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SQL Server 2008 Installation on Windows 7 - Help is finally here!

Whatever edition of SQL Server 2008, regardless of it being 32-bit or 64-bit, chances are, if you’re installing SQL Server 2008 on Windows 7, you may encounter some of the frustrating issues below.  Hopefully, this information will help and ease your experience!

So, you finally decide to make the move (about time!) and install SQL Server 2008, explore all its features, and at the same time, get onto Windows 7, and leave the comfort of XP behind!   If you don’t know, Microsoft recently ended mainstream support for XP SP2, and Windows 2000 too.  While the option to just apply SP3 to XP still remains, it is recommended to get onto Windows 7.  Microsoft has been trying to persuade users to move to Windows 7, launched last year, by boasting of its increased security and functionality.

Ok, if you’re like so many other brave after-the-fact adapters J, just when you’re all excited about SQL 2008, you double-click your setup, and find that you can’t even get passed the initial installation screen, faster than you can say R2.  Well, before you revert back or go into panic mode, here is some help from those brave pioneers that took the plunge some time ago.

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 issue

When running setup.exe, you almost instantaneously receive the following Microsoft SQL Server Setup error:

"Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 installation has failed.

SQL Server 2008 Setup requires .NET Framework to be installed."

OK, but doesn’t Windows 7 already come preinstalled with .NET v.3.5?  Yes, and it should be sp1.  Also, to install SQL Server 2008, Windows Installer v.4.5 is required. Windows Installer 4.5 is installed and enabled by default, so it shouldn’t be an issue, just keep it in mind.

There is a quick way to find out which version you have installed.

I found this neat and simple, one line JavaScript  javascript[COLON]:alert(navigator.userAgent) (remove the square brackets and word "COLON")
Copy and paste that line of JavaScript code to IE Address bar and press ENTER key, you will see a pop-up dialog box with the versions installed.  It only works with an IE browser.  Otherwise, you can navigate to this registry path to get the version: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP.  (There is a dotNet Version Checker out there as well, you can Google)

So, before you rush off to install, uninstall and reinstall .NET framework v.3.5, the issue appears to be, not that 3.5 isn’t installed, but that the program is not recognizing this fact.  If you try downloading and installing the .NET package, you’re likely to get the message:  'You must use "Turn Windows features on or off" in the Control Panel to install or configure Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 SP1’

The problem here is that SQL Server 2008 installer erroneously states that 3.5 SP1 has not been installed when it has already been installed.  Although it might now dawn on the user why this is happening, if you examine the SQL Server 2008 setup log, you probably will find the following entries, confirming this:

Attempting to find media for .Net version 3.5
Error: Cannot determine file version of .Net redist: 0x80004005
.Net version 3.5 installation failed, so setup will close. Error code: 0x80004005
Setup closed with exit code: 0x80004005

The message line “Attempting to find media for .NET version 3.5”, may be more informative, as you know, that the SQL Server setup will install the necessary .NET component prerequisites.

So, if it can’t find it, it won’t install it.  According to the developer team at Microsoft, the error code means the setup can't determine the version of .NET contained on the media for your architecture.  Therefore, ensure your media contains the following paths and .NET EXE packages: 


If you find the dotNetFx35setup.exe among the installation files, you can create these paths, and rerun setup again. This particular fix has gotten me past the .NET v.3.5 failed error.

List of Known Issues

In addition, you might want to take a look at this KB article (955725) entitled, “List of known issues when you install SQL Server on Windows 7 or on Windows Server 2008 R2”.  This applies to both SQL 2005 AND 2008, and describes the known issues when you install Microsoft SQL Server on a computer that is running Windows 7.

Compatibility Warning

You also might get the dreaded “compatibility” warning, “The version of SQL Server instance Shared Component does not match the version expected by the SQL Server update. The installed SQL Server product version is 10.50.1447.4, and the expected SQL Server version is 10.0.1600.22.

