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SQL Server Installation Problems

The following failure situations are the most common that have occurred during testing of FineBuild:

SQL Server Install Logs
.Net 3.5 SP1 Problems
Password is Invalid Message
Network Interface Error
Timing Issues on Guest Servers
MSDTC Cluster Failure
SQL2005 Cluster SCC failure

SQL Server Install Logs

The Microsoft SQL Server install logs provide detailed information about the progress of the SQL Server install. They form an important part of troubleshooting any failure in the SQL Server install process. However, there is no simple and reliable process that will always identify the cause of a failure. Some errors are clearly identified, while others will take time to find and resolve.

The first part of the install process, installing the Setup Support Files, is not included in the install logs. Most of the problems caused at this stage are due to pre-requisite software not being installed, but due to the lack of logging these problems can be difficult to troubleshoot.

After the Setup Support Files have been successfully installed, the rest of the SQL Server install does have detailed logging.

For details on how to find and analyse the SQL Server installation logs, see

If a SQL Server install fails, the following troubleshooting process can be followed:
a) If the Setup Support Files install failed, check that all pre-requisites have been installed.
b) If a Summary.log file is available, then review this file from start to end. Most error details are shown at the start of the file, but some are only shown at the end. The messages in this file can fully identify many problems, but there are many problems that have very poor messaging in the Summary file.
c) If the problem has still not been resolved and the Summary file has identified a further log file to examine, edit that file in Notepad.
d) If no specific log file was named in the Summary file, or no relevant error message was found in the specific log file, then edit the Detail.log file. The Detail.log file contains the contents of almost all the other log files, so it can contain many thousands of lines.
An effective way to examine either a specific log file or the Detail log file is to scroll direct to the bottom of the file and look for any relevant error messages. It is often the case that the last few lines of the log file will show messages to be given at termination, and not show details of the root cause. Therefore, it is always worth slowly scrolling towards the start of the file until a root cause is found.

If the cause of the error has still not been identified, it is now useful to seek help from the SQL Server community, using a site such as If the problem is urgent, then raise a Case with Microsoft.

If you do seek help from the community, it is good practice to only post your problem in one place on a given site. Also remember that people are helping you on a voluntary basis as time allows, so do not expect an immediate answer to your problem.

.Net 3.5 SP1 Problems

Experience has shown that the most frequent problem during the install of SQL Server is the installation of .Net 3.5 SP1. The .Net 3.5 SP1 installation also installs .Net 2.0, .Net 2.0 SP2, and .Net 3.0, and it is these components that cause the most problems.

This type of problem occurs most often on Windows 2003, Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2 (along with XP, Vista and Windows 7). Windows 2012 and above are not normally affected because of the way .Net 3.5 SP1 is installed on those systems. Therefore, the remainder of this note does not apply to Windows 2012 and above.

If the install is performed on a newly-build Windows instance, problems seldom occur. However, problems can occur in any of the following situations, and the resolutions are given below:
a) The .Net 3.5 SP1 installation is performed on a server that has been updated over many months or years
b) The server has .Net 3.0 already installed but does not have .Net 2.0 SP2 installed
c) The server has .Net 4.0 already installed but does not have .Net 3.0 installed
Always check if any outstanding fixes are available from Microsoft Update and install those, then try re-running the FineBuild install.

After you have installed all available fixes, there are two options for further troubleshooting. The recommended resolution is to always reinstall Windows if this problem occurs.

1. Research the error messages encountered and perform the suggested troubleshooting. Normally this includes removal of .Net 3.0 and re-running the .Net 3.5 SP1 install. In practice, this fixes only a few of the problems encountered, and always leaves the Windows environment in a state that is impossible to reproduce if the server has to be rebuilt.

2. Reformat the system drive and re-install Windows. Install .Net 3.5 SP1 before installing any other .Net frameworks.

Password is Invalid Message

There are two main causes of this problem. The first is obvious, the wrong password has been supplied. The second is less obvious, a connectivity problem with the Domain Controller.

For SQL2014 and below, the SQL Agent account is the first account that gets validated during a SQL Server install. For more recent versions the Polybase account is checked first. If there are any problems performing account validation then you will get a message relating to the first account that is checked.

If you get this message, and you are certain that the password is correct, then the most likely cause of this message is that the SQL Server machine cannot contact a Domain Controller to perform account validation. This problem is often caused by a firewall restriction, but can also be caused by a problem with the trust relationship between the domain and the server. You should follow your site procedures to report this problem to your Windows Support Team.

Network Interface Error

If you are performing a cluster install of SQL Server and you get a message similar to the one below, then review the list of potential causes.
Network Interface.jpg
Potential Cause Troubleshooting
No Public network available to the Cluster Use Cluster Manager to check the network configuration. A cluster must have at least one network configured for public access
Ghost Adapter exists Review the advice given in In particular, ensure that no ghost adapters or disabled adapters are higher in the binding order than active adapters
Incorrect Binding Order This very seldom occurs as FineBuild automatically fixes most binding order problems. The troubleshooting is the same as that for Ghost Adapters


Timing Issues on Guest Servers

The Microsoft SQL Server install performs a number of timing tests during the install, and if one of these fail the install is cancelled. Most of these tests relate to service start and stop times, but even components that do not appear to use services (e.g. the PowerShell install) include timing tests.

It is very unusual to get a timing issue problem using FineBuild, because it automatically detects a slow system and increases the Service Startup Time, which overcomes most occurrences of this problem.

However, if this problem does happen, you may get one of the following symptoms:

1. An explicit message about a service not responding within the expected time

2. A reference to a folder name that does not exist on your server. These folder names relate to those used by Microsoft when building the SQL Server install media.

If a SQL Server install fails on any type of guest server (e.g. VMWare, Hyper-V, etc), then look in the SQL Server install logs to find the primary cause. If the error relates to a timing problem, then this means the guest server is running too slowly to perform a successful SQL Server install.

In all situations during the development of FineBuild where a timing problem occurred, one or both of the following actions allowed the install to be re-run successfully:

1. Provide additional resources to the guest server, especially CPU resource.

2. Reduce the number of other guest servers running on the host, to minimise I-O contention.

MSDTC Cluster Failure

In a Cluster Install, if the MSDTC cluster does not come online then FineBuild will halt the install process. It is very rare for this problem to occur, especially if you are installing on Windows 2012 or below.

If you are installing on Windows 2012 R2 or above, the most likely cause of this problem is described in Delegation of Control. Please follow the guidelines on that page to troubleshoot this issue. After the problem has been fixed there is no need to roll back any of the work already performed by SQL FineBuild. Rerun FineBuild and it will attempt again to bring the MSDTC cluster online and then continue with the install process.

SQL2005 Cluster SCC Failure

The SQL2005 Cluster Install for an additional node will fail if the primary node has an outstanding reboot situation. This is a restriction of the Microsoft SQL2005 install process.

This situation is normally shown by the following message. To fix this problem reboot the primary node in the Cluster, then rerun FineBuild on the secondary node.
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Last edited Mar 20 at 1:54 PM by EdVassie, version 5