Friday, October 13, 2006

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Install Problem

October must be my month to find obscure bugs in software. I had a problem with getting Infor's SXAPI to work earlier this month, this time it was MS SQL Server MMV.

I was setting up a Windows 2003 Server box to host our Team Foundation Server (TFS) installation. I thought I would just be able to follow the excellent (for once) documentation and all would be well with the development world. Ah, but not the case.

This particular server had already been set up and was hosting some virtual servers for our developers. I had already hardened the OS, turning on the Windows Firewall and shutting off unneeded services among other things. When I tried to install SQL MMV, the installer choked while setting up Reporting Services (RS), which is required for TFS.

When it choked the first time, I figured I'd just uninstall and reinstall. That didn't work because many of the SQLMMV settings stayed in the registry. So, when I ran the install again, I got an error that RS was already installed so it wouldn't install it again unless I set it up to run in a different instance. Well, that wasn't going to work for TFS, so I tried uninstalling and reinstalling again. The second time, I ran into the same error, so I let RS install in a new instance, thinking I would then be able to uninstall cleanly and start over. Nope, next time I installed it wanted yet another instance name.

At this point, I uninstalled the rest of the application again and ran Norton System Works to try to clean out the registry. No luck there. So I tried going through the registry myself and delete references to RS. Way too many entries to deal with.

What I ended up doing was moving my virtual servers to another box, formatting and reinstalling the server and starting over. My guess was the registry was messed up (and it probably was after I was monkeying around with it).

On the reinstall, it choked again at the same place. I sat down and thought about it for a while and decided to try while the Windows Firewall was turned off. Since RS creates a web site, it made sense that the firewall might be stopping it. Sure enough, the next install went smoothly and I had a working SQL Server.

During this whole process, I googled all up and down on error messages and searched all over MS' web site. The only things I found referred a myriad of other problems, but none referred to the Firewall causing any issues.

So, here you go. If you have trouble installing SQLMMV with RS, see if your Windows Firewall is turned on and turn it off for the install.

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