SQL Server Agent – Unable to start the service – The request failed or the service did not respond in a timely fashion

Rarely, it also happens when someone becomes accidental DBA and may get stumped with simple things. This blog is result of troubleshooting which I have done for a company where I found one such DBA. I don’t say you cannot become a DBA in this manner, it is the hard work that goes behind this that needs to be understood. Let us learn about error related to SQL Server Agent.

When they started working with me, they had issue with starting a SQL Service. I worked with them and found that it was due to permission issue. I already blogged about this FCB:: Open failed: Could not open file for file number 2.

Once SQL was started they also said SQL Agent is now starting. Below was the error

SQL Server Agent - Unable to start the service - The request failed or the service did not respond in a timely fashion timely-01-800x237

So I asked to open the SQL Agent Logs. The current log is named as SQLAgent.OUT. Here is the snippet from that log.
2015-06-14 05:09:39 – ? [100] Microsoft SQLServerAgent version 10.50.4033.0 (x86 unicode retail build): Process ID 7820
2015-06-14 05:09:39 – ? [101] SQL Server SQLPROD version 10.50.4033 (0 connection limit)
2015-06-14 05:09:39 – ? [102] SQL Server ODBC driver version 10.50.4033
2015-06-14 05:09:39 – ? [103] NetLib being used by driver is DBNETLIB.DLL; Local host server is SQLPROD
2015-06-14 05:09:39 – ? [310] 4 processor(s) and 4096 MB RAM detected
2015-06-14 05:09:39 – ? [339] Local computer is SQLPROD running Windows NT 6.0 (6002) Service Pack 2
2015-06-14 05:09:39 – ! [000] This installation of SQL Server Agent is disabled. The edition of SQL Server that installed this service does not support SQL Server Agent.
2015-06-14 05:09:39 – ? [098] SQLServerAgent terminated (normally)

The above message is interesting and I had an idea about the possible issue. I asked to check initial 5 lines from ERRORLOG and we saw below.

2015-06-14 05:03:35.79 Server Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (SP2) – 10.50.4033.0 (Intel X86)
Jul 9 2014 16:08:15
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation
Express Edition on Windows NT 6.0 (Build 6002: Service Pack 2) (WOW64)

Now this all makes sense. Here is the learning: SQL Express doesn’t have the SQL Agent functionality. The service will still appear, though but we can’t start it.

Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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