SQL-2012-logo www.oostdam.infoMicrosoft SQL Server is a great product to work with. Especially after the releases of version 2005, 2008 version and now we have the 2012 available. For me, 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. In this version there are even more and more improvements, so thats the main reason I will publish quit a number of articles about it in the next couple of weeks.  In these articles I like to share with you, some errors and "best practices" that came up during my work on a number of occasions. 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. This article handles the first and basic installation.

Installing SQL 2012 :
Sure, you checked all the system pre-requirements before you start installing SQL 2012 server on your system. Even better is it, when a technical design is in the bases of your installation. SQL server is not too difficult to install, but especially when you need a very high performance, a good thought about raid-sets, (virtual) CPU's, memory and temp databases storage is very important. Ofcourse you start the installation with evaluated rights, after rebooting the system, just to be sure. A small white box occurs, indicating that the setup is preparing the wizard that will guide you through the process. The installation will begin with a separate Setup Support Rules, that will be checking your entire system also. The installation cannot continue before everything is green in this screen.

Read the above lines and you will understand why this is important, once started,
these settings cannot be reversed and need to be absolutely good.
Click "Next" to continue and you have to provide the product key. Dashes will be added automatically.
The provided key is leading for which version of SQL 2012 will be installed.

Again, click "Next" to continue, and now you will have to accept the Microsoft Software License Terms.
Note that it is a large text, but also, that you can copy the text to your clipboard or directly print it. If you have a spare 15 minutes, just take the trouble of actually read it sometimes. It will probably an eye-opener for you when your done. The privacy statement can be read directly from the webpage by clicking the url. Assuming you have IE sec configured the right way.

I personally never choose for the option to send Microsoft information my hardware and SQL usage, but that's up to your own decision. Do not think they never ever read all this, because they actually do read and collect it, mainly for learning purposes and future products or Service Packs releases.  Click "Next" to continue your installation.

Now, depending on your internet settings/configuration or even Operating System, you can get the next error 0x8024402C:Exception from HRESULT 0x8024402C when the installation is trying to use Windows Updates for SQL updates during the basic installation. In my case, I'm using Windows 8 to for this installations and the working of Windows Updates is slightly different then the previous end-users systems, so I guess that's the problem here.

You can click on the error itself and then the screen pops-up With this SQL Server Setup error that says that the class is not registered.

Just press/click the "Check Again button a couple of times and mostly it will be good after the second try.

Now, the real SQL Server Setup files are copied to a temporary directory on your machine before the actual installation can begin.

Depending on several variables, the machine can require a reboot as well, but, as you can see above, that's usually required after
the final installation. Between the wizard screens it is normal that you can see some progress mini-menu's like shown below.

After this initial Setup, you will see an overview of the actions and checks that have taken place and problems or warnings that need your attention.

In this case, a Windows Firewall Warning is shown, so lets click on the warning to see some more detailed information.


Aha, that's my firewall ofcourse. I'm a person that likes to have all firewalls on, so check if the configured ports, are open both ways, to enable communications between applications and this SQL instance where your data will be stored. So, done that, everything is green again, and now we can go on with the installation process. 

I selected the SQL Server Feature Installation, as that's the one I need right now.
The other options will perhaps be discussed in another article later.

For this, very basic installation , we will be only installing the database engine and the management tools. On the right there are few new, and improved blocks, explaining the functionality of the feature and the installation prerequisites that are coming with them. Very good information, especially when your not sure about functionality or requirements. Change the default Shared Feature directory if you like, but most administrators will keep it there. Next, choose the default instance or a named instance for this installation. I personally do not recommend it, but you can install multiple SQL versions, and instances on the same server. As long as that works, fine, but troubleshooting a multiinstance/version SQL server can provide you a big haddack, just remember that. We choose the default instance here and the default path directory for the instance root files.

Previous installed instances will be shown at the botton of this screen. ( See the picture above this line.   The diskspace required is shown, please check this carefully. This is not part of the first Setup check as it is only two steps ago, that we selected the options that we are going to install.

Yeah, that is enough space available, so we continue the wizard with the "Next" button,
and we are seeing the Service/Services configuration tab now. 

