%1: Could not open device %2 for virtual device number (VDN) %3!d!.

Product: SQL Server
Event ID: 17204
Source: MSSQLServer
Version: 10.0
Component: SQLEngine
Message: %ls: Could not open file %ls for file number %d. OS error: %ls.

SQL Server was unable to open the specified file due to the specified error.

User Action

Diagnose and correct the operating system, then retry the operation.

Version: 8.0
Component: SQL Engine
Message: %1: Could not open device %2 for virtual device number (VDN) %3!d!.
The file listed in the message is not accessible to SQL Server for read and/or write operations during startup or database recovery. SQL Server might not be able to find the file, the file may be locked by another application, or SQL Server may not have permissions to access the file. This error is usually raised in combination with 17207 %1: Operating system error %3 during the creation/opening of physical device %2.
User Action
  • Check the SQL Server error log and the Event Viewer logs for any other errors that occur at the same time as this error.
  • Verify that the file exists in the exact path listed in the error. If it does not, move the file to that path.
  • Verify that the file does not have the read only attribute set to true.
  • Verify that the SQL Server startup account has read and write permissions to the folder and file.
  • Verify that the file is not held open by another process such as backup software or virus scanner software. If you can rename the file then it is not locked by another application.
  • If this error resulted after you moved databases to a new location, put all files back in their original location. For more information about how to move user or system databases to a new location, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 314546.
  • Run hardware diagnostics for the drive where the file resides to verify the disk and file are healthy.
  • If the file listed is encrypted, verify that the version and edition of Windows and of SQL Server support encrypted files
  • If you get this error from rebuildm.exe verify that you choose the location of files from the original SQL Server installation CD or of a copy of those original files. If you still have problems with rebuildm.exe, follow the steps in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 273572.


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