Description of the problem: Last week, I was with my customer performing multiple unattended installations of SQL Server 2008: Setup.exe /q /configurationfile=c:\myconfiguationfile.iniIn myconfiguationfile.ini, the switch INSTANCEDIR is set to "E:\" like INSTANCEDIR="E:\"But the setup was fail with the message: "Illegal characters in path" like below in details.txt:Slp: Exception type: Microsoft.SqlServer.Chainer.Infrastructure.InputSettingValidationExceptionSlp: Message: Slp: The path E:MSSQL10.X\MSSQL\DATA is malformed or not absolute.We can see the after E: there is a missing \
Cause: SQL Server 2008 setup seems to not interpret INSTANCEDIR correctly. It will treat "\"" as an escape character of quotation mark which is wrong.
Workaround: Use "E:\\" instead of "E:\" if you want to install SQL to root folder.Dedication to Paulo A., he found out another workaround. He removes the double quote like INSTANCEDIR=E:\ instead of INSTANCEDIR="E:\"
Update : Since the documentation was been updated
How to: Install SQL Server 2008 R2 from the Command Prompt : "Note the use of escaping characters:/INSTANCEDIR=c:\PathName is supported./INSTANCEDIR=c:\PathName\ is supported/INSTANCEDIR="c:\PathName\\" is supported./INSTANCEDIR="c:\PathName\" is not supported."
Michel Degremont | Premier Field Engineer - SQL Server Core Engineer |