Problem installing SQL Server 2008 on Windows 2008 R2

This post is focused on installing SQL Server 2008 on a Windows 2008 R2 server for those of only need to do a few installs. In other words, this is the quick fix. At the bottom of this post is the solution for how to resolve this issue if you regularly install SQL Server in this configuration. In other words, at the bottom is the enterprise solution. For me, I ran into this issue building a virtual machine for local testing of SharePoint.

I ran into a problem installing SQL Server 2008 (SQL2K8) RTM onto a Windows 2008 R2 server. After some research, the issue is SQL2K8 is not supported on Windows 2008 R2 without SQL2K8 Service Pack 1.  We receive this error message when you try the install:

SQL 2008 Warning

If you continue the install process, you will get through all the setup screens but the installation of any of the services will fail. The issue is the setup files that come with the RTM version of SQL2K8 cannot properly install the services on the R2 version of Windows 2008.  Anything I did from this point forward did not resolve the issue. I did some research and found the answer. I started with a clean Windows 2008 R2 image and started my resolution process from there.

So here is the work around solution. Before you even try to install SQL2K8, run the SQL2K8 Service Pack 1 install. As it starts up, it will install the latest group of setup support files.

Installing SQL 2008 SP1 Support Files

After this part is done, it will not detect any installed SQL components (to be expected) and you will cancel the installation. Now run the installation of SQL2K8 just like you always would. The installation will detect that there are newer versions of the setup files installed already and will use them instead. These SP1 setup files are aware of Windows 2008 R2 and your installation will complete successfully.

Remember to go back and re-run the SQL2K8 Service Pack 1 to actually update the installed services on your system now. That is it!  You are done!

Enterprise Solution: If you are regularly installing SQL2K8, this solution is very much a work around and adds extra steps and time. The solution for when doing several installs is to make a SQL Server 2008 SP1 slipstream install location. With this solution, you will be able to run the install once, have it install without errors, have the server configured and have the service pack already installed.

About J.D. Wade

Lead Technical Cloud Architect, husband, active in community theatre, love watching movies, have been described as “quirky”, aka “KB Man”
This entry was posted in Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Windows Server, SQL Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Problem installing SQL Server 2008 on Windows 2008 R2

  1. ddc says:

    awesome finding! that fixed my problem. Thanks.

  2. Charles says:

    Thanks very much, I was looking for this solution for a while.

  3. Ehsan says:

    You are the man, thanks for the work around as it’s solved issues for my SQL projects

  4. Kenneth Rytter Jensen says:

    Thanks a LOT for this !

    I didn’t use a blank 2008 R2 install – I just uninstalled all SQL server programs, installed SP1, and then the SQL server

    Works fine 🙂

  5. Mark Ford says:

    Many thanks indeed for this tip – saved me hours!

  6. martina says:

    great, thanks a lot!
    Seems to be quite crazy to pay so much for programs that cannot even be installed without problems!

  7. Endy says:

    Great post.. thanks for sharing 😀

  8. GWP says:

    Great Post — worked like a charm. One thing that happened for me was that during the install it asked for some files from the extracted SP1. I simply expanded and pointed to those and it worked great.

  9. Eric says:

    THANKS A MILLION – I’ve wasted a full day trying to wrap my head around this, was getting:

    The following error has occurred:

    Error writing to file: Microsoft.AnalysisServices.AdomdClient.dll. Verify that

    you have access to that directory.

    Click ‘Retry’ to retry the failed action, or click ‘Cancel’ to cancel this action

    and continue setup.

    For help, click:


    installed SP1 first, worked like a charm.

  10. Jaldo says:

    Thanks for this awesome Post! Great…

    Do this workaround also works with SQL Server 2008 SP2 support files?

    • J.D. Wade says:

      Hi Jaldo,

      I haven’t tested it but it should it. Since the fix was introduced in Service Pack 1 and the install process works the same for Service Pack 2, the workaround solution should work fine with Service Pack 2.


  11. sunesh says:


  12. After trying to install first SP1 my SQL 2008 R2 did’nt give me the error “Error reading from file xtfugnej.dll. ” anymore! thnx!

  13. RobD says:

    Absolutely would not work for me. After many,many repeated tries still get the “known incompatibiliies” message.

  14. Larry Yang says:

    In Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise (SP1), I tried to install MS SQL Server 2008 SP1 first before installing MS SQL Server 2008, but it can not go through in ‘Feature Selects’;

    Because I do not install SQL Server 2008, no any Feature in combox, and can’t make any selection.

    Does anyone meet this situation?


    • J.D. Wade says:

      Larry…that is correct. But because you went through the installation to that screen, newer setup files were deployed to your system. You cancel out of the SP1 install when you get to the point where you can’t select anything and then you go back and install SQL normally.

