I recently came up against a SQL Server instance that wouldnt start, after going through the event log the reason it was having problems was that it had been set to a max memory of 10mb.
At this point I was unable to change the max memory setting because I couldnt bring the instance online. SQL Server has a minimal configuration argument you can supply whereby it ignores most configuration settings and comes up in default mode. I was able to get the instance up in single user mode using this setting, at which point I changed the max memory back to a sensible value and restarted the server in normal configuration mode and all was good again.
If for any reason you can’t start a SQL Server instance due to a configuration change you can start it in minimal configuration mode so you can fix the offending settings by doing the following…
- Log on to the computer running the SQL instance
- Open the SQL Server configuration manager
- In start up arguments add a new one of -f
- Start the instance
- Change any settings that need changing
- Remove the -f argument from startup parameters
- Restart the instance