SQL Server 2008 install error

Published 02/11/2008 by Henry in SQL

I wanted to start using SQL server 2008 on my dev machine.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 logo

I removed all sql server 2005 installations and Visual Studio 2005 (BI Tools).
I am running vista 64 bit, so I install SQL Server 2008 64 bit.
I needed to install sql server 2008 on another drive than the default suggested 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Sql Server\'. The drive and path I wanted to use was 'D:\Program Files\Microsoft Sql Server\'.
During setup (when selecting features), I received the following error : "The INSTANCESHAREDWOWDIR command line value was not specified. This value must be specified when the INSTANCESHAREDDIR value is specified."
Yeah, I know this is really helpfull, don't you agree...
It appears that this error only occurs if I select an install dir different from the default one (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Sql Server).

I found a work-around:

  1. Run the setup, select all the features you want to install. DO NOT change the install folder, press next 
  2. When you see the screen displaying the configuration summary (just continue the setup untill you can copy the ConfigurationFile.ini path)
  3. Copy/paste the  ConfigurationFile.ini file on the drive/folder you want to use for installation
  4. Edit this file to set correct values for INSTALLSHAREDDIR & INSTALLSHAREDWOWDIR (for my case I set D:\Program Files\Microsoft Sql Server and D:\Program Files\Microsoft Sql Server (x86))
  5. This step was neccesary because I want to use mixed mode authentication, if you also want to use mixed mode authentication you have to add the sa password to the ini file:
     If you have: SECURITYMODE="SQL"
     Add this entry to the file:
  6. Run setup from the command line : setup.exe /q /action=Install /configurationfile=<Path to your custom .ini>
     In my case, I first did a 'G:' and than an '<ENTER>' in the command prompt to navigate to the SQL Server 2008 installation Drive, than I entered:
     setup.exe /q /action=Install /configurationfile="D:\Program Files\Microsoft Sql Server\ConfigurationFile.ini"
     Note : the /q stands for silent mode. I didn't try without this switch.

The setup build I used was:  10.00.1600.22.

In the end I succesfully installed SQL server 2008 on my dev machine, but it took me a lot longer than initially was the plan.

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...

Comments (19) -

Count Zyx | Reply

12/02/2009 13:01:37 #

Great advice. I'm totally adding this to my delicious!

If I may add, based on the information I was able to pull using configuration file, you can also run this from a Command Prompt where the present working directory is the root of the installation files for MS SQL 2008:
setup.exe /Action="Install" /INSTALLSHAREDDIR="D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server" /INSTALLSHAREDWOWDIR="D:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server"

Assuming you want to install in the D: drive, of course.

And if you want to install BIDS on a machine with Visual Studio 2008 already installed, but not in the C: drive, check out this article:


Copy over that devenv.exe.config file to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE, or you will get an error while the installer tries to put in BIDS.

Count Zyx

Help Germany | Reply

10/02/2011 12:08:34 #

IN regedit go to the following path
you will find any one of these two guids in this path:
sharedComponentGuidx86 = {0CAFB09C-8D02-4AE7-8611-8C63DAC305F7}
sharedComponentGuidx64 = {D663F1D0-0EF0-404E-8F1C-E54E1F1C0549}

just delete it and continue installing without errors...

Have Fun

Sinan United States | Reply

01/03/2011 13:10:57 #

This worked for me. Just search for "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\" exact path on the registry and delete them.
Continue installation,

12/02/2009 21:37:28 #

Thx, great advice on the BIDS with Visual Studio 2008!

Cheers, Henry

Mike | Reply

04/04/2009 03:26:20 #

Great post, thanks Smile

Pete | Reply

30/07/2009 16:47:46 #

Cheers Count Zyx - that got me going.
Installing SQL 2008 Web, even leaving as the default directories resulted in this error.

Ian | Reply

23/08/2009 23:30:33 #

Sorry for being dense, but where am i supposed to copy this ini file from? And what directory value do i need to change if i want the databases installed by default on a folder on D drive. I dont care if the software itself is installed on C. Actually, i'd prefer the software on C and data on D.


