Troubleshooting SQL Server 2000 installation issues

Should you have problems installing SQL Server 2000, review this troubleshooting checklist to find potential solutions.

1. Check the hardware requirements.

You should have:

  • Intel or compatible platform
  • Pentium 166 MHz or higher (Pentium II, III, IV and compatible)
  • 32MB RAM (minimum for Desktop Engine),
      64MB RAM (minimum for all other editions)
      128 MB RAM or more recommended
  • 270MB (full installation), 250MB (typical), 95MB (minimum),
      44 MB (Desktop Engine) plus Analysis Services: 50 MB minimum
      and 130 MB typical and 80 MB for the English Query

2. Check the software requirements.

You should have:

  • For the Enterprise Edition and Standard Edition:
    • Windows NT Server 4.0 with service pack 5 or later
    • Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition with service pack 5 or later
    • Windows 2000 Server/Advanced Server/Datacenter
  • For the Personal Edition and Desktop Engine:
    • Windows 98
    • Windows NT Server/Workstation 4.0 with Service Pack 5
    • Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 5
    • Windows 2000 (all editions)
  • For the Developer Edition:
    • Windows NT Server/Workstation 4.0 with Service Pack 5
    • Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 5
    • Windows 2000 (all editions)
  • For the SQL Server CE:
    • Windows CE

3. Check that your hardware is listed in the hardware compatibility list.

For more information about the specific supported hardware, look at the
hardware compatibility list at

4. Login as a Local Administrator on the Server.

SQL Server needs the administrator’s permissions to create registry
entries, create services and so on.

5. Use the LocalSystem account for MSSQLServer and SQLServerAgent services.

You can change it later to an appropriate domain account, once you have
successfully installed SQL Server. Using the LocalSystem account helps
to reduce potential SQL Server installation problems.

6. Close the Service Manager icon in the taskbar.

Microsoft recommends closing the Service Manager icon in the taskbar because it may cause SQL Server Setup to fail.

7. Stop some services, which can cause installation failure.

Because some services may cause installation failure of SQL Server due
to a Windows NT/2000 logon failure or time out, you should stop these
services before installing SQL Server 2000, and then restart them once
SQL Server has been successfully installed. Stop the following services:

  • IIS – Internet Information Server
  • Exchange Server
  • SNA Server
  • Disk Keeper
  • SNMP Service
  • Anti-virus software (such as McAfee)
  • Backup products (such as ARC Server)

8. Close all extraneous programs that are running.

Because extraneous programs use some system resources, it is a good idea
to close all extraneous programs before installing SQL Server 2000. Be sure
that there are no any programs on the taskbar except the Setup application.

9. Problems installing MS DTC on computers with multiple network
cards or SPX installed.

If you cannot install MS DTC on a server with multiple network cards or
SPX installed, uninstall one of the network cards or SPX, and then retry
the SQL Server Setup.

10. You can get the error during installation of SQL Server 2000
Personal Edition or SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine if there is a
previous edition of SQL Server 7.0 Desktop Edition or MSDE 1.0

The cause of this error is that there is not enough system memory to run all of the necessary SQL scripts. You should have at least 48 Mb
of RAM (for Windows 9x) rather than the 32 MB of RAM as stated in SQL Server Books Online.

11. Before reinstalling SQL Server 2000 after a failed install,
delete the following registry entries:


and delete the target installation directory.

12. If you install SQL Server 2000 on Windows 9x, you should install
Microsoft Client for Networks.

To install Microsoft Client for Networks, click
Start -> Control Panel -> Network -> Add Microsoft Client for Networks.

13. To locate any problems during setup, check the sqlstp.log, setup.log
and errorlog files.

The following files, found on your server, can provide valuable error messages if your SQL Server installation fails:

  • sqlstp.log (located in your Windows or WinNT directory)
  • errorlog file (located in the Log directory of the target installation directory)
  • setup.log file (located in your Windows or WinNT directory)


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Alexander Chigrik

Alexander Chigrik
Alexander Chigrik
I am the owner of MSSQLCity.Com - a site dedicated to providing useful information for IT professionals using Microsoft SQL Server. This site contains SQL Server Articles, FAQs, Scripts, Tips and Test Exams.

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