  15. RO says:

    What to do when you already have SQL 2008 running on W2K8 R2 without SP1?

    • J.D. Wade says:

      So SQL 2008 is supported on Windows 2008 R2 once you get to Service Pack 1 or higher. So I would recommend upgrading to Service Pack 3 for SQL Server 2008 since it is the latest service pack. Also, the only versions of SQL Server 2008 currently supported by Microsoft are SQL 2008 Service Pack 2 or higher. Microsoft only supports their server software at the current service pack or the previous service pack (for up to 12 months after the latest service pack is released). So either way, currently you aren’t on a supported version of SQL Server 2008.

  16. Ted says:

    I have been trying to install SQL 2008 on a Windows 2008 R2 standard server (with SP1) and I get a “incorrect operating system error in the install. I have gone through the documentation for all versions of SQL 2008 and my version of Windows is listed as correct for all SQL versions. Does anyone have any idea what to do next? The OS passes during the initial startup of the install for SQL – but after I add the users and the location for files – the setup runs another check of the OS and that is where it fails.

  17. Saleh Hamad says:

    I’m about installing SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows 2008 R2 Server Standard Edition. Fortunately, I came across this article before I start. Thank you!

  18. Marie Freeman says:

    As much as I wanted this to work for me, it did not. I am at my wits end at this point and I’m just going to build a new machine with a compatible OS.

  19. Bilal says:

    It did not worked for me so i tried following before successful installation.

  20. Karthi says:

    i have installed ” Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (RTM) – 10.50.1600.1 (X64) Apr 2 2010 15:48:46
    Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation Enterprise Edition (64-bit) on Windows NT 6.1 (Build 7600: )” . can i install SP’s on RTM version?. if so what SP available for SQL Server 2008 R2 (RTM) – 10.50.1600.1

  21. cordoba says:

    I want to install sql server 2008 r2 but when I run it to install its setup can not run what’s the solution?

  22. Arturo says:

    Thanks a lot, good job.

  23. John says:

    You sir made my day .. Thanks a lot .. I have been trying to install SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows Server 2008 system since I have a 32-bit server system and that’s the only latest server operating system that I could go for and still be able to install sql server 2008 r2 .. After I started receiving this error message “Unable to load one or more requested types. Retrieve loaderexceptions property for more information” .. I’ve been killing myself with the google search trying every other alternative .. The error message is really not helpful .. Took your suggestion .. Worked like a charm .. Thanks again !!!

  24. Juergen Steffe says:

    I try to Update from SQL2008 to SQL2008 R2 on a 2K8R2 System an becam the following Error.
    Fehler beim SQL Server 2008 R2 Setup.

    Problemereignisname: SQL100MSI
    Problemsignatur 01: 10.50.1600.1
    Problemsignatur 02: 12.0.6015.5000
    Problemsignatur 03: dw20sharedamd64.msi
    Problemsignatur 04: 0x162A16FE
    Problemsignatur 05: 0x1603
    Problemsignatur 06: Install_WatsonX64
    Betriebsystemversion: 6.1.7601.
    Gebietsschema-ID: 1031

    Zusatzinformationen zum Problem:
    LCID: 1033
    Do anyone know what to do ?

  25. tintin says:

    I try to first installed mysql server 2008 sp1 and after I installed mysql server 2008, the program compatibility assistant does not appeared in my screen and continue installing, but it’s not install completely in my computer. what can I do?

  26. Nilesh says:

    access deis denied for setting up throgh set up file

  27. Perfectly worked! thanks for the effective guide 🙂

  28. Satalion says:

    Hi All,
    I have been trying to install SQL SERVER 2008 R2 on my laptop with window XP.
    Just right before the installation to be completed, I am getting an error message “you dont have a valid login”.
    If someone have the fix, please share.


  29. Gobinda says:

    Hi All,
    I came across with the similar issue and finally was able to install SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 64-bit edition on Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition x64 OS.

    I would like to inform you all that the stubborn installation had been completed successfully using edition upgrade approach.

    Initially, I installed MS SQL Server 2008 R2 Developers Edition(64-bit) on Windows Server 2008 R2 X64 server and later upgraded to Enterprise edition of SQL Server 2008 R2(64-bit), and it worked for me.


  30. Santosh says:

    Hi J.D

    I am getting the below error while installing SQL server 2008r2 enterprise on windows server 2008 r2.

    TITLE: SQL Server 2008 R2 Setup

    The following error has occurred:

    The specified local group does not exist.

    Click ‘Retry’ to retry the failed action, or click ‘Cancel’ to cancel this action and continue setup.

    For help, click:




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