deeper on SQL Server Database Modeling and Design

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.