Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fix: "The specified credentials for the SQL Server service are not valid." error during cluster node installation

While trying to add a node to a SQL Server 2008 R2 cluster, I encountered a problem where the service account credentials were not being accepted during installation. These AD credentials were already in use on the active node.

These are the errors:

[Error Message]
The specified credentials for the SQL Server service are not valid. To continue, provide a valid account and password for the SQL Server service.

[Details]
Microsoft.SqlServer.Configuration.SqlEngine.ValidationException: The specified credentials for the SQL Server service are not valid. To continue, provide a valid account and password for the SQL Server service.
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[Error Message]
The credentials you provided for the SQL Server Agent service are invalid. To continue, provide a valid account and password for the SQL Server Agent service.

[Details]
Microsoft.SqlServer.Configuration.Agent.InputValidationException: The credentials you provided for the SQL Server Agent service are invalid. To continue, provide a valid account and password for the SQL Server Agent service.
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I knew the AD account credentials I was trying to use were correct. After searching and seeing numerous suggestions such as making sure you have entered the correct password, I decided to follow one of the suggestions: Reboot and try again!

Sure enough, after reboot, the install progressed past the credentials screen without difficulty and the node was added to the cluster.

Since I didn't see the error published along with a concise "do this to fix" response out there, and since several reports of this error were on versions older than SQL 2008 R2, I decided to publish this to hopefully save you some time. One note, make sure that your service account has local admin to the node, at minimum for the duration of the install.