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If everything looks satisfactory on the Ready to Install Page, click the Install button to proceed with the SQL Server installation. This displays the Installation Progress screen, which shows a progress bar and messages to allow you to track the progress of the installation. When the setup process is complete, the Installer displays the Complete page, which contains a hyperlink to the Installer log file and supplemental information about the installation.

One of the notes that may be displayed in the Supplemental Information section of the Complete page refers to the installation of the SQL Server sample databases. If you’ve worked with previous versions of SQL Server, you may remember that there was an option to install the sample databases during the SQL Server installation. With SQL Server 2008 and later version, the sample databases are not part of the SQL Server Installation Center, nor are they available on the install media. To install the sample databases and sample code for non-Express editions of SQL Server 2008, you need to go to the Microsoft CodePlex website to download the installer for the sample databases. There is a link to the SQL Server samples on the CodePlex website on the Resources page of the SQL Server Installation Center.

In SQL Server 2008 or later version, the Error Reporting page was referred to as the Error and Usage Reporting page. In addition to the option to have error reports sent to Microsoft automatically, it also provided the option to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement program.

The Installation Configuration Rules page runs a final set of checks to determine if there are any issues that will prevent a successful installation of SQL Server 2008 or later version. If no errors are reported, click Next to continue to the Ready to Install page as shown in the picture below. This page displays a summary of the installation options chosen as well as the file locations specified. Review this information to ensure the features and file locations match what you specified during the previous screens. This page also displays the location of the Configuration file path where you can find the ConfigurationFile.ini file generated by the installer. This .ini file can be used for unattended installations, which are discussed later in this website. The ConfigurationFile.ini file is located in the same place where you can find the installation log files, which you can review if any problems occur during the installation.

This process is colloquially known as “phoning home,” and you may be inclined to keep this option unchecked. Note that doing so reduces Microsoft’s capability to gather important information that can helpful for identifying possible bugs and developing fixes in future service pack releases. Specify whether you want to participate and click Next to continue to the Installation Configuration Rules page, as shown below.

The Supplemental Information section also provides a link to the latest readme file for the release of SQL Server installed and a note regarding how SQL Server updates are now available via Microsoft Update. Before leaving the Installation Center, you might want to click the Search for Product Update link on the Installation page to see whether there are any critical hotfixes or service packs already available for your SQL Server installation.

Other Options Available in the SQL Server Installation Center

Before leaving the SQL Server Installation Center, let’s explore a few other utilities available from the main menu. The Maintenance menu provides tools to upgrade an installed SQL Server 2008 Edition or later version(for example, from Standard Edition to Enterprise Edition), repair a corrupt installation, or remove a node from a SQL Server 2008 cluster.

The Tools menu provides links to the System Configuration Checker, the Installed features discovery report that generates information regarding all SQL Server products and features installed on the local machine, and a utility to upgrade existing SQL Server 2005 Integration Services packages to the SQL Server 2008 Integration Services package format. Finally, on the Advanced menu, there are options to prepare and complete a SQL Server failover cluster and to install in instance of SQL Server 2008 from an existing configuration file. Installing using an existing configuration file allows you to repeat an installation without having to go through all the individual steps and enter/select all the options you normally have to go through with the installation wizard.

Installing SQL Server Using a Configuration File
If you need to install SQL Server 2008 to multiple machines, you’ll likely want to do so without having to manually select the same options over and over. Running the installer using a configuration file provides this much-needed timesaving feature. With the SQL Server 2008 installer or later version installer, you have the option of running the installer with a configuration file in a couple of ways: using the Installer Wizard with options prefilled by the configuration file or using a fully automated and unattended installation from the command line. If you use the GUI with the options prefilled by the configuration file, you have the opportunity to review and change options along the way as necessary.

The ConfigurationFile.ini file we talked before is a text file composed of parameters in name/value pairs along with descriptive comments. Many of the parameter names correspond to the screens and screen options you would see when using the Installer Wizard. Here are some examples:

  • INSTANCENAME—Specifies a named instance name for the value or specifies the special value MSSQLSERVER to install the default instance.
  • FEATURES—Specifies which features to install, uninstall, or upgrade. The list of toplevel features include SQL, AS, RS, IS, and Tools. The SQL feature installs the Database Engine, Replication, and Full-Text. The Tools feature installs Management Tools, Books Online, Business Intelligence Development Studio, and other shared components.
  • INSTALLSHAREDIR—Specifies the root installation directory for native shared components.
  • INSTANCEDIR—Specifies the installation directory for instance-specific components.
  • INSTALLSQLDATADIR—Specifies the Database Engine root data directory.
  • SQLBACKUPDIR—Specifies the default directory for the Database Engine backup files.
  • SQLUSERDBDIR—Specifies the default directory for the Database Engine user databases.
  • SQLUSERDBLOGDIR—Specifies the default directory for the Database Engine user database logs.
  • SQLTEMPDBDIR—Specifies the directory for Database Engine tempdb files.
  • SQLCOLLATION or ASCOLLATION—Specifies values to set the collation for SQL Server or Analysis Services.
  • SQLSVCACCOUNT—Specifies the user account for the SQL Server service: domain\user or system account.
  • TCPENABLED—Specifies whether the TCP/IP protocol is enabled (1) or disabled (0).
  • NPENABLED—Specifies whether the Named Pipes protocol is enabled (1) or disabled (0).
  • SECURITYMODE—Specifies authentication mode for SQL Server. You can use the special value “SQL” here to override the default of Windows-only authentication.

