I need to install SQL Server 2008 Express With Advanced Services on a Windows Web Server 2008 R2. I'm having problems getting the install to work and in figuring out what order to do things in. I'd appreciate any guidance from someone who's done it (or am I trying to achieve the impossible?)

I've downloaded the installer and when I run it, that immediately says 'This product has known compatibility issues, there is a solution online, blah blah'. The online solution is to download Service Pack 1, fine, OK. But the initial install will not work, it says 'install failed'. So, SP1 fixes it, but that's no good if I can't get the original install to work.

According to the SQL Express home page, it is supported on Server 2008 R2, so there must be a way to do this. Anyone?


Is there anything in the setup logs indicating why the install is failing? The following article on MSDN explains how to read the setup logs: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143702.aspx

You can also try slipstreaming SP1 into the install source before installing following the steps here: How to update or slipstream an installation of SQL Server 2008

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  • +1 for slipstreaming. That's how I got SQL 2008 standard installed on windows '08 R2. – NotMe Dec 22 '09 at 20:50
  • I didn;t think slipstreaming was supported for express versions... but if it is then it has to be worth a try. – Tim Long Dec 24 '09 at 12:02

Problem is now obsolete because SQL 2008 R2 is available and that installs fine with no issues. It's a bit of a cop-out, I know...

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what i have found is that SQL is a pig to install and if anything goes wrong you need to start all over from scratch to get a clean install again. If that is the case you will need to re-image the system and start over. I am not saying this to make work, I am just saying that SQL is a bit hard to resolve installation issues and its quicker to just start over.

Make sure that windows is up to date with patches before you start the SQL install. I am not sure that express is the way to go I would use a full standard SQL version if you can get it. I have not had any issues installing SQL as long as the OS is fully patched and you are doing absolutely nothing else on the server when you are doing the install.

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    Re-installing Windows is nowhere close to the first step in resolving SQL Server installation issues. The setup logs will often indicate the reason for the failure, or an error message or event log entry will indicate where start looking. No need to kill a fly with a sledgehammer. – Sean Earp Dec 22 '09 at 20:19
  • I agree with Sean. SQL servers install is not such a mess (like some other vendors products) which would even remotely require a reinstall of windows. Check the logs, fix the problem, and continue on. – NotMe Dec 22 '09 at 20:51
  • Re-imaging is not a viable option. – Tim Long Dec 24 '09 at 12:03

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