How to Test a SQL Connection from any Windows Machine

Here are some quick steps you can take to test a SQL Connection from any Windows machine:

Prerequisite:  Make sure that you are viewing “File name extensions” through Windows Explorer (I’m logging a bug against Windows, for crying out loud there are a billion file extensions today).


Hit Windows Key + D to show the desktop.

Right-click on the desktop and choose to create a new text document


Rename the file to something that ends with the file extension UDL (this is the important part)


After which, it should look like this:


Double-click the file, which should open this window:


There you go, you have this window which should be familiar.  Enter the Server name, choose NT Integrated security if your server is using Windows logins or fill in the user name and password if it’s using SQL auth and optionally select a database then hit Test Connection at the bottom.

Comments (7)
  1. Dinesh says:

    Its showing as Notepad only – tescon.UDL.txt. What should I change?

  2. Dinesh says:

    Fixed it. In the properties window, removed the .txt! Thanks for the nice tip, Dave.

  3. yup. _ says:

    Better have your file properties changed to SHOW EXTENSIONS.

  4. Edgar_G_V says:

    Great post, thanks a lot Dave.

  5. Dave V says:

    I've known about this for years. This is the best explanation of it which I have seen. Very good.

    BTW: I view not showing extensions as a security problem in windows. It makes it too easy for a baddie to fool you into putting malware on your system.

  6. Dave Kidder says:

    Thanks for pointing out the file extensions detail.  That's always the first thing I turn off when I setup a new machine.  I updated the post to include that as a prereq.

  7. joshbooker says:

    To add  'Microsoft Data Link' in the 'Shell – New' context menu, you can save the following as .reg file and double click to execute it once.  Now Mocrosoft Data Link will be in New contaxt menu beneath 'Text Document' option.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



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