Chapter 1: Installing or Upgrading to the SQL Server 2008 Database Engine


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  1. Log in to the server with administrative privileges and insert the SQL Server 2008 media. Autorun should launch the SQL Server 2008 Installation Center landing page; otherwise, click Setup.exe

  2. Note

    If SQL Server’s setup software prerequisites have not been met, the installation wizard will prompt, and then install the prerequisites. After the prerequisites have been installed, the SQL Server installation process will resume. SQL Server 2008 software prerequisites may include hotfixes, .NET Framework 3.5 and the latest Windows Installer, version 4.5. In addition, system restarts may be required after SQL Server’s setup software prerequisites are installed. If so, rerun setup after the reboot to continue with the SQL Server installation.

  3. On the SQL Server Installation Center landing page, first select the Installation page, and then click the New SQL Server Stand-alone Installation or Add Features to an Existing Installation link, as displayed in Figure 1.1.

  4. On the Setup Support Rules page, review the outcome of the System Configuration Checker. Ensure that all tests associated with the operation passed without any failures, warnings, or skipped elements. Alternatively, you can review a standard or comprehensive report by selecting the Show Details button or View Detailed Report. To continue with the installation, click OK, as illustrated in Figure 1.2.

  5. Figure 1.1

    Performing a new SQL Server stand-alone installation.

    Figure 1.2

    Reviewing potential problems identified with the Setup Support Rules.

  6. On the Product Key page, enter the SQL Server Product Key and click Next.

  7. On the License Agreement page, Accept the Licensing Terms, and then click Next.

  8. On the Setup Support Files page, the wizard will prompt whether or not additional setup support files are required for the installation. If additional files are required, review the status of the files required, and then click Install.

  9. The Setup Support Rules page will be displayed again and will identify any outstanding items that may hinder the installation process associated with the SQL Server installation. Review and correct failures and warnings before commencing the installation. If failures are not displayed, click Next to start the installation. Once any outstanding installation are complete, review the details, and then click Next.

  10. Note

    Some of the items that will be tested for in step 7 are: Fusion Template Library, Unsupported SQL Server products, whether the server is a Domain Controller, the version of Windows PowerShell, and Windows Firewall Settings.

  11. On the Feature Selection page, select the desired features to be installed and provide the path for the Shared Feature Directory. For this example, the Database Engine Services, SQL Server Replication, Full-Text Search, and appropriate Shared Features such as Integration Services and the Management Tools have been selected. Click Next to proceed as illustrated in Figure 1.3.

  12. On the Instance Configuration page, specify the Name and Instance ID for the SQL Server installation. The options include either the Default Instance name, which is MSSQLServer, or a Named Instance. In addition, click the ellipsis button in the Instance Root Directory area and specify the path for the installation. Click Next as displayed in Figure 1.4.

  13. Note

    Each instance name provided must be unique and there can only be one default instance per SQL Server system.

    Figure 1.3

    Specifying the SQL Server features to be installed.

    Figure 1.4

    Configuring the SQL Server instance.

  14. The next page is the Disk Space Requirements. Review the disk space summary for the SQL Server components and features selected to be installed, and then click Next.

  15. The Server Configuration page includes configuration settings for both Service Accounts and Collation. On the Service Accounts tab, enter a valid low-privilege service account name and password for each service account. Next, specify the Startup Type for each service account listed, as illustrated in Figure 1.5. Options include Automatic, Manual or Disabled. Before proceeding to the next step, click the Collation tab,

  16. Figure 1.5

    Specifying the SQL Server service accounts.


    From a hardening perspective, Microsoft recommends entering a separate service account for each SQL Server component and feature being installed. In addition, the account specified should follow the principle of least privilege. For more information on selecting the desired service account, and hardening a SQL Server implementation, see Chapter 8, “Hardening a SQL Server Implementation.”

  17. On the Collation tab, enter the desired collation option for the Database Engine. It is possible to change default collation settings used by the Database Engine and Analysis Services for language and sorting by selecting Customize. Click Next to continue.

  18. The Database Engine Configuration page consists of three tabs. The tabs include Account Provisioning, Data Directories, and FILESTREAM. On the first tab, in the Account Provisioning section, specify the Authentication Mode, which consists of either Windows Authentication Mode or Mixed Mode (SQL Server authentication and Windows authentication). If mixed mode is selected, enter and confirm the password for the Built-in SQL Server administrator account. The next step is to provision a SQL Server Administrator by either selecting the option Add Current User or clicking Add and specifying a SQL Server administrator account.

  19. Note

    New to SQL Server 2008 is the opportunity to rename the SA account during installation. Renaming the SA account increases security as the account name is well known in the industry.

  20. The second tab, Data Directories, located still within the Database Engine Configuration page, is used for specifying the location of the default directories associated with the installation of this SQL Server instance. The directories include Data Root Directory, System Database Directory, User Database Directory, User Database Log Directory, TempDB Directory, TempDB Log Directory, and Backup Directory. Either maintain the default directories or specify a new directory for performance and availability.

