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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

Installing SQL Server 2008 RC0


SQL Server 2008 RC0 has been out for a while. You can download it here.

This post is not a detailed examination of the setup options. There are much better articles and posts out there if you want more information. This post represents one way to get SQL Server 2008 RC0 up and running so you can start learning the new features!

Getting Started

I downloaded the software and installed it on a brand new virtual machine running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (without Hyper-V). I used VMWare Workstation for this virtual machine because I need a 64-bit guest OS. I was also able to configure the machine to use both CPUs on my host system. This may be possible with Virtual Server or Virtual PC, but I don't know how to do it (if it is).

I loaded the ISO image for SQL Server 2008 RC0 64-bit into the virtual DVD drive and started the setup application. The following screen displays:

Now this looks a lot different from previous SQL Server installation applications. In general, you navigate between pages using the Page List on the left. To continue installing click the Installation link in the Page List:

Installing a Stand-Alone Default Instance 

To install a new instance of SQL Server 2008, click the "New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation" link. The Setup Support Rules wizard executes and checks your system configuration:


Green checkmarks == good. When you click OK the Product Key screen displays. On this screen you can select any of the available evaluation editions or enter a product key:

Click Next to continue. The License Terms page is next. Accept the license terms and click Next to proceed:

The Setup Support Files page displays next. Click Install to begin application setup:


The first step in setting up the application is checking the Setup Support Rules:

 On this execution, the Setup Support Rules detected Windows Firewall and issued the following warning:


 I will address this warning after setup is complete. The next page is Feature Selection. Select the SQL Server 2008 features you wish to install and their respective directories, then click the Next button:

 The Instance Configuration page allows you to specify the SQL Server instance name and root directory:

Next, disk space is checked. Click Next to proceed:

Before configuring the Server, I created a SQL Server service account. Right-click My Computer and select Manage:

Navigate to Server Manager \ Configuration \ Local Users and Groups \ Users. Right-click in the Users pane and select New User:

I named my service account SQLDude:

Returning to the Server Configuration page of the SQL Server 2008 RC0 installation application, I click the "Use the same account for all SQL Server services" button and supply the credentials for SQLDude:


Click OK to assign the credentials to all services:


Click Next to proceed to the Database Engine Configuration page. On this page, configure administrator accounts, data directories, and the filestream options:

On the Data Directories tab, set a data root directory and edit any associated default paths:

I enabled filestream on the FILESTREAM tab. I haven't tested this yet. Configuring Filestream did not work in the CTPs (this was one the bugs I reported):

The next page is Analysis Services Configuration. Select administrators and data directories for SSAS 2008:

Reporting Services Configuration is the next page. I installed the native mode default configuration:

Click Next to set Error and Usage Reporting options on the next page:

Click Next to execute the Installation Rules. If there are no errors or warnings, click Next to proceed. Otherwise, stop here and address them:

Click Next to navigate to the Ready to Install page. Review the summary and click Back to make any changes. Click Install to install SQL Server 2008 RC0:

Once the installation completes the Next button will enable. Review the Status to make sure all items are marked Success and click Next to complete the installation:

Click Close on the Complete page to unload the SQL Server 2008 RC0 installation application:

That's it! You've successfully installed SQL Server 2008 RC0 - congratulations!

:{> Andy

Published Tuesday, July 15, 2008 12:01 AM by andyleonard

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Vamsi said:


Are there any pre install steps for SQL server 2008.

I am trying to install SQL Server 2008 RC0 on Windows Server 2008 and it is failing on .NET framework 3.5 SP 1 beta.

Do I need VS 2008 installed before installing SQL Server 2008?



July 18, 2008 11:31 AM

andyleonard said:

Hi Vamsi,

  I am not sure. I installed RC0 on a virtual machine right after installing Windows Server 2008 (I actually did it a couple times, once with DataCenter and once with Enterprise). It installed ok for me.

  I highly recommend installing CTPs and RCs on virtual and not physical hardware. The Dev teams at Microsoft mean well when they release these version for us to play with, but sometimes "stuff" happens. These versions are not subject to the same rigorous testing as release versions.

  Plus, Virtual PC and Virtual Server are free.


July 18, 2008 2:38 PM

Durgesh Nayak said:

Hi Andy

I am trying to install SQL Server 2008 RC0 on Windows Vista Ultimate but am unable to proceed as the installation wizard cannot find the Latin collation for the Database Engine.

Any idea why this could be happening?


July 20, 2008 7:37 AM

Mark said:

Great article! Cheers

August 25, 2008 12:08 PM

Venkat Venkataramanan said:

Hi Andy:

I am installing SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition on a Windows 2008 Server that already has Visual Studio 2008 SP1. .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 is also installed on this machine.

I am unable to install BI Dev Studio. It keeps failing. I could send you the setup log files, if you wish.

Ca you help me resolve the issue?


October 22, 2008 12:28 PM

andyleonard said:

Hi Venki,

  I experienced a similar issue when installing on a similarly-configured image. I couldn't figure it out. After a few days of trying, I lost the ability to manage the SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2008, and SQL Server 2008 SKUs via Control Panel\Programs and Features (I was installing to Vista Ultimate 64).