The error message:  There are no SQL Server Instances or Shared Features that can be updated on this computer” This one can be safely ignored and continue on with the installation, keeping in mind to apply SQL Server 2008 SP1 after installation.

MS Visual Studio Error

Many of the known issues that crop up may be due to the fact you are installing prerelease version of SQL Server 2008.  The message that appears:

Rule "Previous releases of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008" failed.

A previous release of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 is installed on this computer. Upgrade Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to the SP1 before installing SQL Server 2008.

If you have installed Visual Studio 2008 or a prerelease version of SQL Server 2008, certain actions are required before you install the release version of SQL Server 2008.  To determine the actions that you must perform, you can read the KB article (956139), Actions that are required before you install SQL Server 2008 on a computer that has Visual Studio 2008 or the prerelease version of SQL Server 2008 installed.

Only some SQL Server 2008 features install Visual Studio 2008 components. If any of these features are selected at the end of the SQL Server 2008 setup process, SQL Server 2008 Setup blocks the installation if it detects any Visual Studio product that is earlier than Service Pack 1. When you try to install a SQL Server 2008 feature that installs a Visual Studio 2008 SP1 component, and you have Visual Studio 2008 without a service pack installed, you will receive that message. In this case you should install SP1 for visual studio 2008.

Generally, if you’re installing on a clean computer, that has never installed Visual Studio 2008, or SQL Server 2008, no action is required, and the SQL Server setup should install the necessary VS components for you.

Invoke or BeginInvoke

Another error that many folks have been hitting, when installing SQL Server 2008 is,

“Invoke or BeginInvoke cannot be called on a control until the window handle has been created

Microsoft advises that the issue is occurring due to .NET behavior on Win7 change that is exposing a bug in how UI dialogs are closed. However, if you just rerun the setup, you shouldn’t hit the issue again. (Great fix!) Nonetheless, if you’re still getting the error, after rerunning it again, and again and again, try the following,

Create a c:\temp folder, if one doesn’t exist, and also, be sure to “Run as Administrator”, by right-clicking the SQLServerxxxSetup.exe. 

There is a fix for this ‘Invoke or BeginInvoke’ error, and it was first released in Cumulative Update 4 for SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1.  Of course, you may end up applying after the fact.  KB article 975055, discusses the fix for this issue:  FIX: Error message when you install SQL Server 2008 on a computer that is running Windows 7: "Invoke or BeginInvoke cannot be called on a control until the window handle has been created."

SQL2008 keeps asking for restart

One other issue you may face as you work your way through any or all of the above installation issues, is that each time you run or rerun SQL Server setup, the installer keeps asking to restart the computer.  You can bypass the need for reboot, by opening Regedit, navigating to this key: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager" and deleting any value in "PendingFileRenameOperations"  Although this is an old know trick, as always, be careful when editing the registry!

Happy Installing!



Posted by Jason Brimhall on 19 July 2010

Thanks.  I am glad to see some fixes for these problems.

Posted by bill_twomey on 19 July 2010

After you get sql2008 installed on your 64bit Win7 machine, watch out with aliases.  You will have to create them using the 64 bit SQL Native Configuration tool, not the 32 bit.

Posted by Peter on 3 October 2010

Thanks for the post, it has helped me to know that I am not the only one with the issue.  Apple my take the approach that everything just works but apparently Microsoft didn't get the concept.

My installation attempt is for SQL Server 2008 R2 x86 (not the 64bit one) on Win 7 64bit.  I am having a problem though when doing the SQL Server Core install.  When running it the following error comes up:

TITLE: SQL Server Setup failure.


SQL Server Setup has encountered the following error:

Method not found: 'Boolean Microsoft.SqlServer.Configuration.MsiExtension.MsiExtensionMetadata.get_IsSlipstreamOrPatch()'..


Do you have any thoughts on this?

Posted by Robert Pearl on 4 October 2010


Try to run SQL setup with Run as Administrator method

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