In this tab we configure the basic services accounts that our SQL installation depends on. Check your services accounts and fill in the domain\accountname. Choose the initial startup types for these services and remember that I always advise to use separate accounts for every service. After doing this, click on the second tab, to see or change the database collation. By default this is SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS but it can be changed, when needed, for application reasons or whatever.  

Click on the "Next" button to continue and now we are moving towards the database settings of the installation. At this point we still did not install anything else than the first setup files, but everything is normal to this installation. Lots, and lots to type in and configure first, and only if everything is completed the installation will begin. Nothing very new, if you have installed SQL Server before. Usually Windows authentication mode is selected but there can be good reasons for using the mixed mode as well, depending on environments, applications and supported authentication methods. For these demo screens I do not fill in an extra SA password, but I can recommend it to you all. It can be an extra backdoor to get to your databases in case all windows authentications fail. Below you can add the SQL Server Administrators that will becomes sysadmins in the new installation for every database. That can be corrected and re-configured later. In this case I put in my own personal account and the administrators account to it, but I recommend the use of a security group from your domain for it. That will be easier to control, audit and gives you the best flexibility you can have for the future. If you choose the named accounts, make sure that you always add multiple accounts, so that you can never lock-out yourself. After configuring this tab, please click on the "Data Directories" tab.

And now its becoming very interesting. For optimal performance of your SQL databases a design plan is almost necessary. In this case, see the screen below, I configured separately directories for users, systems, userlogs, temp DB's and backup directory. My H and G drive is a slow external disks and my D partition is a fast SSD drive. So whats wrong with the screen below?  Nothing for testing reasons!  The usage of the databases in the future is what counts. A high performance database with a high number of I/Ops in a tempdatabase will need another configuration than a read-only database for fast website information display to name an example. It all depends on the usage. There are many whitepapers available for common SQL settings and "Best Practices" on the internet. Please take a moment to think about a configuration that suites your companies needs the best way possible. When virtualized, sizes of disks can be adjusted rather simple, but underlaying storage, raid-sets and storagepools are not often changed.    

We leave the FILESTREAM tab for what it is , the default,...  I will explain that in another article, and we are choosing "Next" again towards the error configuration tab. Choose here if you want to check this error box to provide information to Microsoft or your corporate server. If you want this ? check the box, I will explain in another article how to configure these error reports to be send to your corporate server, so your database administrators are able to analyze things better and earlier.  We leave it un-checked for now,  in this demo.

A final installation configuration check at the end of this wizard to check upon some final settings. Why at the end? You could have pointed a database directory to a wrong disk that id not NTFS or ReFS formatted, etc. etc. etc.

Above, we mentioned earlier the default locations of reports for detailed reports from within the configuration wizard. Underneath is the example of this last "GlobalRules" report, just as an example. This is all rather self-explaining but might be handy if you never saw it before. Read and learn from it I should say.

Note that there is no more "Next" button, but it changed into an "Install" button now.
Lets start the installation and watch it running, copying and installing.

This might take a while, depending on the selected features, so grap a cup of coffee and let it run. 
At the end a summary screen is displayed, check if everything has succeeded. Again a pop-up to remember you at the required reboot.

From this screen you can also go directly to the Microsoft SQL Books Online site and view the summary log that is located at the default location.

After rebooting your system, you are able to start the SQL Management Suite. Notice that some menu's within Microsoft SQL Server Management Suite are looking a bit more smoothly and that the, lets say, AlwaysOn High availability option is available. You can check all your installed versions by clicking on the "Help" and "About..." settings. You will see something like here below.

This is the end of your (first) SQL installation. Remember that database settings on an individual basis are very important as well.
I hope you will perform these actions a lot more in the future, that means you did some steps up in the IT-administration stairs.
This whole process can be performed by an answer file as well, but that's probably more for large enterprise administrators.

If you have any questions about this article, or have an addition to it, do not hesitate to contact me.

Have fun using SQL Server 2012 !



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 and Trainer for a large company in the Netherlands specialized in System Center Solutions, Windows 7 & 8 and Windows Server products 2008 & 2012.

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