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I need to install a demo of a PHP application that makes use of the SQL Server Driver for PHP. The server is an old machine that runs Windows 2000 Server SP4. I've installed the whole stack without problems:

  • Apache 2.2.14
  • PHP 5.3.1
  • SQL Server 2005 Express Edition
  • SQL Server Management Studio Express

But there's a component that's not working as expected: the SQL Server Native Client. I get an error message as soon as I call sqlsrv_connect(). I've found four different releases and none works:

If I don't install it or I install the 2005 version:

  • code: -49
  • message: The SQL Server Driver for PHP requires the SQL Server 2008 Native Client ODBC Driver (SP1 or later) to communicate with SQL Server. That ODBC Driver is not currently installed. Access the following URL to download the SQL Server 2008 Native Client ODBC driver for x86:

If I install the 2008 version:

  • code: 160
  • message: Specified driver could not be loaded due to system error 127 (SQL Server Native Client 10.0).

The system requirements for SQL Server Driver for PHP 1.1 include Windows 2000 Service Pack 4. However, the system requirements for SQL Server 2008 Native Client mentions Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 or greater.

Any idea?

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I don't think that the SQL 2008 Native Client is supported on Windows 2000. Do you have a Windows 2003 system you can install this application on?

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I'm afraid not. It's a Windows-only app and that's the only Windows box available. – Álvaro González Jan 21 '10 at 10:07
Sounds like you have hit a wall then. I would recommend a server OS that isn't 10 years old for your Windows server. Can you run a Windows VM under linux or what ever machines you have handy? – mrdenny Jan 23 '10 at 6:44
My advice to the client was "get a newer machine". But, of course, finding a way to reuse an existing resource is always a bonus :) – Álvaro González Jan 25 '10 at 12:40
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I've got further information from Serban Iliescu in the official forum:

Upon further investigation, I found that SQL Server Native Client 2008 (a.k.a. SNAC 10) will not load on Windows 2000 because some dll dependencies are not satisfied by the operating system. There is defect currently logged against SNAC 10 to resolve this issue by gracefully downgrading, but that defect is yet to be addressed. Meanwhile you can try the previous version of the PHP driver (i.e. version 1.0) that is linked to SNAC 9 (SQL Server Native Client 2005) and SNAC 9 is supposed to work on Windows 9.

To sum up:

  1. SQL Server Driver for PHP 1.1 requires SQL Server Native Client 2008
  2. SQL Server Native Client 2008 has a known bug and won't load under Windows 2000
  3. SQL Server Native Client 2005 works fine under Windows 2000
  4. SQL Server Driver for PHP 1.0 only requires SQL Server Native Client 2005

I installed the older version of the PHP driver together with the 2005 version of the Native Client. I also had to downgrade PHP from 5.3 to 5.2.

My application seems to work with the old version of the PHP driver. So the demo is up and running at last.

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