Analysis Services Refusing to Start

I had a laptop which blue screened and shut down. Some files got corrupted and fixed by the CheckDisk. Apparently, something got whacked during the process because the Analysis Services would refuse to start with the following error:

The service cannot be started: XML parsing failed at line 1, column 40961: Illegal xml character.

Unfortunately, Analysis Services doesn’t support starting in recovery mode, such as SQL Server Database Engine. Usually, when you get a message like this, the error message tells you which object file, such as dimension, got corrupted. To fix, you would delete the database from C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SSAS Version>\OLAP\Data and reprocess the database or restore from backup. But in this case, the error message in the Windows Event Viewer didn’t indicate any object. As it turned out the issue was a corrupted master.mvp file in the Data folder. The resolution path was:

  1. Copy the master.mvp file from another SSAS instance.
  2. Upon using SSMS to connect, you would probably see that SSAS wouldn’t recognize you as administrator. For example, going to the instance properties errors out with:
    The connected user is not an Analysis Services server administrator. Only an administrator can make changes to server properties. (Microsoft.AnalysisServices.ManagementDialogs).
    To fix this, right-click on the SSMS icon and click Run as Administrator. Then, go to the SSAS server properties (you should let you without error) and add the Administrators group or your account.
  3. Reprocess all databases or restore them from backup.