Trouble installing SQL Server 2008 on Windows Server 2008?

A highly secured Windows installation can make your SQL installation fail

There are some highly modified default installations of both Windows desktops and servers that certain institutions use to increase the security of their networks. These versions of Windows are focused on security and are locked down from the ground up, which is a good thing. But all these security settings can give an IT guy headaches if you’re trying to get things accomplished. One such feature can make your SQL install fail. I happened to come across this recently in a test lab.

If you’re driving along with a standard SQL install, everything will be going fine until, towards the end of the installation process, you see the gem below. And SQL installs take a little time to complete. Having to reinstall can be a real pain.

Clicking OK to the access denied message and viewing the next window reveals which portion failed – the actual database creation.

Moving one page on, you see that your install was only partially successful. I like working with clean machines. If you’re working with virtual machines, you can take a snapshot just before you install SQL in case you need to revert.

Fortunately, this can be an easy fix. For my particular server version, there’s only one setting that needs to be changed. The website I found for the fix listed three possible settings and can be found here:

You should already be installing SQL with an account that has local admin privileges, so a simple change the local security policy can fix this error.

Open Local Security Policy > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment and give the local administrators group the Debug programs permission.

Be sure to log off and log back in once you change the local security policy so it will take effect. I reverted to a virtual machine snapshot so that there was no residual SQL data on the box and reinstalled again. Hopefully, the install will succeed and you’ll see the messages below.



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