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SQL Server, Windows 2003

Installing an SQL Server 2000 Named Instance on a Windows Server 2003 Cluster Fails

08.18.06 | 1 Comment

I have been preparing for my company’s annual disaster recovery exercise, and while testing our SQL Server restore plan, I ran into a problem. Since I haven’t been able to find out much on the Internet (except for one hard-to-find knowledge base article; see below), I thought I’d describe the symptoms and the workaround.

There are four specific conditions that cause this problem:

1) You are installing a named instance
2) of Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise
3) onto a cluster
4) running Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

When you attempt to install SQL Server in this configuration, Windows pops up a dialog stating that SQL Server without Service Pack 3 or higher is not supported on Windows Server 2003. What it doesn’t tell you, unless you find a particular event in the event log, is that it disables SQL Server’s TCP and UDP ports, meaning that no client processes will be able to communicate with SQL over TCP/IP.

Which is a big problem, because that’s exactly how the installation program determines if setup has been successful. In the situation described above, setup will eventually abort. So you can’t install SQL Server without Service Pack 3, but you can’t install SP3 until you have installed SQL Server. Thanks, Bill!

Fortunately, there is a workaround, as described in the rather hard-to-find knowledge base article Q815431. To install SQL 2000, follow these steps:

1) Install the SQL Server Client Tools ONLY. Do not attempt a full install of SQL Server.

2) Using the client network utility, create an alias to the desired SQL Server named instance. Used Named Pipes as the transport for this alias. You will need to supply the cluster group name and SQL instance name. For example, if the cluster group you’ll be installing to is CLUSTERA, and the SQL instance name is SQL2K, then you should use CLUSTERA\SQL2K for the alias’ destination.

3) Install normally. When the setup routine queries the status of the newly-installed server, it will be able to communicate using named pipes.

4) Install the appropriate service pack.

5) Remove the alias created in step 2.

And that’s it. SQL Server 2000 will now run properly.

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