Error "Error Locating Server/Instance Specified [xFFFFFFFF]" When Connecting to SQL Server

Published: 06 Nov 2015
Last Modified Date: 13 Apr 2021


When connecting to a MS SQL Server database, the following error might occur:

TableauException: [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0]SQL Server Network Interfaces: Error Locating Server/Instance Specified [xFFFFFFFF]. [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0]Login timeout expired [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0]A network related or instance-specified error has occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. Server is not found or not accessible. Check if instance name is correct and if SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections."


  • Tableau Desktop
  • MS SQL Server


Work with your local database administrator to resolve issues with MS SQL Server.


This error message is generated by the MS SQL Server and is then passed on to Tableau Desktop. 

Additional Information

FIX: Error message when you connect to a named instance of SQL Server on a client computer that is running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008: "Specified SQL server not found" or "Error Locating Server/Instance Specified" by Microsoft Support
You may receive a connection error message when you try to connect to an instance of SQL Server 2000 or of SQL Server 7.0 that was installed after you installed SQL Server 2005 by Microsoft Support
Microsoft SQL Server Login Connection failed
Sqlcmd: Error: Microsoft SQL Server Native Client 10.0 : A network-related or instance-specific error has occurred while by

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