Installing SQL Server 2008 RC0 on windows server 2008 is very straightforward, except that  I want to show SQL Server 2008 in its best light for a couple of events next week, and, so I am doing my first install on a clean 64 bit Hyper-V virtual machine with windows server 2008 already installed. 

My laptop (4gb dual core) dual boots Vista 64 bit / windows server 2008 with the Hyper-V rc1 role installed.  It’s worth noting at this point that if you do want to use Hyper-V you will need to do stuff in the BIOS before you start, and as you can see below modern machines have virtualization settings in the BIOS and Hyper-V won’t work on older machines without these:

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Anyway having got past that I fired up the setup on the RC0 iso file, by going to the hyper-V media option and loading the iso file. Step 1 is to install the  .Net framework 3.5 and reboot to run the setup again, to actually start installing SQL Server 2008:

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As you can tell from the catchy title on the iso,  this install has all editions for all platforms from x86 express through to ia64 enterprise.  You can get keys for this from the TechNet subscription site here, if not then you have 180 days to evaluate.

The install is looking much more mature, for example upgrade advisor is directly installable form here. The options on the right hand side reveal tools to warn you about installation showstoppers and also allow you to change the edition of SQL Server you’re using e.g. standard to enterprise.  I am going for x64 enterprise. I liked the subtle checking here:

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.. for issues that have caught all of us out in the past, such as the domain controller check and looking for ctp6. However, I have seen some issues around upgrading from CTP6, so if you do spot anything please, let me know or register the fault on connect:

The next step is to select the options you want:

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Then the server configuration needs to be defined, including the usual suspects: what accounts to run the service under, mixed mode sa password, oh and don’t forget to add yourself as a sysadmin for the database and analysis services:

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When your happy let it go and put the kettle on:

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If all is well you will be ready to go in about twenty minutes. Now, finally I can get back to full text search where I was on Friday afternoon!