I’m going to be looking at sp_change_users_login as a continuation to a previous post where I looked at a couple of ways to transfer logins from one SQL Server to another and touched upon the issue of the orphaned “security identifier” (SID).
A typical scenario that arises is when the DBA quickly realises that the logins on the SQL Server cannot access the database. They try and add the login to the database as a user and are presented with the error:
Error 15023: User already exists in current database.
sp_change_users_login to the rescue!
I first saw this error a number of years ago and due to my complete lack of experience at the time, one of my first thoughts was that I would have to remove the database users, re-add them all for each login requiring access and then proceed to add the permissions back in for user.
I quickly realised that this would be a massive waste of my time and that there had to a better way and so I proceeded to consult the search engines for a resolution. Unsurprisingly I quickly found many other people who had been in the same situation as me and that sp_change_users_login had been the cure to all their woes.
And here I am writing a post about it 🙂 Well I never would have imagined that but it was a long time ago and only clever people could put a website together back in those days when blogging platforms were a twinkle in some programmers eye.
How to use sp_change_users_login to fix SQL Server orphaned users
Firstly, there may be a number of orphaned users, so the best thing to do is run this inside each database you are checking:
USE DatabaseName EXEC sp_change_users_login 'Report';
You will see output like the screenshot attached if there are any orphaned users. In this example, user “db_login1” is showing up as an orphaned user.
If you already have a login which you want to map your database user to, you could run the following (note that the first instance of ‘db_login1’ is the user in the database, the second instance is the login to be mapped to) :
EXEC sp_change_users_login 'update_one', 'db_login1', 'db_login1';
If you don’t already have a login to map to, you can have sp_change_users_login create one for you and with a password. The following code does this and creates a login with the same name and a password of ‘aaZZww77’ as an example.
EXEC sp_change_users_login 'Auto_Fix', 'db_login1', NULL, 'aaZZww77';
For more info on this process, click this sp_change_users_login link to view the documentation from Microsoft.