  21. Tip

    Because I/O to log files is sequential and I/O to database files is random, for increased performance, it is a best practice to place log files on a separate disk from database files. In addition, placing the tempdb on its own disk also bolsters performance.

  22. The final tab on the Database Engine Configuration page is FILESTREAM. Here, decide whether you want to enable FILESTREAM. If FILESTREAM is enabled, additional parameters must be entered such as Enable FILESTREAM for File I/O Streaming Access, Windows Share Name, and whether to allow remote clients to have streaming access to FILESTREAM data. Click Next to proceed.

  23. On the Error and Usage Reporting page, help Microsoft improve SQL Server features and services by sending error reports and feature usage to Microsoft. Specify the level of participation, and then click Next.

  24. The final check will take place to ensure that the installation process will not be blocked. On the Installation Rules page, review for any outstanding errors or warnings and then click Next to continue.

  25. Before commencing the SQL Server 2008 Installation, review the features to be installed on the Ready to Install page, and then click Install.

  26. When the installation process starts, you can monitor its progress accordingly. When the installation setup completes, review the success status based on each SQL Server feature and then click Next.

  27. On the Complete page, review the location of the SQL Server summary upgrade log file and additional items, which can be found in the supplemental information section. Click Close to finalize the installation.

  28. To conduct post-installation tasks, review the upcoming section “Finalizing the SQL Server 2008 Installation or Upgrade” in this chapter.

Upgrading the Database Engine to SQL Server 2008

When upgrading an existing SQL Server system to SQL Server 2008, all SQL Server databases, configuration settings, security settings, and programs are retained from the previous installation. However, there are still several important prerequisite tasks that you perform before the upgrade, as discussed in the following sections.


It is not possible to change the installation path when upgrading a system to SQL Server 2008. In addition, there must be enough free space on the system and SQL Server partition to support the upgrade; otherwise, the upgrade will come to a halt.

Creating a SQL Server Feature Discovery Report

One of the first tasks a DBA should conduct when upgrading an existing SQL Server system to SQL Server 2008 is to create a discovery report. A SQL Server discovery report, ultimately, is an inventory of the SQL Server components and features installed on an existing SQL Server installation. SQL Server 2008 comes with a new tool called the SQL Server Feature Discovery Report, which will generate a list of features and products. This report can automatically be generated for SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2005, and SQL Server 2000, by selecting Installed SQL Server Features Discovery Report, on the Tools page, located on the SQL Server Installation Center landing page.

Backing Up the Server

Whenever you are making a major change on a server, something could go wrong. A complete backup of the SQL Server environment, including the SQL Server system databases and Windows Server System State, can make the difference between confidently telling the boss you had a setback so you conducted a rollback, or quivering while you try to find a way to tell your boss a complete disaster has taken place.

Verifying System Compatibility

The first action when upgrading an existing SQL Server system to SQL Server 2008 is running the System Configuration Checker. Launch the System Configuration Checker by first selecting Planning and then System Configuration Checker via the SQL Server 2008 Installation Center landing page.

The System Configuration Checker is an informative tool that conducts a scan on the existing system and indicates problems that might occur when the SQL Server support files are installed. After the scan is completed, a detailed report is presented that indicates the operations that passed, failed, skipped, or presented warnings. View the detailed report, correct any issues, and rerun the scan to ensure absolute success. Then move on to the next prerequisite task, which is running the SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor.

Running the SQL Server Upgrade Advisor

Make it a prerequisite task to test the existing SQL Server system that you plan on upgrading for compatibility issues. Accomplish this by running the SQL Server Upgrade Advisor. The SQL Server Upgrade Advisor is an intuitive tool included with the SQL Server 2008 installation media.

When invoked, the wizard will first analyze previously installed SQL Server components and then produce a detailed report indicating possible upgrade anomalies. In addition, the report provides links to information on how to resolve the issues identified—how convenient!


Before conducting an in-place upgrade, it is imperative to acknowledge and fix all anomalies. If anomalies go unresolved, the upgrade is sure to fail, resulting in a production outage.

It is important to mention that the Upgrade Advisor can be installed on a remote system and still analyze the following SQL Server components: the Database Engine, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Integration Services, and Data Transformation Services. Notification Services is not included as this component has been deprecated in SQL Server 2008.


The exhaustive analysis performed by the wizard is unable to examine stored procedures if they are encrypted. Moreover, it is necessary to input a password if DTS or Integration Services packages are password protected.

