How did the SQL Service start?

Yesterday one of my team members was working on decommissioning a SQL Server 2000 instance. He logged on to the server and opened Enterprise Manager to get the details of the instance. The SQL Server instance was in stopped state. Within a minute he saw that the services were started. Since this instance will be decommissioned, no one was supposed to be using it. Curious to check how the services got started, he checked the Event Viewer.

He was surprised to see that the service was started using his own ID! He never started the services on his own and he had only the Enterprise Manager open. This reminded me of a similar situation where one my team member was asked questions by many for *starting* a SQL Server 2000 instance which was not supposed to be started.

How did the SQL Server service start on its own?

This is because of the default settings for the Registered Server in Enterprise Manager.

When SQL Server 2000 installed or a new SQL Server instance is registered in Enterprise Manager, the Automatically start SQL Server when connecting option is selected by default. With this setting on, just clicking on the Instance in Enterprise Manager will start the SQL Server service automatically!

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