I'm attempting to set up a Drupal 8.3.6 site on Windows Server 2012. I have been following this guide: http://www.drupalonwindows.com/en/blog/installing-drupal-8-windows

I'm at the point of running the Drupal installation, but am running into a road block at the Database configuration step. When attempting to save my database settings, it takes a very long time to attempt to save, and then I get an error message that simply says "Failed to connect to your database server. The server reports the following message: ." Just a blank error message.

Some info about my configuration:

  • I'm using SQL Server Express and maintaining it with SSMS 2017
  • My SQL Server setup uses Windows authentication and I am logged in as the Administrator account when working with it (I am not sure if this is different from the credentials Drupal tries to use)
  • Windows Firewall on my server is configured to allow connections to port 1433 as well as to sqlserver.exe
  • According to SQL Server Configuration Manager, SQL Server is running (SQL Server Agent and SQL Server Browser cannot be started however)
  • I created a database called "drupal" in MSSQL owned by the Administrator account, however I get the same error whether or not I specify this database name in the "Database name" field or if I define a new one. I am leaving the username/password blank as instructed by the installation page.
  • In the comments section of the install guide, one of the maintainers of the sqlsrv drivers says to use the 8.x-1.x branch if not purchasing Phpmssql, so these are the drivers I am using.
  • My server has 2 IP addresses, and the IP address of my Drupal site is different from the primary IP address of my server (my primary IP is used for a different site). My bindings in IIS are correct and I'm accessing the site via its designated IP. I feel like this is causing the problem with a connection issue, however if I change the host under "Advanced Options" from "localhost" to my server IP, the problem still persists.
  • Before using 8.x-1.x drivers, I was trying 8.x-2.x and getting the error message "The PhpMssql library is not available.", so maybe it's not an IP connection issue?

I feel like I've missed something in my configuration, but can't tell what that is from the install guide. Can anyone please shed some insight?

1 Answer 1


I figured it out, I think that trying to connect to "localhost" was failing because I should have been specifying {servername}\SQLEXPRESS instead.

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