Installing 2008 SQL on Windows Server 2012

By | February 22, 2016

Keeping this short and sweet.

Problem: SQL Server Full 2008 Server installation media fails on Windows Server 2012. It is however a supported platform, so there has to be a way.

Solution: Update installer package and slipstream updates from SP1 prior to setup.

  1. Copy DVD/.ISO Installer medium from original 2008 SQL Full to a directory on C:\, such as C:\SQLServer
  2. Download SP1 packs from Microsoft
    1. Download all versions (x86, x64, ia64) to keep things simple
    2. Currently it can be found @
  3. Extract service packs to PCU directory
    1. examples:
      1. SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-IA64-ENU.exe /x:c:\SQLServer\PCU
        SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x86-ENU.exe /x:c:\SQLServer\PCU
        SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x64-ENU.exe /x:c:\SQLServer\PCU
  4. Replace original Setup.exe and Setup.rll with those from the service packs.
    1. copy C:\SQLServer\PCU c:\SQLServer Setup.exe
      copy C:\SQLServer\PCU c:\SQLServer Setup.rll
  5. Update original setup’s architecture files (x64, etc.) with those from SP1; excluding Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll (thanks petersad)
    1. robocopy C:\SQLServer\pcu\x86 C:\SQLServer\x86 /XF Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll
      robocopy C:\SQLServer\pcu\x64 C:\SQLServer\x64 /XF Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll
      robocopy C:\SQLServer\pcu\ia64 C:\SQLServer\ia64 /XF Microsoft.SQL.Chainer.PackageData.dll
  6. Run SQL Server 2008 setup specifying PCU source
    1. Setup.exe /PCUSource=C:\SQLServer\PCU
  7. Follow the rest of the prompts as usual
  8. After finished, reboot, then install SP2/SP3/whatever.

I still came across some compatibility errors at the begining when running the setup, but when ignoring them (“run anyways”) the installer moved forward without issue. People will have mixed results with these steps as I had mixed results from other peoples’ solutions myself and these were my final steps. If you have further problems, you might check out the links below as alternatives.


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