I have just been given another SQL Server to manage. The person who installed it and used it has left, they were outside the IT team and none of us even knew the server existed. I can RDP to the server but have no permission on the SQL Server instance, however I need to somehow get into the database. Obviously the security is doing what it's meant to do and what I'm trying to do goes against everything but does anyone know any way at all that I can get into the database when no one has permission.
you'll need to shut the instance down and then start it in single user mode with your account having membership of the local administrators group on the Windows server. This will automatically grant you sysadmin inside the instance. You may then create a login for yourself and grant your account sysadmin. You then stop the instance and restart the service normally, you should then be able to login. There are various guides around that will help you gain sysadmin control