How to install SQL Server 2005 on Windows Server 2008

By | August 17, 2011

Today at work, I had the chance to configure a brand new HP ProLiant ML350 G5 server.

The machine came with Microsoft’s latest flavor of server operating systems, Windows Server 2008.
Windows Server 2008 installation was really fast and easy, reminding of Windows Vista setup.

When time came to install SQL Server 2005 the first real problem with Windows Server 2008 has emerged.

The SQL Server 2005 edition was the Workgroup edition, but I suppose that the Standard edition would most probably have the same problem.

When starting the installation of SQL Server, there was a prompt saying that this piece of software was incompatible with the operating system.
However, the installation could continue, and all setup options were selected and successfully installed.

According to Microsoft, SQL Server 2005 requires Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (SP2) to run on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1. And the full release version of SQL Server 2005 has to be first installed before the SP2 can be applied.

Thus, the next step was to install SQL Server 2005 SP2.
Installation of SP2 was successful, but no SQL Server Services existed, and no database engine has been installed.

A quick Google search pointed to a Microsoft’s Knowledge Base page, KB950636, and a potential hotfix.

And this hotfix must have saved the day!

After the installation of the hotfix, SQL Server 2005 was uninstalled, and server rebooted.
Started the SQL Server 2005 for a second time, and this time, more setup options were available.
Also the wizard for the database configuration appeared, which was a good sign, as it wasn’t present on the first attempt.

Finished, applied SP2, and this little adventure ended successfully.
SQL Server 2005 was then working just fine.