In an environment running GoldMine on client PCs and SQL on a separate server, I recently started getting this error when starting GoldMine:  “Named Pipes Provider: Could not open a connection to SQL server [53]’. Rebooting the client usually fixed the error.

If you Google this error, you’ll find advice about making sure your firewall is open and that your SQL server is configured to allow TCP and named pipes connections. Since the connection works sometimes, that didn’t sound like the issue.

I knew this could happen if the server or client fell off the domain (causing firewall rules to change), but both network interfaces showed that the domain profile was active.

GoldMine publisher Ivanti has an article about this message here. It refers to GoldMine and SQL on the same machine, which isn’t my scenario. But it suggests checking the DBAlias.ini file. Checking that file on the server, I saw that the HOST line correctly points to my local SQL server (sqlserver.mydomain.local).

So I pinged sqlserver.mydomain.local from the client and it couldn’t resolve! ipconfig /all confirmed that the DNS server for the client was no longer pointing to my internal DNS server but was instead using the public DNS servers provided by DHCP. Of course the public server doesn’t know my internal machines.

Not sure why that happened (the Essentials connector is supposed to keep the local DNS server updated). Also not sure how the client was able to be on the domain when DNS was not pointing to the Domain Controller. In any case, after setting the Preferred DNS server back to the internal DC, GoldMine was immediately able to start.

GoldMine SQL and DNS

Bottom line:  for this error, first ping the SQL server from the client to make sure the server name can be resolved.