Installing the SQL Server Upgrade Advisor

  1. Launch the SQL Server Installation Center.

  2. Select the Planning link and then click Install Upgrade Advisor.

  3. Click Next on the SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor Setup Welcome screen.

  4. Accept the License Agreement, and then click Next.

  5. On the Registration Information screen, enter your name and company name, and then click Next.

  6. Provide the installation path on the Feature Selection page. Click Next to continue.

  7. Click Install to initiate the installation, and then click Finish to finalize.

Performing a Compatibility Test with SQL Server Upgrade Advisor

When running the SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor, the high-level steps include identifying SQL Server components to analyze, providing credentials for authentication, providing additional parameters, executing analysis, and finally, reviewing the results. Conduct the following steps on the SQL Server system you plan on upgrading in order to perform a compatibility test using the SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor:

  1. Click Start, All Programs, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor.

  2. On the Welcome to SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor page, select the link Launch Upgrade Advisor Analysis Wizard, and then click Next.

  3. On the SQL Server Components page, provide the name of the SQL Server and then specify the components that will be analyzed. Click Next as displayed in Figure 1.6.

  4. Figure 1.6

    Specifying the SQL Server Components to analyze.

  5. Provide the authentication mechanism for the SQL Server instance and then click Next.

  6. On the SQL Server Parameters page, indicate what additional elements should be analyzed. Options include databases, trace files, and SQL Server batch files. Click Next to continue.

  7. The Reporting Services Parameters page is an optional step. If a reporting services scan was selected, enter the name of the Reporting Services instance and then choose the authentication mechanism that will be used. Click Next.

  8. The Analysis Services Parameters page is an another optional step. If an Analysis Services scan was selected, enter the name of the Analysis Services instance. Next, choose the authentication mechanism that will be used. Click Next.

  9. The next optional screen focuses on DTS parameters for DTS packages. Select either the Analyze DTS Packages on Server option or the Analyze DTS Package Files option. If the second option is selected, specify the path to the DTS packages. Click Next to continue.

  10. On the final page, SSIS Parameters, indicate whether you want to analyze SSIS packages on the server or files. If the second option is selected, specify the path to the SSIS packages. In addition, if the packages are password protected, enter a password. Click Next to continue.

  11. Confirm the Upgrade Advisor Settings and then click Run to commence the analysis.

  12. The Upgrade Advisor Progress page provides progress messages for each component being analyzed. The status message includes any of the words error, failure, or success. View the status messages in the details pane or alternatively, launch the report. Click Close as indicated in Figure 1.7.

  13. Figure 1.7

    Reviewing the Upgrade Advisor Analysis Complete Report.


The analysis output is written to a file; therefore, the report can be viewed from the Upgrade Advisor Progress page or at a later date. To review the report at another time, launch the Upgrade Advisor Report Viewer from the Upgrade Advisor start page.

The report can be viewed by server and then by instance or component. Moreover, the report can be filtered by All Issues, All Upgrade Issues, Pre-Upgrade Issues, All Migration issues, Resolved Issues, or Unresolved Issues. The output report also indicates when issues should be addressed. For instance, the report may indicate the issue should be addressed before the upgrade or after the upgrade. It is beneficial to review each message to ensure there are no issues when upgrading the existing SQL Server system to SQL Server 2008. When drilling through each message, it is possible to expand upon an issue and gain additional information on how to resolve the anomaly by clicking the link titled Tell Me More About This Issue and How to Fix It.

Additional Considerations Before Upgrading the Database Engine to SQL Server 2008

The following additional considerations apply before upgrading the Database Engine to SQL Server 2008:

  • Even though this book does not focus on Analysis Services, if you are upgrading a 64-bit edition of SQL Server, it is imperative to upgrade Analysis Service first and then the Database Engine.

  • Run the appropriate DBCC commands to ensure that both the system and user databases are in good health. A maintenance plan can be generated to complete these tasks.

  • Make certain that all databases, specifically the system databases, are configured to autogrow. The system databases includes master, model, msdb, and tempdb.

  • Ensure that you have administrative access to all user and system databases and that each database has logon information in the master system database.

  • Configure the Max Worker Threads setting to a value of 0.

  • Disable all startup stored procedures as the upgrade process may restart the server.

  • If Replication is enabled, stop replication during the upgrade process.

  • Conduct a rolling upgrade if Database Mirroring is used. First upgrade the mirrored instance, failover services, and then upgrade the principal instance (which is now the mirror). It is also recommended to remove the witness and change the operation mode to high safety during the upgrade.

  • In SQL Server 2000, Log Shipping was established with a Database Maintenance Plan. Because the installation in SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 no longer uses a maintenance plan to implement Log Shipping, it is not possible to upgrade a SQL Server 2000 system running log shipping to SQL Server 2008.

Performing the SQL Server 2008 Upgrade

At this point, you have accomplished quite a few tasks. Let’s review: your data is backed up, you have read the release notes, you ran the SQL Server System Configuration Checker and the SQL Server Upgrade Advisor, and you addressed the issues or warnings identified. It is now time to upgrade to SQL Server 2008.

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