Installing SQL Server 2008R2 to Windows 7 VM

While installing an instance of SQL2008R2 to a Windows 7 Workstation VM (used by my programmers) on my VMWare vSphere cluster I ran into a problem.

While the SQL installation seemed to go OK, it hung up toward the end during ‘Windows Installation Final Tasks – Clean up processes…” or something at “Install_sqlncli_Cpu64_Action”
The install just hung forever – let it actually try to run over night and it never completed.

The solution is simple, and kind of a ‘duh’.
SQL2008R2 needs 4GB RAM and minimum of 4 cores/processors.
My Production SQL VM’s easily met this criteria but not so with the workstations.
So simply cancelled the installation. Shut down the VM. Edited the VM – upped RAM to 6GB and processors to 4.
Restart VM then let it boot and let Win7 reconfigure itself. It will require another reboot.
I then completely uninstalled the failed installation. Then rebooted.
Also remember that this is REALLY IMPORTANT!! – Open the ports on the Windows Firewall for SQL2008

This can be done by copying the following (everything in between the break lines including the last ‘return’ at the end) into a text file and renaming it with a .bat extension. something like ‘opensqlfirewallports.bat’ or what ever and running it with administrative permissions.
@echo =========  SQL Server Ports  ===================
@echo Enabling SQLServer default instance port 1433
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 1433 “SQLServer”
@echo Enabling Dedicated Admin Connection port 1434
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 1434 “SQL Admin Connection”
@echo Enabling conventional SQL Server Service Broker port 4022
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 4022 “SQL Service Broker”
@echo Enabling Transact-SQL Debugger/RPC port 135
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 135 “SQL Debugger/RPC”
@echo =========  Analysis Services Ports  ==============
@echo Enabling SSAS Default Instance port 2383
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 2383 “Analysis Services”
@echo Enabling SQL Server Browser Service port 2382
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 2382 “SQL Browser”
@echo =========  Misc Applications  ==============
@echo Enabling HTTP port 80
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 80 “HTTP”
@echo Enabling SSL port 443
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 443 “SSL”
@echo Enabling port for SQL Server Browser Service’s ‘Browse’ Button
netsh firewall set portopening UDP 1434 “SQL Browser”
@echo Allowing multicast broadcast response on UDP (Browser Service Enumerations OK)
netsh firewall set multicastbroadcastresponse ENABLE


I also added this registry key below. You can copy everything between the breaks and save as a .reg file if you’d like and run that ‘as administrator’ as well.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


After that I was able to very quickly install SQL2008R2.
During server configuration, under Account Name I selected “NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM”, leaving password blank. In addition I also changed its startup type from Automatic to Manual.

Once installation was complete, I opened SQL Server Configuration Manager. The current setting was that I was logging on as built-in account “Local System”. I started the service without making any changes and this time it started without any error messages.

Just thought I’d put this up for any of those who’ve had the same issue and as a reference for myself.

To connect to the Server make sure you specify the machine name AND the server instance name: Windows7PC1\SQL2008dev or whatever

Well, until I hear differently from my Devs 😛

Backups, system failures and peace of mind

Another week in the trenches. I had a primary server at our organization have a major failure. The SAS controller (which provides access to SAS type HDDs) died OR the motherboard to the server itself has an issue. Either way without another ‘like’ system that I can put the SAS card into to see if the issues is just the card or the motherboard I cannot access my drives – and they too may be very corrupted. The only machine I have capable of putting the card into is in production. And the cost of a replacement Dell Perc5i SAS card is nearly $200.00 US and could take days to get here. Plus I needed to have this system back up and running very quickly – the server in question runs all or our company financial, shipping and reporting software applications!

Since I have all my ‘data’ backed up to a server drive every night I was secure in the knowledge that we at least had the financial databases and ‘files’ available. But how to get a system back into production? Disk Imaging to the rescue!! I had a fairly recent full system image, created with my favorite backup software – Acronis, available. Yay! Just need a place to restore it to.

Since my organization now has a VMware ESXi/vSphere SAN and cluster running I was easily able to create/import a new ‘Virtual Machine’ from the Acronis disk image very quickly and then just copy over the backed up data files from the night/early morning before. WORKED LIKE A CHARM! If I’d had an available server (Hardware wise) I could also have restored that image to it too.

I’m telling this to you to remind you – I believe in Images(Clones) for my backups, alone with periodic ‘file backups’. That way I’m protected against full drive failures/loses AND stupidity – accidentally erasing or overwriting files. :)
[Imaging or cloning is the procedure by which you create a backup that is identical to a bootable system either to another internal or external drive. This is the ultimate backup! Should your drive fail you can just ‘pop in’ your cloned drive or ‘restore’ that clone to a new drive and your are up and running.]

If you are not regularly creating full image backups you WILL be sorry! I have written numerous articles about cloning and back up.

PLEASE read here if you any kind of concern for you data.

For Mac images and cloning go here.

So of course this weekend I created two new images on separate drives for my home system(s). I can’t tell you the peace of mind you will get from knowing that the worst that could happen to your system is that you might lose a couple of days or a weeks worth of information. If your drive gets corrupted or fails or you get trashed by some virus, you could be back up and running within a very short period of time! No re-installing your Operating System and programs and ‘trying’ to find you data files. Just restore the image and BAM, you up!

What prompted me to start on this rant is that Apple has finally acknowledged it is having some major issues with some of the hard drives in some of their newer systems they have been selling. Looks like some of the drives just ‘fail’. OUCH! You can read about that here.

And although you can have your drive replaced – YOU WILL LOSE YOUR DATA! The Apple folk and/or kids the the ‘Genius’ bar will NOT re-install your system software or clone your drive for you!! Unless you have an image to restore you will have to re-install you System and applications. And unless you had at least some kind of backup to another drive (Time Machine type) your data (read pictures and music!) will be gone!

So folks, backup, backup and then backup again.

The cost of a couple of extra external drives and a little program setup is minuscule to the cost of losing you ‘digital life’. Right now Acronis has a special – only $29.00 US for their home product!! With Apple’s you can even get a way with out purchasing any software!

Be safe, be secure and gain some peace of mind.