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How to set up SQL Server

In this article, you will find guidance for installing SQL Server on Windows.


Note: Beginning with SQL Server 2016 (13.x), SQL Server is only available as a 64-bit application. 


For local installations, you must run Setup as an administrator. If you install SQL Server from a remote share, you must use a domain account that has read and execute permissions on the remote share.



Getting Started


  1. Download the media.

The download location for SQL Server depends on the edition:


    • SQL Server Enterprise, Standard, and Express Editions are licensed for production use. For the Enterprise and Standard Editions, contact your software vendor for the installation media.



  • Install SQL Server


    For this guide, we will be installing SQL Server using the Installation Wizard GUI launched from the setup.exe setup media. The Installation Wizard provides a single feature tree for installation of all SQL Server components so that you don't have to install them individually.



    1. Insert the SQL Server installation media. From the root folder, double-click Setup.exe. To install from a network share, locate the root folder on the share, and then double-click Setup.exe.
    2. The Installation Wizard runs the SQL Server Installation Center.
    3. On the Product Key page, select an option to indicate whether you're installing a free edition of SQL Server or a production version that has a PID key. Select Next.
    4. On the License Terms page, review the license agreement. If you agree, select the I accept the license terms and privacy statement check box, and then select Next.
    5. If your computer settings are not set to Microsoft Update, the next page that appears will be the Microsoft Update page. 
    6. On the Product Updates page, the latest available SQL Server product updates are displayed. If no product updates are discovered, Setup doesn't display this page and automatically advances to the Install Setup Files page.
    7. On the Install Setup Files page, Setup provides the progress of downloading, extracting, and installing the Setup files. If an update for Setup is found and you specify to include it, that update will also be installed. If no update is found, Setup will automatically advance.
    8. On the Install Rules page, Setup checks for potential problems that might occur while running Setup. If failures occur, select an item in the Status column for more information. Otherwise, select Next.
    9. If this is the first installation of SQL Server on the machine, Setup skips the Installation Type page and goes directly to the Feature Selection page. If SQL Server is already installed on the system, you can use the Installation Type page to select either to perform a new installation or to add features to an existing installation. To continue, select Next.
    10. On the Feature Selection page, select the components for your installation. For example, to install a new instance of SQL Server Database Engine, select Database Engine Services.
    11. On the Instance Configuration page, specify whether to install a default instance or a named instance.
      1. The workflow for the rest of the installation depends on the features that you've specified for your installation. Depending on your selections, you might not see all the pages.
    12. Starting with SQL Server 2019 (15.x), Polybase no longer requires that Oracle JRE 7 Update 51 (at least) be pre-installed on the computer prior to installing the feature. Selecting to install the Polybase feature will add the Java Install Location page to the SQL Server setup displayed after the Instance Configuration page. On the Java Install Location page, you can choose to install the Azul Zulu Open JRE included with the SQL Server 2019 (15.x) installation, or provide a location of a different JRE or JDK that has already been installed on the computer.
    13. Starting with SQL Server 2019 (15.x), Java has been added with Language Extensions. Selecting to install the Java feature will add the Java Install Location page to the SQL Server setup dialog window, displayed after the Instance Configuration page. On the Java Install Location page, you can choose to install the Zulu Open JRE included with the SQL Server 2019 (15.x) installation, or provide a location of a different JRE or JDK that has already been installed on the computer.
    14. Use the Server Configuration - Service Accounts page to specify the logon accounts for SQL Server services.
    15. Use the Database Engine Configuration - Server Configuration page to specify the following options:
      1. Security Mode: Select Windows Authentication or Mixed Mode Authentication for your instance of SQL Server. If you select Mixed Mode Authentication, you must provide a strong password for the built-in SQL Server system administrator account.
    16. Use the Database Engine Configuration - Data Directories page to specify non default installation directories. To install to the default directories, select Next.
    17. Use the Database Engine Configuration - TempDB page to configure the file size, number of files, non default installation directories, and file-growth settings for tempdb.
    18. Use the Database Engine Configuration - MaxDOP page to specify your max degree of parallelism. This setting determines how many processors a single statement can use during execution. The recommended value is automatically calculated during installation.
    19. Use the Database Engine Configuration - Memory page to specify the min server memory and max server memory values that this instance of SQL Server will use after startup. You can use the default values, use the calculated recommended values, or manually specify your own values after you've chosen the Recommended option.
    20. Use the Database Engine Configuration - FILESTREAM page to enable FILESTREAM for your instance of SQL Server.
    21. Use the Analysis Services Configuration - Account Provisioning page to specify the server mode and the users or accounts that have administrator permissions for Analysis Services. The server mode determines which memory and storage subsystems are used on the server. Different solution types run in different server modes. If you plan to run multidimensional cube databases on the server, select the default server mode option, Multidimensional and Data Mining.
    22. Use the Analysis Services Configuration - Data Directories page to specify non default installation directories. To install to the default directories, select Next.
    23. Use the Distributed Replay Controller Configuration page to specify the users you want to grant administrative permissions to for the Distributed Replay controller service. Users that have administrative permissions have unlimited access to the Distributed Replay controller service.
      1. To grant access permissions for the Distributed Replay controller service to the user who's running SQL Server Setup, select the Add Current User button.
      2. To grant access permissions for the Distributed Replay controller service to other users, select the Add button.
      3. To remove access permissions from the Distributed Replay controller service, select the Remove button.
      4. To continue, select Next.
    24. Use the Distributed Replay Client Configuration page to specify the users you want to grant administrative permissions to for the Distributed Replay client service. Users that have administrative permissions have unlimited access to the Distributed Replay client service.
      1. Controller Name is optional. The default value is <blank>. Enter the name of the controller that the client computer will communicate with for the Distributed Replay client service: 
        1. If you've already set up a controller, enter the name of the controller while configuring each client.
        2. If you haven't yet set up a controller, you can leave the controller name blank. However, you must manually enter the controller name in the client configuration file.
      2. Specify the Working Directory for the Distributed Replay client service. The default working directory is <drive letter>:\Program Files\MicrosoftSQL Server\DReplayClient\WorkingDir\.
      3. Specify the Result Directory for the Distributed Replay client service. The default result directory is <drive letter>:\Program Files\MicrosoftSQL Server\DReplayClient\ResultDir\.
      4. To continue, select Next.
    25. The Ready to Install page shows a tree view of the installation options that you specified during Setup. On this page, Setup indicates whether the Product Update feature is enabled or disabled and the final update version.
      1. To continue, select Install. SQL Server Setup first installs the required prerequisites for the selected features, then it installs the selected features.
      2. During installation, the Installation Progress page provides status updates so that you can monitor the installation progress as Setup continues.
    26. After installation, the Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the installation and other important notes.
      1. Note: Make sure you read the message from the Installation Wizard when you've finished with Setup.
      2. To complete the SQL Server installation process, select Close.
    27. If you're instructed to restart the computer, do so now.

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