 The setup.exe command-line program can be found at the root level of the installation media. To use a configuration file to install a standalone SQL Server instance, run the installation through the command-line setup.exe program and supply the ConfigurationFile.ini using the ConfigurationFile parameter, as in the following example:

Setup.exe /ConfigurationFile=CustomConfigurationFile.INI

If you want to override any of the values in the configuration file or provide values not specified in the configuration file, you can provide additional command-line parameters to setup.exe. For example, to avoid having to enter the service account passwords during the installation, you can enter them on the command line using the password parameters to config.exe:

Running an Automated or Manual Install

When installing SQL Server from the command prompt, you can also specify what level of the installer interface you want to run, either silent, basic, or full interaction. SQL Server supports full quiet mode by using the /Q parameter or Quiet Simple mode by using the /QS parameter. The /Q switch is intended for running unattended installations. With this switch provided, Setup runs in quiet mode without any user interface. The /QS switch only shows progress via the GUI; it does not accept any input and displays no error messages if encountered. Regardless of the installation method chosen, you are required to confirm acceptance of the software license terms as an individual or on behalf of an entity, unless your use of the software is governed by a separate agreement such as a Microsoft volume licensing agreement or a third-party agreement with an ISV or OEM.

For full unattended installations (using the /Q or /QS parameters) with SQL Server 2008 R2, you must include the /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS parameter to avoid the display of the License Terms page. Following is a sample command line for running an unattended installation of SQL Server 2008:

C:\Documents and Settings\rrankins\My Documents\Downloads\SQL2008\R2 Nov CTP>setup.exe /configurationfile=customconfigurationfile.ini /Q /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS  /SQLSVCPASSWORD=”riddler” /AGTSVCPASSWORD=”riddler”  /SAPWD=”riddler”

SQL Server 2008 R2 or leter version introduces a new option to the setup.exe that allows you to run a somewhat more attended mode of the installation that gives you a bit more control over the install than the /Q and /QS parameters, while streamlining the install somewhat. You can now specify the /UIMODE parameter instead of the /Q or /QS switches. The /UIMODE parameter specifies whether to present the full set of Installer Wizard pages for review and confirmation while running the setup or to present a minimum number of pages during setup. /UIMODE=Normal, the default option, presents all setup dialog boxes for the selected features, allowing you to review the values or manually enter values not provided in the configuration file (such as service account passwords). You can specify the /UIMODE=AutoAdvance option to skip nonessential dialogs and auto advances through a number of pages, including the Ready to Install page.

Although SQL Server 2008 Configuration.ini files are compatible with the SQL Server 2008 R2 setup.exe program, some of the options generated in a SQL Server 2008 R2 Configuration.ini file are not compatible with the pre-R2 installer, such as the  ENU, UIMODE, FARMADMINPORT, and IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS parameters.

Installing Service Packs and Cumulative Updates
If you are installing SQL Server 2008 instead of SQL Server 2008 R2, it is recommended that you install SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1. SQL Server 2008 SP1 doesn’t provide any significant new features for SQL Server 2008 but does provide a number of fixes to the GA release version of SQL Server 2008 (Microsoft Knowledge Base article 968369 lists all the fixes). Service Pack 1 does provide a few new features primarily to ease the deployment of service packs and cumulative updates.

The first of these is Slipstream installations. Slipstreaming is an installation method that integrates the base installation files for SQL Server with its service packs and cumulative updates and enables you to install them in a single step. You can slipstream SQL Server 2008 SP1 and subsequent cumulative updates with the original installation media so that original media and the updates are installed at the same time. The next section in this page describes how to set up a Slipstream installation.

SQL Server 2008 SP1 also provides the capability to uninstall SQL Server 2008 cumulative updates or service packs via the Programs and Features Control Panel (or the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel in Windows XP or Windows Server 2003). Before installing SP1, you should make sure to back up all user-created databases, as well as the system databases master, model, msdb, and any replicated databases. If you have installed Analysis Services, back up the entire OLAP directory (as discussed earlier in this chapter, in the “Installation Paths” section) and all its subdirectories.

You also should make sure to close all open connections to the instance to which you are applying SP1 (including any connections via the management tools; setup should prompt you to close them) and make sure the various SQL Server services are started in the Services Control Panel. Also, be sure master and msdb each have 500KB free (or that they are autogrow enabled). When you’re ready, log on to the machine as an admin and start the downloaded SP1 executable. After extracting the contents to a temporary folder on the C: drive, the SP1 setup launches, displaying the Welcome screen. As you can see from this window, the SP1 Welcome screen runs the SP1 setup support rules to verify that the SP1 install can be run. Click Next to display the License Agreement screen. Click the check box to select the license agreement and then click Next again to advance to the Select Features screen to display and select the installed features to be updated.

The ensuing Feature Selection window lists (again) the features to be updated, organized in tree fashion, by SQL Server instance name. You can uncheck the features or instances you do not want to upgrade to SP1, except for shared features, which are required to be updated. Click Next to move onto the Check Files in Use screen. This screen identifies any open or running files that the SP1 setup program needs access to during the install. If any files are listed, you have the option to shut down the services or applications associated with the files and run the check again to see whether the all items are cleared from the list. Note that it is not critical for the Files in Use list to be empty, but if any files are listed, you need to reboot the system after running the SP1 setup to complete the installation.

Click Next again to proceed to the Ready to Update screen, which displays a summary of the instances and features that will be updated to SP1. Click Update to start the installation and display the Update Progress screen. When the SP1 installation is complete, click Next to proceed to the Complete screen. The Complete screen displays the location of the SP1 summary log file. The default location of the SP1 summary log file is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\LOG. 

This chapter provides a fairly detailed overview of the SQL Server 2008 or later version install process from start to finish. The chapter shows how the new Installer Wizard makes it easy to install as many instances as you like, with whatever feature sets and in whatever configuration you choose


​ SQL Server installation walk-through continued