rdomo: If I understand correctly, you are trying to execute the example in Chapter 3 Connecting to the Data Source in the ASP.NET Databases Usng VB
.NET, correct? There are many things occuring on the two pages:
1-creating the virtual directory, BegASPNETdb, for the sample code;
2-creation and location of the web.config. NOTE: when editing the web.config, if using notepad, make sure the file extension is NOT changed to ".txt". Also note the location of the web.config in the name of your webroot-folder. Most common is "wwwroot" in the Inetpub subdirectory;
3-Pay close attention to the Services for the MSDE, which may be where you are getting your error. Verify the strConnection pointing to the server and check Administrative Tools via the Control Panel to name of SQL Server is it (local) or localhost:8080;
4- Verify that the Northwind SQL Db is in the correct directory or subdirectory.
Are you using the Web Matrix to execute the code?
It sounds as if it cannot find the SQL Server. I do know that it sample
works once you clear the annoying bugs.
Hope this helps.