  I had to scrap the image (re-install).


October 22, 2008 12:54 PM

Jamie said:

Hi Andy,

I read your instructions and I'm wondering if I need I should configure any restrictions on the SQLServer windows account.  I'm trying to harden my server and I want to lock this down as much as possible

December 11, 2008 12:34 PM

Kamlesh Patel said:

Hi Andy,

I am facing simolar problem as Nayak.

problem - "I am trying to install SQL Server 2008 RC0 on Windows Vista Ultimate but am unable to proceed as the installation wizard cannot find the Latin collation for the Database Engine."

Can u plz throw some light on this.

December 20, 2008 12:45 AM

Mike said:


Regarding your question about pre install steps for SQL 2008. I ran into this yesterday.

If you previously installed SQL Server 2008 CTP, it automatically installed VS2008 (.net 3.5) as part of BIDS. Or even if you previously VS2008 by itelf, there is now an SP1 for the .NET framework 3.5. All you have to do is download the SP1, install it, then rerun the setup for SQL 2008 and it will not fail on the last step since VS2008 will be up to date. Kind of dumb that the .net 3.5 sp1 isn't just included in the SQL 2008 install. Hope that helps.



April 23, 2009 11:50 AM

Davina said:

I was installing SQL server express last night and we lost lights at my house. So when I brough my computer back up to restart the install I get a error message that says the file is corrupt. I know that it has to do with the fact that there is a instance of the install that was incomplete and SQL doesn't know which one to use. However I can not find any parts of the 2008 server on my compter to remove. I am not sure if having 2005 version is causing any errors too. I could really use some help thanks.


April 26, 2009 9:21 AM

olive said:

hi Andy thanks for the screenshots. It worked for me.

June 15, 2009 2:48 PM

ajeeshco said:

I could not install sql server 2008 x64 enterprise edition rc0 to windows vista x64 ultimate. The error log is not giving exact reason.

please reply.

August 7, 2009 5:28 AM

Pascual said:

Thnx great job

August 25, 2009 12:37 PM

Haris said:

I am trying to install SQL Server 2008 on 64 bit Windows 2003 Server on Amazon EC2.

The c drive does not has enough space and we cannot allocate more space to c drive in EC2 so I have to do the installation in d drive.

There were many issues which were resolved but now I am stuck at following exception:

SQL Server Setup has encountered the following error:

The path MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA is malformed or not absolute.

Error code 0x84B40000.

The log file has this error:

Exception summary:

The following is an exception stack listing the exceptions in outermost to innermost order

Inner exceptions are being indented

Exception type: Microsoft.SqlServer.Chainer.Infrastructure.InputSettingValidationException


The path MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA is malformed or not absolute.


DisableWatson = true


at Microsoft.SqlServer.Chainer.Infrastructure.InputSettingService.LogAllValidationErrorsAndThrowFirstOne(ValidationState vs)

at Microsoft.SqlServer.Configuration.SetupExtension.ValidateFeatureSettingsAction.ExecuteAction(String actionId)

at Microsoft.SqlServer.Chainer.Infrastructure.Action.Execute(String actionId, TextWriter errorStream)

at Microsoft.SqlServer.Setup.Chainer.Workflow.ActionInvocation.InvokeAction(WorkflowObject metabase, TextWriter statusStream)

at Microsoft.SqlServer.Setup.Chainer.Workflow.PendingActions.InvokeActions(WorkflowObject metaDb, TextWriter loggingStream)

Inner exception type: Microsoft.SqlServer.Configuration.Sco.DirectoryInformationProviderException


The path MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA is malformed or not absolute.

Could you please let me know how this error can be fixed.

December 1, 2009 8:32 AM

subramanya said:

Hi, ANDY thank u so much ,It is very very helpfull for beginners,I just follow the instruction and its works perfect for me,so once again thank u so much.

April 11, 2010 8:33 AM

niv said:

i am tryin to install sql server 2008 on vista machine.While in progress, In Intallation Progress tab fails with ---

1)DB engine services

2)Full text search

3)Analysis services

4)Reporting Services

as failed.

Except all will run with Success.

plz help

March 21, 2011 6:16 AM

Shilpa said:

I have installed sql server management studio 2008 on windows 7 from

I started service sqlserver2008 from services.msc

But while connect (through connect to pop up) to database engine I cant see any Local servers its empty.

Is sql server not installed whats issue ?? Thanks in advance

February 22, 2012 5:31 AM

rez said:

*i apologize, this comment is unrelated to the topic, on my browser, this page's photos do not re-size when the window is re-sized so the photos overlap with the left banner when you compress the window.

August 6, 2014 7:37 AM

rez said:

*i meant they overlap with the RIGHT banner. sorry about that

August 6, 2014 7:38 AM

KT said:

Thank you Andy, this was just the guidance I needed to work my way through an install. :)

April 16, 2015 6:28 PM

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