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I recently installed a new virtual VMWare machine for development purposes. The machine has Windows 8.1 (64 bit), Visual Studio 2013 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition, all with latest updates.

Today I wanted to create a new Alias in the SQL Server Configuration Manager. I have previously done this for MS SQL 2012 on Windows 7 and it was straight forward. But on Windows 8.1 I was unpleasantly surprised. All dropdowns in SQL Server Configuration Manager properties are broken - they are narrow and do not display any options. Here is a screenshot:

Broken dropdown for Alias

I thought that only the Protocol dropdown is broken, but I noticed the same issue with other dropdowns, even for simple Yes/No values:

Broken dropdown for Alias

I've heard from some people that some programs render broken on Windows 8 (one example was Office Live Meeting which has cropped configuration dialog) but haven't seen something like this before.

I tried to disable 3D rendering for VMWare but that didn't help.

What is wrong with these dropdowns and how do I fix them?

  • What version of the configuration manager exactly? – Ramhound Apr 23 '14 at 10:28
  • I'm not sure how to find the version of the configuration manager. It was installed with MS SQL Server 2012 with SP1 (full server version number is 11.0.3128.0). – JustAMartin Apr 23 '14 at 10:42
  • It is unfortunate that the makers of SQL Server can't be bothered to work more closely with Microsoft to ensure that their products work properly in newer versions of Windows. – Brian Adkins Apr 23 '14 at 10:51
  • Are you using a "high-dpi" monitor? – Brian Adkins Apr 23 '14 at 10:53
  • Currently resolution is 1366x768 and I haven't changed any other settings, I left them as they were "out of the box" but I'm not sure what VMWare video drivers did to the system. I asked some of my work colleagues and two of them reported the same problem. In one case it's on Windows 7 64 bit, but this person says that some months ago he didn't have the issue. Maybe some Windows or SQL Server update broke it.... – JustAMartin Apr 23 '14 at 11:28
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I had the same issue, see this workaround, here:

Configuration Manager Snapin dropdownlists are broken: empty and gray.

Choose the Workarounds (1) and it reads:

Do not use the version of SQLServerManager11.msc in the C:\Windows\System32 directory on Windows 2012 64 bit (possibly extended this to any 64-bit OS?) the drop-down boxes are gray and inaccessible for the options.

Instead use the version in C:\Windows\SysWOW64 as it appears to avoid this issue.

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Go to cmd and type run and paste the following cmd :

c:\\Windows\SysWOW64\compmgmt.msc

You can configure and the dropdown will be visible.

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