How to Set Up a Microsoft SQL Server

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Microsoft SQL Server allows you to create powerful database applications. SQL databases can serve as your front and back end for websites and programs. Setting up a Microsoft SQL Server involves installing several different components, including the database engine, reporting services, connectivity tools and sample databases. You can install SQL Server from a command prompt, but the easiest and most recommended method is by using the Microsoft SQL Server disk or disks. The SQL Server disk will also install the required Windows Updates you need to use the program.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft SQL Server disk(s) -- Number of disks vary by version
  • Insert the Microsoft SQL Server disk in your CD/DVD drive. If the setup wizard doesn't begin automatically, explore the files on the disk and double-click the "setup.exe" file in the root folder.

  • Install any prerequisites. The SQL Server installation may try to begin at the same time. Exit the SQL Server installation and install prerequisites first. Agree to the license agreement for any prerequisites such as the .NET Framework. Follow the installation wizard to complete prerequisite installations. Click "Finish" when complete. Restart your computer if prompted.
    If all prerequisites are already installed, this step will be skipped.

  • Click "New Installation or Add Features to an Existing Installation" to begin the SQL Server installation. Press "OK" to set up log files. Choose whether your version of SQL Server is a free version or has a product key. If a product key is needed, enter your product key and press "Next."

  • Agree to the terms of service. Choose which components you wish to install. Place a check mark in the box of each component you want installed. Choose where you want to install SQL Server. Most users choose the default folder.

  • Choose whether you want to install a default or named instance. A named instance is typically used only if you will be installing multiple SQL Server instances. If any instance of SQL Server already exists, you must choose a named instance.

  • Select a log-on for the SQL services. One log-on can control all services, or each service can have a unique log-on. Continue following the SQL Server wizard to configure your selected services. Each component you chose to install will have a configuration wizard page.

  • Choose whether to enable error reporting. This sends nonidentifying information to Microsoft when SQL Server errors occur. This is turned on by default. Press "Install" after reviewing your configuration settings. Press "Close" once the installation is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want a completely clean installation, uninstall all instances of SQL Server before installing a new version.
  • Remember your SQL Server password for each service. Applications and websites will require the password in order to access the database.

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