FCB:: (Open Failed) Error 17204 - SQL Server is not Starting

Error 17204 FCB Open Failed means SQL Server is unable to start a database because it cannot open the database or transaction log files. You may face this error at the time of starting a SQL Server instance or during a database action that is trying to start the database

2008-03-27 13:21:34.58 spid55 Error: 17204, Severity: 16, State: 1.
2010-03-27 14:21:34.58 spid55 FCB :: Open failed : Could not open file c:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.SQL2008\MSSQL\data\MyDB_Prm.mdf for file number 1. OS error: 5(Access is denied.).

If the users face SQL Server error 17204, then the database might be in RECOVERY_PENDING state and becomes inaccessible. If this error occurs in the System Database then, the SQL Server instance, will not start and you cannot connect to the instance. It is also possible that, the SQL Server failover cluster resource goes into an offline state.

Reasons of SQL Server Error 17204

After the initialization of various data structures the database come to a working mode. Every SQL Server instance needs Windows API CreateFile for opening of the file that belongs to the database. The error 17204 occurs when SQL Server is trying to open the database files at the time of startup. Here are three main reasons which are responsible for this type of error:

  1. The service account password has been changed, but not updated yet on the server where SQL Server instance is installed.
  2. Startup parameters have an incorrect file path location.
  3. System data files are not present, may be accidentally deleted or corrupted due disk drive failure.
  4. TempDB database is moved incorrectly.
  5. Model database may be corrupted.
  6. The port is used by another SQL Instance on the same machine.

Information Contained By SQL FCB::(Open Failed) Error 17204

  1. SQL Server function name which is trying to open the file.
  2. The error message contains the full path information of the file.
  3. The error message contains the File ID corresponds to the file
  4. The Operating System error code and error description. The error code will be provided in some instances only.
  5. Note: Common causes of SQL Server error 17204 are related with permission problem, incorrect file location or path problem.

Resolution of SQL Server FCB::(Open Failed) Error 17204

Here we will discuss how to overcome from the SQL Server error 17204 severity 16 state 1

  1. If the service account password is changed and not updated yet
  2. Users need to update the password in services. The better way to do this is by using SQL Server Configuration Manager. Type in a new password under Log On tab.

  3. If startup parameters have an incorrect file path
  4. Users need to find out the exact location of particular files. If any problem occurs with the model or TempDB database, then we should start SQL Server with the help of the trace flag

  5. If the problem is related to the corruption of files
  6. The database files related to the corruption issue needs to be identified. If master database files are corrupted then we need to rebuild the master database or restore it from the backup. If the problem exists with other system databases, then SQL Server Instance can be started via trace flag and be restored.

  7. If the port is used by another SQL instance
  8. Find out which process is using the same port now. Change the port of the process or change the port of SQL Server which is not starting.


In this article we have discussed about the SQL Server Error 17204 which shows the error message, FCB::Open failed: could not open file. OS error: 5(Access is denied.). We also discussed about the reasons of the error and how can we troubleshoot the error 17204.

Next Post »