Installation problems with SQL Server 2008

Today I decided to upgrade my windows internal database on my “VMWare-SharePoint-Development-System”. An upgrade was not possible so I removed the internal database (Microsoft##SSEE) and tried to install the new SQL Server (installation platform is w2k3-server, x86). My development system is a WSS 3.0 SP1 + Visual Studio 2008 environment.


Clicking through the installation wizard went fine but then the installation cancelled with “nice” red error icons. A look into the logfile showed the following.

MSI (s) (08:D0) [23:01:25:354]: Note: 1: 1708
MSI (s) (08:D0) [23:01:25:354]: Produkt: MSXML 6.0 Parser (KB933579) -- Die Installation ist fehlgeschlagen.
MSI (s) (08:D0) [23:01:25:354]: Das Produkt wurde durch Windows Installer installiert. Produktname: MSXML 6.0 Parser (KB933579). Produktversion: 6.10.1200.0. Produktsprache: 1031. Erfolg- bzw. Fehlerstatus der Installation: 1603.
MSI (s) (08:D0) [23:01:25:385]: Cleaning up uninstalled install packages, if any exist

I downloaded the MSXML 6.0 Parser from the Microsoft Download page and tried to install it. Error! A newer product is already installed. A short look into “Software Installation” revealed that I have MSXML Parser 6.0 SP2 installed. Okay looks good for me but not for SQL Server 2008.

Being up-to-date is not always good

The installation routine depends on the installation of the MSXML Parser 6.0… In the end I uninstalled MSXML Parser 6.0 SP2 and started the installation again. Tadaaaa! It works. SQL Server was installed successfully. Now I can “re-apply” SP2 for the MSXML Parser 6.0


I started the windows command-line and entered date. It showed 2009-01-28. As you can see the year is 2009!
Having to do such steps to get an installation of SQL Server 2008 made me think I am in the year 1998! Wtf?!

Update: A friend of mine had problems with SQL Server 2008 installation, too.


  1. Actually: still is. Even the complete uninstall failed to get me a working copy of Sql Server Management Studio. I even tried uninstalling sqlncli.msi and reinstalling it manually FROM THAT VERY INSTALLER PACKAGE (note the error message from the microsoft link in my blog entry). Still nothing, same error, every time. Don’t you just loooove that installer package.

  2. Poor Christoph!

    Yes, the whole “installing experience” is so fantastic and extremely robust! What a nice peace of software … *plonk*

  3. According to the Microsoft Help and Support Website, this problem is fixed in SQL Server 2008 SP 1. The following article gives instructions to use a “Slipstream” method to install the release version of SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 at the same time.

    Instructions for slipstreaming the installation can be found at

    By using the Slipstream method, I was able to install both the server and the service patch at the same time, without uninstalling MSXML 6 SP2. There are a couple of issues that could trip someone up, though. To the posting referenced above, I add the following notes:

    If there was a prior installation of SQL Server 2008 that included Reporting services, the installation may fail, returning the message, “The Reporting Services catalog database file exists. Select a Reporting Services files-only mode installation.” If that happens, setting the reporting services installation mode to “Files Only”, using the parameter settting, RSINSTALLMODE=”FilesOnlyMode”, will allow the installation to proceed.

    As of May 29, 2009 (when this was written) there were no cumulative updates to SQL Server 2008 — there is only Service Pack 1. So, step 4 in the procedure under the heading “Slipstream a SQL Server Update / Overview”, can be skipped. With a proper configuration file, the entire installation can be done hands-free, by issuing the following two commands in the Command Prompt window, or in a batch file:

    en_sql_server_2008_sp1_x86 /QS=”True”

    D:\SETUP /CONFIGURATIONFILE=”InstallSqlServr2008Config.ini”

    while en_sql_server_2008_sp1_x86.exe is in the current working directory.

    Note that the service pack installer is run BEFORE the SQL Server installer. This loads the support files, and enables the slipstream method of installation.

    Replace D: with the actual drive letter of the DVD drive containing the SQL Server 2008 Setup disk.

    The flag /QS=”True” causes the service pack to install without prompting the user — avoids having to answer the “Do you accept the terms of the EULA” and such. The “/Action” parameter is NOT valid for the service pack installation, and will cause the installation to terminate with an error, if included. It may be included for the SQL Server main installation, either on the command line or within the configuration file.

  4. Dear Sir,

    This method does not work and the error message is that there is no instance of SQL server to be updated.

  5. Thanks for posting that. I had the same problem here. What kind of company makes such lousy install packages? The package checks prerequisites for ages and then fails on an incorrect version check on another product by the same company.

    Not that it tells you. You have to wade through unordered log files to get that little one line message that gives you a hint.

    Never had that kind of trouble with MySQL. Unfortunately the job I’m applying for has to be done on SQLServer 2008.

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