We have instituted complex passwords for our sa account. Just the other day, unfortunately I locked it out.
Here is a background to a SQL Account creation step, the manifestation of locking it out, and one way to get things back well.
create login [hrdb] with password = 'mycomplexpassword2015~' , check_policy=on , check_expiration=off
With bad password
Tried connecting multiple times with bad password
Login failed for user ‘hrdb’. ( Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 18456)
Received opaque error message.
With Good password
Finally, tried with good password.
Login failed for user ‘hrdb’ because the account is currently locked out. The system administrator can unlock it. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 18486)
Received revealing error message.
alter login [login] with check_policy=off alter login [login] with check_policy=on
alter login [hrdb] with check_policy=on alter login [hrdb] with check_policy=off
To give you a clue as to whether you trying a good or password word, you can look into the error message number.
Bad password returns 18456 while Good password returns 18486.
Also, keep in mind that the account will have to have the CHECK_POLICY option enabled for this to occur.