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Microsoft SQL Server Installation: One Bumpy Ride!!!

15-Apr-06 08:00 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments
Hardware Configuration, PC #1

  • Dell Dimension
  • 1.5 GHz CPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 350 GB total HD storage space

Hardware Configuration, PC #2

  • Dell Inspiron 8500
  • 1.2 GHz
  • 0.5 GB RAM
  • 100GB GB total HD storage space

Selected Software

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
    Developer Edition

Consider this review of the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 installation process….one wild, bumpy ride! Frustrated by orphaned registry entries, "missing file" errors, and file access locking conflicts during the process, it certainly looks to this user as if the install for SQL 2005 needs a lot of work before it can be declared "safe for install" on either of the 2 Dell PC’s running Windows XP I attempted the install to.

Now considering the pre-install screen’s yielded only a single warning concerning that neither of these configurations met minimum hardware requirements (yeah these machines are getting a little dated), I figured – ok whatever.  It’s still gotta work.  And eventually, after much re-installing and hassle it did work.  But given what happened I have to strongly suspect, mine isn’t the only machine this kind of experience occurs on.  That and the fact I found a fairly high volume of support articles in MSDN and Google newsgroups on the subject of ‘installation’ alone.

In any event, this is the Developer Edition of the software – surely it’s supposed to install okay on Windows XP or other workstation configurations.  I could see trouble afoot were I to try this with, say, a DataCenter edition of Windows…but that’s not the case here.

So, the very first install yielded an error (don’t recall which kind, but I do recall it looked like a minor glitch related to my leaving a single component of SQL Server Express on the system (CTP version of the Server Management Studio utility) and so I tried to do the old Add/Remove Programs-based uninstall.  To my surprise, that didn’t work either.  Now regardless of whether SQL Express is or was present, in my view that shouldn’t forever compromise the system so that one can’t successfully re-install SQL Server 2005!  But that was exactly the situation I was apparently left with.  I even had to set about manually erasing files and registry keys until I finally got  a partial installation of 2005, save for the tools.  But no amount of parsing registry keys or muttering curses under my breath helped.  Until I found a single, pretty obscure article in a form concerning trouble with the 2005 uninstallation process which recommended a seemingly unrelated MS Office support article (Q295823) which is intended to fix installation problems with the office suite related to the Windows Installer.  This remedy worked great, as it allowed me to delete the remaining bogus orphaned Add/Remove Programs entries in the registry.

Even so, this wasn’t fun and it looks as if there’s still some work to do here.  And it should be noted I haven’t ventured to try out SP1 yet as it’s still in CTP (and I don’t have the spare hardware right now to try a CTP edition of anything).

Once installed, I found Microsoft SQL Server 2005 integrates very well with Visual Studio 2005…and am now looking forward to developing lotsa new .NET 2.0 apps in the very near future! 😉

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Terry Glavin

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