Troubleshooting SQL Server 2000 installation issues

Thursday Mar 13th 2003 by Alexander Chigrik

Alexander Chigrik shares 13 tips for SQL Server 2000 installation problems.

Should you have problems installing SQL Server 2000, review this troubleshooting checklist to find potential solutions.

1. Check the hardware requirements.

You should have:

  • Intel or compatible platform
  • Pentium 166 MHz or higher (Pentium II, III, IV and compatible)
  • 32MB RAM (minimum for Desktop Engine),   64MB RAM (minimum for all other editions)   128 MB RAM or more recommended
  • 270MB (full installation), 250MB (typical), 95MB (minimum),   44 MB (Desktop Engine) plus Analysis Services: 50 MB minimum   and 130 MB typical and 80 MB for the English Query

2. Check the software requirements.

You should have:

  • For the Enterprise Edition and Standard Edition:
    • Windows NT Server 4.0 with service pack 5 or later
    • Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition with service pack 5 or later
    • Windows 2000 Server/Advanced Server/Datacenter
  • For the Personal Edition and Desktop Engine:
    • Windows 98
    • Windows NT Server/Workstation 4.0 with Service Pack 5
    • Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 5
    • Windows 2000 (all editions)
  • For the Developer Edition:
    • Windows NT Server/Workstation 4.0 with Service Pack 5
    • Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 5
    • Windows 2000 (all editions)
  • For the SQL Server CE:
    • Windows CE

3. Check that your hardware is listed in the hardware compatibility list.

For more information about the specific supported hardware, look at the hardware compatibility list at http://www.microsoft.com/hwdq/hcl/search.asp

4. Login as a Local Administrator on the Server.

SQL Server needs the administrator's permissions to create registry entries, create services and so on.

5. Use the LocalSystem account for MSSQLServer and SQLServerAgent services.

You can change it later to an appropriate domain account, once you have successfully installed SQL Server. Using the LocalSystem account helps to reduce potential SQL Server installation problems.

6. Close the Service Manager icon in the taskbar.

Microsoft recommends closing the Service Manager icon in the taskbar because it may cause SQL Server Setup to fail.

7. Stop some services, which can cause installation failure.

Because some services may cause installation failure of SQL Server due to a Windows NT/2000 logon failure or time out, you should stop these services before installing SQL Server 2000, and then restart them once SQL Server has been successfully installed. Stop the following services:

  • IIS - Internet Information Server
  • Exchange Server
  • SNA Server
  • Disk Keeper
  • SNMP Service
  • Anti-virus software (such as McAfee)
  • Backup products (such as ARC Server)

8. Close all extraneous programs that are running.

Because extraneous programs use some system resources, it is a good idea to close all extraneous programs before installing SQL Server 2000. Be sure that there are no any programs on the taskbar except the Setup application.

9. Problems installing MS DTC on computers with multiple network cards or SPX installed.

If you cannot install MS DTC on a server with multiple network cards or SPX installed, uninstall one of the network cards or SPX, and then retry the SQL Server Setup.

10. You can get the error during installation of SQL Server 2000 Personal Edition or SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine if there is a previous edition of SQL Server 7.0 Desktop Edition or MSDE 1.0 installed.

The cause of this error is that there is not enough system memory to run all of the necessary SQL scripts. You should have at least 48 Mb of RAM (for Windows 9x) rather than the 32 MB of RAM as stated in SQL Server Books Online.

11. Before reinstalling SQL Server 2000 after a failed install, delete the following registry entries:


and delete the target installation directory.

12. If you install SQL Server 2000 on Windows 9x, you should install Microsoft Client for Networks.

To install Microsoft Client for Networks, click Start -> Control Panel -> Network -> Add Microsoft Client for Networks.

13. To locate any problems during setup, check the sqlstp.log, setup.log and errorlog files.

The following files, found on your server, can provide valuable error messages if your SQL Server installation fails:

  • sqlstp.log (located in your \Windows or \WinNT directory)
  • errorlog file (located in the \Log directory of the target installation directory)
  • setup.log file (located in your \Windows or \WinNT directory)

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