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Problem: we need to install SQL 2008 R2 Express with Management tools on about 24 physical machines of various OS flavors.

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migrated from Oct 8 '10 at 16:28

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physical or remote access? windows flavours or nix's? – Richard Oct 8 '10 at 15:07
How nice! And what's your question? – Thomas Weller Oct 8 '10 at 15:08
I recommend hiring expensive outside consultants and prepare to shift blame for failure to senior management in advance – M.E. Oct 8 '10 at 16:09
The question is what is the best method of accomplishing this? ClickOnce, group policy, trained monkey, PowerShell? The servers are physical and are Windows. – Jonathan McPhail Oct 8 '10 at 16:14
Manually. 24 servers are not enough to actually script it, i think. On the border, but on the side to make it manual. – TomTom Oct 8 '10 at 16:32

How to: Install SQL Server 2008 R2 from the Command Prompt

There's a Microsoft article on how to write a script to run an unattended SQL installation. It's not too difficult but it might take you a little while to set it up for the first time if you've never done it that way before.

With 24 machines you could also just do it manually without too much trouble. If you have a staging area where you could set up multiple machines at a time it shouldn't take more than a few hours.

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