Tag: Windows

Be Careful Installing Windows Features

Did you know that installing certain Windows features could impact the way that SQL gets installed on your server? Me either.

When performing some installs recently I came across a problem whereby I was not able to change the shared tools location. The option was greyed out. This didn’t make any sense to me. The install was happening on a new server, there had been no previous SQL installs on the machine and so no problems with installed components preventing those kinds of problems.


Digging through the filesystem I found a C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server folder. That didn’t make any sense to me at all, I’d not installed anything.

I could not even find anything that might be using this folder when looking through the installed software and yet I couldn’t delete the folder as there were files in use.

After much head scratching I finally found the problem.


I had installed the Windows System Resource Manager feature to help manage resources, which is very useful when running more than one instance of SQL on a machine, or if you have multiple software installs and want to keep control of your CPU and memory. This feature uses (and so automatically installs) another feature called the Windows Internal Database which it says is a relational data store.


By the looks of things the Windows Internal Database is based around the SQL 2005 engine, this gets installed into C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.

When performing the new SQL install it went out and identified that SQL components were already installed and forced installation of the shared tools into that same location.


After removing the Windows System Resource Manager and Windows Internal Database features I was able to move the shared tools install to another location.

Be very aware of what features and roles might be install on your machines, it might bite you when you least expect it.

SQL Clustering–Network Binding Order Warnings

In setting up my Windows 2008 R2/SQL 2008 R2 cluster this week I came across a warning in the Setup Support Rules stating that “The domain network is not the first bound network.”

 Network Binding Order Error


This didn’t make any sense to me as I had been very careful in setting the binding order in the network connections properties:

Binding Order Set


Deciding to look for further information on this I opened up the Detail.txt file from the Setup Bootstrap/Log directory and searched for network binding order:

Binding Order Setup Log


Strangely the first bound network is Local Area Connect* 9. I had no idea what this network was as it was not listed in the network adapter list.

I remembered a discussion on Twitter a couple of weeks ago between Allan Hirt (blog|twitter) and Denny Cherry (blog|twitter) where they talked about this exact problem and the fact that it was a hidden cluster adapter which needed to be moved in the binding order, and that had to be done in the registry.

I opened up regedit and drilled down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesTcpipLinkage and opened up the Bind value:

Registry Showing Incorrect Binding Order


I’ve highlighted the first item in the bind order. The trouble is that this GUID value really means nothing to us…time to crack open PowerShell

gwmi Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration | where-object {$_.IPEnabled -eq "True"} | ft Description, SettingID -auto

List of active adapters


As you can see the Microsoft Failover Cluster Virtual Adapter GUID matches the first bound value. Back to the registry to move that adapter down the list with a quick cut and paste.

*Warning, playing in the registry can cause system instability, BSOD problems, singularities and quantum fluctuations*

Registry with correct binding


Starting up the cluster install again and the Network binding order warning is gone


Hopefully the next releases of Windows and SQL won’t have this problem. In the meantime this is good to know. Thanks Allan and Denny for engaging on Twitter and leading me to the answer to the problem.

Upcoming Clustering Fun

I’ve a fun week upcoming, I get to do a bunch of installs of SQL 2008 R2 on some Windows 2008 R2 clusters.


I’ve had a lot of experience in building and working with Windows 2003 clusters and deploying SQL 2008, this is a new era for me and means new toys to play with and new things to learn. I’m excited to really get to grips with Windows 2008 clustering, there are some significant differences between it and 2003 which is going to provide some challenges. I’m aiming to perform quite a few build up and tear downs of one cluster over the next couple of weeks to build up my levels of comfort with the newer technology, and work towards getting some nice scripts together to do so.


As a consequence of Windows 2008 R2 being new to me for clustering I decided to pick up Pro SQL Server 2008 Failover Clustering by Allan Hirt (blog|twitter), a Clustering MVP and guru (who has a new whitepaper out about Applying Updates to a Clustered Instance of SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2). Allan was on the MidnightDBA web show a couple of weeks ago (go watch it) where there was lots of conversation on several aspects of High Availability.


I’m still only a quarter of the way through the book but have already found out some fantastic information on things such as the network priority and installing server roles from the command line.


As the build goes along I plan on putting up a couple of posts to track the process and gotchas as well as a final review of Allan’s book, so check back soon.