When running Front Desk, you may see this message:

To troubleshoot this problem, follow these steps:

Step 1

First, determine whether you are attempting to run Front Desk on the database server or a network client. In the message above, the user is attempting to connect to a database on a computer called “Server01”. This indicates that it is being run on a network client PC. On the database server, the message would be “Unable to connect to the Front Desk database ‘Front_Desk’ on ‘.\FRONT_DESK”..

Step 2

If you are attempting to run Front Desk on the server, and it won’t connect to the database, you should first check whether the SQL Server database is running. If you are attempting to run Front Desk on a network client, go to Network Client troubleshooting.

Step 3

Go to SQL Server Configuration Manager.

Windows 7:

Windows 10:
The SQL Configuration Manager should appear by searching the start menu of Windows 10, if not it can be opened directly as below.

32-bit Operating System:
Navigate to C:\Windows\System32 and open SQLServerManager11.msc.

64-bit Operationg System:
Navigate to C:\Windows\SysWOW64 and open SQLServerManager11.msc.

Depending on the version of SQL server installed on your machine it may also be titled SQLServerManager12.msc, SQLServerManager10.msc or SQLServerManager.msc.

Step 4

Click SQL Server Services. On the right, SQL Server (FRONT_DESK) should be in a "Running" state.

If it's "Stopped”, try starting it by highlighting it and clicking the green Start Servicebutton in the toolbar.

Once the service has started, close SQL Server Configuration Manager and try running Front Desk again.


If Front Desk still won’t connect to the database, or if the SQL Server service fails to start, please call the Smartsoft helpdesk during business hours for further assistance.

Step 5

Have you recently attempted to restore a Front Desk backup? If so, your database may be corrupt or in an unstable state. Please contact Smartsoft during business hours so that one of our technical staff can assist you.

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