Wednesday, October 2, 2013

SQL Server 2012 Express Installation and Troubleshooting

If you have Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can install either the SQL Server 2012 Express or the SQL Server 2012 Developer Edition. The Express edition is typically all you would need, unless you plan to use reporting services and the integration service in which case SQL Server 2012 Developer edition is what you require.

The SQL Server 2012 installation performs the following checks before starting:

  • Can the updates be obtained using the Windows Update service
  • Is the Internet accessible for installing the .NET 4.0 framework
If you have the Windows Update service disabled or something else prevents the search for updates, you would get the error message:

SQL Server Setup could not search for updates through the Windows Update service. You can either check again or click Next to continue. To troubleshoot issues with your Windows Update service, view the link below, ensure you have Internet or network access, and ensure your Windows Update service can find updates interactively through the Windows Update control panel.

I have the Windows Update service disabled, so I additionally got the following:

Error 0x80070422: The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070422)

You can skip this check because the updates are not mandatory. However, if you do not have the .NET 4.0 framework (or the .NET 4.5 framework) installed, you have to either provide Internet access or install the .NET 4.0 or .NET 4.5 framework before installing SQL Server. If the computer you are installing SQL Server on does not have access to the Internet, you can use the Standalone (offline) installer for the .NET 4.0 or .NET 4.5 framework.

If you choose to use the Internet to install .NET 4.0 through the SQL Server 2012 setup, ensure that the installer is able to complete the installation of the .NET 4.0 framework - that's when it would display the "Install_DotNetCore_Cpu32_Action". If the progress hangs, most likely something is preventing the download (a torrent download, slow Internet connection, or just about anything else).

At times, the installation hangs at one of these actions:
  • Install_vsshell_Cpu32_Action / Install_vsshell_Cpu64_Action
  • Install_sql_ssms_Cpu32_Action / Install_sql_ssms_Cpu64_Action
  • Install_sql_fulltext_Cpu32_Action / Install_sql_fulltext_Cpu64_Action
  • SqlEngineDBStartconfigAction_install_configrc_Cpu32 / SqlEngineDBStartconfigAction_install_configrc_Cpu64
To deal with the issue, start the installation with the minimum options selected and add-on the other features later. If you are installing SQL Server 2012 Express edition, there is little to uncheck during the installation - all you can do is leave out replication. Often, the Full-Text search and SQL Server Management Studio cause hangs, so you can install the core database, restart the computer, and then add on those components later. Running the installation on an under-powered computer can also lead to the hang (when the hang occurs, there's no CPU load, disk activity, or network activity); an alternative is to run the installation on a virtual machine on another computer, and then move the virtual machine to the computer that you want to run it on. If all else fails, try to use a different installation disc or download the setup files again, reboot the computer if Windows Updates or any other setup has executed, and try again.

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