I am doing an automated installation of SQL Server 2008 R2. I have a new VMware guest with Windows 2008 R2 and ran the SQL Server 2008 R2 setup to create a configuration file. I am only installing the database engine and the Management tools.

During the setup process when it asked for accounts, I entered AD accounts created specifically for the Database and SQL Agent services. They are AD accounts that only have the Domain Users group membership.

I am invoking the automated setup by using the following command:

Setup.exe /SQLSVCPASSWORD="************" /AGTSVCPASSWORD="************" /SAPWD="*************" /ConfigurationFile=MyConfigurationFile.INI

When calling the automated script, everything works fine up until the portion where we specify the service accounts for the database and SQL agent. I receive an error for both accounts as follows: The specified credentials for the SQL Server service are not valid. To continue, provide a valid account and password for the SQL Server service.

I am positive that the passwords that I am passing into the setup.exe application are correct. I can install using the manual process and those usernames/passwords just fine.

This appears to be a bug and I have seen plenty pf posts that you can use local, localystem or network service accounts and it will work find. However. best practices dictates that I create separate domain accounts that only have domain users group membership.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • As others have mentioned special characters in the password string will need to be escaped or avoided. – Brian Feb 18 '18 at 14:03

Seems like if your password has two $$ in it, it will cause the password to be saved with only 1 $ in the configuraiton.ini file. Make sure there is only 1 $ in the password if you can. That was my solution for this issue.


If your passwords have any characters that will be parsed by the command processor, you'll need to escape them, or use a password that does not contain them. Things like dollar signs, apostrophes, quote marks, greater than, less than.



Please review this one: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms178142(v=sql.105).aspx

I think the domain users do not have the login as a service right.



  • Thanks for responding. I believe that is definitely correct. As described in this document, the specific rights are granted by the setup process and do not need to be manually set ahead of time. This also seems true as if I manually run the setup process and enter those credentials, it goes by just fine. The issue is only if I pass the credentials in for an automated install. [link]technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/… See the notes under security note – Joel Miller Jan 5 '15 at 14:11

syntax will become:

setup.exe /CofigurationFile=D:\saurabh\ConfigurationFile.ini /QUIET="TRUE" /SAPWD="saurabh" /SQLSVCPASSWORD="sql engine service password" /AGTSVCPASSWORD="agent service password" /ASSVCPASSWORD="Ananlysis service password" /ISSVCPASSWORD="*Integration service password" /RSSVCPASSWORD="Reporting service password"

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