How to access the Embedded database used by Sharepoint

Sharepoint likes to use the Embedded version of SQL Server when you choose a stand-alone install of WSS.  Normally, this is not an issue but there are times when you need to get into that database.  Unfortunately, getting into that database is considerably more difficult than you might expect.

Why would you want to get into a database that Microsoft keeps you out of intentionally?  In my case, I had to switch an existing installation from using the default NETWORK_SERVICE account to a domain account.  An account that had no permissions in the WSS databases whatsoever.

In order to get into MICROSOFT##SSEE

  1. Log on to the machine running WSS as a user that is in the Administrators group
  2. Open Sql Management Studio (I'm told that the Management Studio from Sql Server Express will also work)
  3. Enter '\.pipemssql$microsoft##sseesqlquery' as the Server Name (minus the quotes)
  4. Rejoice

From there, I just added my domain account with the proper permissions and WSS was happy again.

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