24/08/2009 21:22:02 #

File can be found in: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Sql Server\ConfigurationFile.ini
If you want to install software on C drive, you should not get the error.
Do not change the the drive when you are installing, after you did the setup, change the default path in SQL Server Manager's server settings

Victoria | Reply

03/10/2009 19:37:12 #

The INSTANCESHAREDWOWDIR command line value was not specified. This value must be specified when the INSTANCESHAREDDIR value is specified."  

When using the SQL 2008 x64 GUI install, I found that if I changed the
the top Shared features directory path, I needed to re-input the bottom Shared features directory (x86) path even though I wanted to leave it at the default.  Otherwise, it seems that the GUI install interprets this as no input.

Thank you for leading me in the right direction!

paul | Reply

30/11/2009 16:21:16 #

i noticed you deleted my post but thats ok i was mainly venting.
spelling on a web site is critical.



2.Getting tired of ((( mantaining ))) versioning inside of my C# solutions

paul | Reply

30/11/2009 16:23:26 #

woops i did it too.


paul | Reply

30/11/2009 16:59:11 #

another thing about the install..

so obvious ... one of the errors reads as follows.
Rule "Windows Firewall" generated a warning.

The windows Firewall is enabled. Make sure the appropriate ports
are open to enable remote access. See the rules documentation at
http://go.microsoft.com/flink/?LinkID=94001 for information
about ports to open for each feature.

how hard would it have been for the programmers at microsoft to have placed a button on the dialog box
that reads (((  auto configure remote access through the firewall )))
after all they know their firewall and opperating system and security better than anybody else.
dont they?

so obvious.

something like that would ensure that comments like this wouldnt appear on forums like this one.

paul | Reply

30/11/2009 17:41:19 #

im glad that somebody has been sucessfull in using sql 2008 !

i have fresh installed ws 08 x64 ent

then tried to install sql 2008 x64 ent.

the install had the following failures !!!
database engine services
sql replication
full text search
reporting services etc ...

it would seem that microsoft would take into consideration that everyone that purchases their products does not know everything that they know.

and they would offer or include a program that can create a setup config file for you that would check the firewall for inabilities to connect to sql ie .. set up rules in the firewall , check the user accounts ie... set up user account access , from what i have seen so far setting up sql 2008 ent on ws 08 requires some sort of magical spell ... or is it the magical $265.00 support call ?

i want to install commerce server 2009 but it looks like i might have to go linux to be able to have a commerce website that is functional.

Christoph Nagele | Reply

10/12/2009 12:46:05 #

Does someone have a solution for how to install SQL 2008 Servicepack 1 ??????????

Richard | Reply

31/01/2010 07:13:11 #

Yeah - I found the thread where this solutions was offered. Sadly, on our Windows Server 2003 (64 bit), when I try ANY setup from the command line it refuses to run and pops up "Please go to the Control Panel to install and configure system components", despite the fact I am a full admin on that system. Any clue?

Sally Attalla | Reply

16/03/2010 11:12:11 #

I  have  a problem  when  i  setup  Sql  serever  2008  by  cmd  .
i wort  setup.exe /q /action=Install /configurationfile=E:\ConfigrationFile.ini, but   i  have  this  message
"Please   go to  control panel  to install  and  configure  sysrem  componentes  "

Christoph Nagele | Reply

15/05/2010 01:01:20 #

Has anybody tried to install Service Pack 1 for SQL 2008 ? I was able to install the SQL 2008 using the help of the posts here, but I am able to install SP1/2.

Any help is appreciated !!!

21/09/2010 10:48:40 #

Great blog!

Nitasha Islamic Republic of Pakistan | Reply

19/06/2011 20:54:30 #

I want to install sql server 2008 in D:\ drive but it generate an error at "setup support rules" it gave me a warning in windows firewall any one gave me the answer how i solve the problem

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