Problems Installing SQL Server 2008

I ran across a breaking error while trying to install SQL Server 2008 on a Windows 7 machine. The rule “Previous releases of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008” failed. Here is the error message that I received.

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

That was odd, because I actually had Visual Studio 2008 with SP1 installed on that machine. So I start looking for answers and found this Knowledge Base article (KB956139) from Microsoft that said that if Visual Studio 2008 SP1 was installed then “No action is required.” Obviously that didn’t help at all.

Then I start looking into the logs (which are located under C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\). There is a log file called Detail.txt that revealed the following error:

2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to create base registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, machine
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to open registry subkey
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to open registry subkey SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DevDiv\VS\Servicing\9.0\IDE
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to open registry subkey 1033
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to get registry value SP
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to get registry value kind for value SP
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Found Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 edition IDE, language 1033, SP level 0.
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 edition IDE, language 1033 does not have required SP level. Upgrade Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to the SP1 before installing SQL Server 2008.
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to create base registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, machine
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to open registry subkey
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to open registry subkey SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DevDiv\VS\Servicing\9.0\STD
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to create base registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, machine
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to open registry subkey
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to open registry subkey SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DevDiv\VS\Servicing\9.0\PRO
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to create base registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, machine
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to open registry subkey
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to open registry subkey SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DevDiv\VS\Servicing\9.0\VSTD
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to open registry subkey 1033
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to get registry value SP
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Sco: Attempting to get registry value kind for value SP
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Found Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 edition VSTD, language 1033, SP level 1.
[…]
2009-11-25 17:09:35 Slp: Rule evaluation done : Failed

It looked like the IDE’s version was not correctly specified in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DevDiv\VS\Servicing\9.0\IDE. This post from Heath Stewart’s blog explains how to detect the version of Visual Studio 2008. The SQL Server 2008 installer looks in the right place, so the only explanation was that there was incorrect data there. So I started regedit.exe and looked at the key. To my surprise there was no IDE key there.

No key for IDE
No key for IDE

But then I remember I was running Windows 7 64-bit and there are several registry editors (I’m still confused which to use when). So I opened the one located under C:\Windows\SysWOW64\ and this one shown more keys under DevDiv, and under Servicing\9.0 I could also see IDE.

Incorrect version of VS 2008 IDE
Incorrect version of VS 2008 IDE

As you can see from the screenshot, the SP value was 0, and SPName was “RTM”. The Visual Studio 2008 SP1 installer didn’t update these keys. (Well, that wasn’t such a big surprise, because the Visual Studio 2008 SP1 installer really sucks, but that’s another story.) So, what I did was to change those keys as shown in the following image. SP and SPIndex should have the value 1, and SPName should be “SP1”.

These are the correct values
These are the correct values

Also, make sure that the same values under the parent (Servicing\9.0) are 1.

Correct values for SP and SPIndex unde Servicing\\9.0
Correct values for SP and SPIndex unde Servicing\9.0

After making these changes I ran the setup again, and this time it worked like a charm. If you run into the same error and Visual Studio 2008 SP1 is installed then check these registry values and make sure they indicate that SP1 is installed.

6 Replies to “Problems Installing SQL Server 2008”

  1. Thank you. There are soo many forums that teachs to change these registry values. But only you remeber that the parent key also have to be changed. Thank you a lot. Sorry my bad english.

  2. Thanks Marius. Your article did help to resolve our issue. I went through many articles to troubleshoot this error but none of them pointed to the SysWOW64 registry path.

  3. Thank you. You made my day with this post.
    I was trying every solution on the internet and this helped me.

  4. Hi,

    Really very very very thanks .
    Last 2 days i have head ack on this issue .
    Now i got it .
    Thank you so much..

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