Scripting installations of SQL Server 2008 is much easier than it is with SQL Server 2005 because of the ConfigurationFile.ini. Even if you don't script your installations, you should review the contents of this file to verify that the installation transpired as intended. Although it is possible to script a SQL Server 2005 installation, you can't capture an interactive installation and replay it. When SQL Server 2008 is installed, a ConfigurationFile.ini file is created in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log\yyyymmdd_hhmmss. To use ConfigurationFile.ini with the installation wizard, select Advanced and Install based on configuration file. If you need to make changes to the file before performing another installation, it is a best practice to make a copy and work with the copy. From an auditing and compliance perspective, each installation's ConfigurationFile.ini file should be preserved in its original state as verification of the initial state of the SQL Server installation.
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About John Paul Cook
John Paul Cook is a Technology Solutions Professional for Microsoft's data platform and works out of Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a Registered Nurse who graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics and is an active member of the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society. He volunteers as a nurse at safety net clinics. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives
and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2
. Opinions expressed in John's blog are strictly his own and do not represent Microsoft in any way.