A Microsoft SQL instance cannot be accessed remotely through ODBC, Visual Studio, or SQL Server Management Studio connection.
(applies to MS SQL 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, and 2012)
The Windows firewall is usually the culprit in these scenarios. Open TCP port 1433 for the service itself, and 1434 if you need to use the SQL Browser service. Read this article to learn how to Open an Inbound Custom Allow Rule in Windows Firewall.
For SQL 2005/2008/2008 R2: Check the Services tool, Start > Administrative Tools > Services, to see that the service named SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) is started.
For MS SQL 2012: Use the Windows key or hover over the left lower corner of the desktop and select Administrative Tools, then Services to see that the service named SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) is started.
For MS SQL 2012: Use the Windows key or hover over the left lower corner of the desktop and select All Programs > Microsoft SQL Server 2012 > Configuration Tools > SQL Server Configuration Manager.
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