BizTalk Server Configuration error: Cannot create file ‘C:\path\name.mdf’ because it already exists. Change the file path or the file name, and retry the operation

As the learning process’s path, all my interns or new team members, regardless of what technologies they will be using more, one of the first things they will do is create a BizTalk Server development environment from scratch. Yes, all my team members will have skills in all Integration technologies, BizTalk Server, Logic Apps, Service Bus, APIM, and the list goes on and on.

I don´t mind or care if you get it right the first time or not. Sometimes it is with failures that we learn best and more. And I find it curious that with these exercises, they will find problems that I would never imagine happening, so sometimes it is a learning process and continuous improvement for both or the team.

This is one of these cases. My recent team member, while he was trying to configure BizTalk Server using the BizTalk Server Configuration wizard, was getting a failure in all the components immediately:

As he did not understand why this problem was happening, he asked me for help. Once we analyze the log file generated by the configuration wizard, we saw this error:

[2020-11-10 22:08:14:0631 Error Configuration Framework]Feature: [Enterprise SSO] Failed to configure with error message [<Exception Message=”Failed to create the SQL database ‘SSODB’ on SQL Server ‘BTS2020LABAVMRG’ (with SSO Administrator account ‘SSO Administrators’).” Source=”SSO” HelpID=””><Exception Message=”(0xC0002A21) An error occurred while attempting to access the SSO database.&#xA;” Source=”SSO” HelpID=””><Exception Message=”An error occurred while attempting to access the SSO database. See the event log (on computer ‘BTS2020LABAVMRG’) for more details.&#xA;” Source=”SSO” HelpID=””/></Exception></Exception>]

Basically, this error message does not show any clue or cause as to why this problem is happening. Nevertheless, it will point to you a source to see more details about this issue: the event viewer.

Once we chech the event viewer we got a very clear error message:

Cannot create file ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL15.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\SSODB.mdf’ because it already exists. Change the file path or the file name, and retry the operation.


The reason for this error to happen is clear. The BizTalk Server configuration wizard is trying to create the database files on the default SQL Server folders, but they already exist.

This error happened because my team member initially didn’t install all the required SQL Server components correctly. Once he was trying to add new features to an existing instance, he accidentally created another SQL Server instance.

After that, he uninstalled all the SQL Server instances and appropriately installed all the components, at least for now, let’s assume so. Nevertheless, while he was trying to do a Basic Configuration, he got that “strange” error.

Thru the SQL Server Management Console, we couldn’t see these databases, not only SSO as the error description, but also with all other BizTalk Server databases. But once we saw that folder, we realize that the uninstalls did not delete BD files created before from the hard drive.


The solution is very simple, delete all the Unnecessary files from that folder, like:

  • SSO
  • SSO_log
  • BizTalkDTADb
  • BizTalkDTADb_log
  • BizTalkMgmtDb
  • BizTalkMgmtDb_log
  • BizTalkMsgBoxDb
  • BizTalkMsgBoxDb_log
  • BizTalkRuleEngineDb
  • BizTalkRuleEngineDb_log

And run the BizTalk Server Configuration again. At the end you will be able to configure BizTalk Server.

Hey… but there still errors over there. Indeed, there are, but I will leave that to another post that will be published very soon. However, this blog post’s original error was solved, and we were able to configure the required and critical BizTalk Server components: SSO, Group, and BizTalk Runtime.

Author: Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira lives in Portugal and works as a consultant at DevScope. In the past years, he has been working on implementing Integration scenarios both on-premises and cloud for various clients, each with different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality, using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft BizTalk Server and different technologies like AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, SAP, TIBCO etc. He is a regular blogger, international speaker, and technical reviewer of several BizTalk books all focused on Integration. He is also the author of the book “BizTalk Mapping Patterns & Best Practices”. He has been awarded MVP since 2011 for his contributions to the integration community.

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