SQL Server Image http://www.Oostdam.Info General pictureMicrosoft SQL Server is a great product to work with. Especially from the release of version 2005 and now 2008.
For me personally, it is the standard for all kinds of databases. The Object explorer, Tuning Advisor, the Query Analyser and T-SQL statements work great, and are a joy to work with. When it goes wrong somewhere, it is mostly a syntax error, program(bug) error or a user error that causes the problem. Stable as it is, I can recomment the use of it to anyone. In this articles I like to share with you, some errors and "best practices" that came up during my work several times. So, initially set up was for my own references, now I share it with you. Enjoy these articles!! Due to the fact that a big percentage of visitors of this page are international based, this article is in the english language.

Service Packs, and the actual installation of it, is important. Little bugs are solved in it, as well as compatibility issue's with for instance, other programs. Therefore it is important to maintain a reasonable patch level at all times, not only for the operating system, but for programs like SQL 2005/2008 as well. Underneath you'll find a rather detailed report, with explanations, of the installation of the Service Pack 2 for SQL 2008.

First start, by browsing on the internet download page of Microsoft, which you can find here. Download the needed version of this Service Pack. Please try to read the readme file as well. Do I still need to explain the benefits of a full backup of the databases before rolling out a Service Pack?

Installing SQL 2008 Service Pack 2 - Picture 01 www.oostdam.infoAfter downloading the Service Pack, you might want to open your SQL Management Studio, to check the current version. You find it at the top level as you can see in the picture on the left. In this case the build/versions number is 10.0.2531, which is equal to the SQL Service Pack 1. If you google around a bit, you can find lots of lists with build/version numbers if your interested in it. You can also detect the currenct buildnumber by opening a new query and give the following command:


The output will give you the exact buildnumber.
Now we know that our software is out of date,... we can start with updating it!

Installing Service Pack 2 for SQL 2008 ( All editions ):
Installing SQL 2008 Service Pack 2 - Picture 02 www.oostdam.infoThe downloaded file can be started by clicking it. Make sure you downloaded the correct package. There is no specific difference for Enterprise or standard versions. I often use the standard version. It is only a benefit for specific (database/backup/clusters) reasons, to use the Enterprise Edition. You should get the usual security warning as shown in the picture here on the right. If you do not get it,...  go check all your security settings as there is probably someting wrong. The warning gives you the possibility to check the name, publisher, type and the location of the executable. Please try to perform always a visual check on these items. Most of the times it will be good, but it is allways better to verify!

Installing SQL 2008 Service Pack 2 - Picture 03 www.oostdam.infoNow, the package will extract several files to a temporary folder from where the installation will start. To better understand the process, just take a quick look at this folder and files. Most people never do,... You can remove this temporary folder, after the installation has completed. Please do so. I often see servers where this has not been done. Every impecable systemengineer should do this to my opinion, but unfortunately,... almost no one does.

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After extracting, automaticly the basic settings, installed features etc. etc. are being checked, to assure that the Service Pack 2 can be installed. All the default prerequisites, see the earlier mentioned Microsoft Download Center page and readme file for instance are being checked, before the actual installation can start. This way Microsoft assures, that the basics, needed for a good and correct installation of the Service Pack has been provided for.

Installing SQL 2008 Service Pack 2 - Picture 05 www.oostdam.infoAs you can see in the picture on the left, there are many items checked in the pre-installation. From consistency in the registry, "normal" things as clustering. You are able the fix issue's or warnings that have occur, but in most cases, this works pretty good. On the right you see the re-run button which you can use to re-run these checks after fixing an issue. You are able to find the details for these checks in Microsoft Knowledge Base article KB2285068 if your interested in that.

If everything is green and passed, you can click the "Next" button to go on with the installation.

In the next screen you will find the always present license agreement.Installing SQL 2008 Service Pack 2 - Picture 06 www.oostdam.info Nothing new her so far, but please notice that in all the latest Microsoft products, you are now able to directly copy the text to your clipboard, or to print it directly. This is the way Microsoft tries to push the world to read the license agreements a bit more. I've done it myself several times, but must admit that I often just check the box "I agree" en click next. Choose yourself, but you have to check the agreement to the continue.  

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In the next box you are able to select the features you want to install. You can have several, depending on de the services, database and instances you are using. This example is plain and simple so we leave the checkbox on, but as you can see, the shared features will allways be updated and are grayed-out. So Just click the next button.

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Everything is ready now to get the update of the Service Pack started, and yes there is is again, the summary. You might want to take a look at this, as it gives rather much information. It once helped me solving an issue with a not correctly working set of tools. In this particular screen I happen to see that the patch level was not what I was expected it to be. Perhaps an aborted earlier installation or something like that. Anyhow, read it on your own system, and check, check, check. 

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After updating all the components, dll's etc. etc. the following message wille appear and you will have Service Pack 2 for SQL 2008 installed. Congratulations, that must have been not too difficult.

If the installation did not succeed, you can easily find out what did go wrong, Installing SQL 2008 Service Pack 2 - Picture 10 www.oostdam.infoby going to the installation logfile which is created at startup and updated after every step in the installation. Unnecessary to tell you, not to turn off the power during the installation, but it it excellent reading and contains all the information needed when you are troubleshooting (installation) errors. The log has allways been there, but now it is available with one click on a shortcut. A big improvement in my opinion, Microsoft has made it really easy now to take a look at the installation logs. Please note that the location is in a new sub-directory under the default log path, and that the name of the file which has been created, contains the computer/instance name, as well as date and starting time of the actual installation of the Service Pack.  

Installing SQL 2008 Service Pack 2 - Picture 11 www.oostdam.infoWhen you open your SQL Management Studio now, you will see that the SQL server/instance has now version 10.0.4000. Your Service Pack 2 for SQL 2008 has been installed.


Ben OostdamBen Oostdam has been working with Windows systems since 1993. Worked for several companies as a system administrator, and is currently a Senior Support Engineer for Qurius Managed Services in the Netherlands specialized in System Center Solutions.

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