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Agent message code 20084. The process could not connect to Distributor

Several subscriptions that were on a subscriber server that have the distribution job fired off on a scheduled basis (3-4a in the morning spaced out).

Were working fine as of yesterday but we had to remove the publications and subscribers (after scripting them out) from the server that acts as the Publisher/Distributor (due to data file moves needed on some of the DBs which were moved to larger SAN volumes).

Rebuilt the publications and subscriber from the scripts generated above.

Now on the subscriber server the scheduled distribution jobs are failing with the following error:

--First step history messages say (with success) ...

The replication agent has been successfully started. See the Replication Monitor for more information.

-- Second step message:

2010-03-28 14:42:16.346 The timestamps prepended to the output lines are expressed in terms of UTC time.
2010-03-28 14:42:16.346 User-specified agent parameter values:
   -Publisher MyPublisher
   -PublisherDB MyDB
   -Publication MyPublication
   -Distributor BURDC-SQL02P
   -SubscriptionType 1
   -Subscriber MySubscriber
   -SubscriberSecurityMode 1
   -SubscriberDB MySubscriberDB
   -XJOBID 0x58211FA1C93D8C4299028A3EA3A44895
   -XJOBNAME MyJobName
   -XSUBSYSTEM Distribution
   -XSERVER MyServer
   -XCancelEventHandle 0000000000000A18
   -XParentProcessHandle 0000000000000A30
2010-03-28 14:42:16.346 Startup Delay: 8299 (msecs)
2010-03-28 14:42:24.643 Connecting to Subscriber 'MyServer'
2010-03-28 14:42:24.721 Connecting to Distributor 'MyDistributor'
2010-03-28 14:42:24.721 Agent message code 20084. The process could not connect to Distributor 'MyDistributor'.

I am able to connect from the subscriber server to the Pub\Dist server via Mgt Sutdio.

I have set the job to use a domain admin account that is for all of our SQL Server services across the environment

The distribution jobs on the Pub\Dist server are there and can be started just fine for each of the publications that are failing

Any help would be great - THANKS!


4 Answers Found


Answer 1

Sounds like the distribution login account does not have rights on the distributor. You will need to address this problem.

Answer 2


Please check the account under which the Distribution Agent runs by using the following steps:
1. Connect to the Publisher in Management Studio, and then expand the server node.
2. Expand the Replication folder, and then expand the Local Publications folder.
3. Expand the appropriate publication, right-click a subscription, and then click Properties.
4. Click the properties button (...) in the Agent process  account row to open Distribution Agent Security dialog box.
5. Enter a Windows account or select run under the SQL Server Agent service account:
    For push subscriptions, the account must:
      1. At minimum be a member of the db_owner fixed database role in the distribution database.
      2. Be a member of the publication access list (PAL).
      3. Have read permissions on the snapshot share.
    For pull subscriptions, the account must at minimum be a member of the db_owner fixed database role in the subscription database.

For more information, please see:

If there are any more questions, please let me know.

***Xiao Min Tan***Microsoft Online Community***

Answer 3

Neither of those responses were helpful.  Could someone who has actually encountered this error please post something?  I'm tired of trying solutions only to find that the steps involved do not exist as described.....

Answer 4

What version of SQL Management Studio are you using?

I have tried MULTIPLE versions, 2005, 2008, etc and your instructions do not make sense at step 4.  Maybe you should state the version you have in your answer, rather than post something that just doesnt work for most versions




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