The SQL Server 2000 Setup program is designed to detect potential problems during installation and prompt the administrator to solve them during installation. This includes shutting down certain programs that interfere with installation, detecting insufficient disc space, and restarting the computer if certain files are locked. The Setup program will display informational messages as necessary during setup and wait for the problem to be solved by the administrator. However, problems can still occur during an installation of SQL Server. This lesson covers where to look to find the source of these errors. This includes reviewing all relevant log files and accessing SQL Server 2000 troubleshooter information online.
The SQL Server 2000 Setup program generates several informational files that may be used in isolating problems relating to a failed setup. These are the Sqlstp.log, the Setup.log, and the SearchSetup.log files. Any text editor can read these files. The Sqlstp.log file is located in the \Winnt or \Windows folder and logs errors encountered during the configuration portion of the Setup program. The Setup.log file is also located in the \Winnt or \Windows folder and logs the completion or failure of setup, and records any relevant information. The SearchSetup.log file is located in the \Winnt\Temp folder and logs errors encountered during the configuration of the Microsoft Search service. These three files are primarily useful for Microsoft Product Support; however, reviewing them might give you some clue regarding where setup is failing.
Microsoft's Product Support Services (PSS) provides online troubleshooters that are designed to help you resolve problems you might encounter when installing an edition of SQL Server 2000. The online troubleshooter leads you through a series of questions to attempt to isolate the problem and provide you with up-to-date information regarding solving the problem. These troubleshooters cover a wide range of problems, not just problems related to setup. These online troubleshooters are available from the Microsoft Web site at http://Support.Microsoft.com/Support/SQL/Tshooter.asp. The Microsoft Web site, MSDN, and TechNet also contain Knowledge Base articles that contain up-to-date information regarding SQL Server 2000 setup problems.
The SQL Server 2000 error log is frequently the most useful place to look for error messages related to SQL Server 2000 setup problems. Many SQL Server 2000 system events and user-defined events are logged in the SQL Server 2000 error log. This includes information related to setup. The Setup program starts and stops SQL Server 2000 during installation and logs this process, including any errors. Each instance of SQL Server 2000 has its own log file. A new log file is created each time SQL Server 2000 starts. For the default instance, the current log file is \Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\Mssql\Log\Errorlog. For a named instance, the current log file is \Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\Mssql$InstanceName\Log\Errorlog. You can view these logs using SQL Server Enterprise Manager or any text editor. By default, the six most recent error log files are saved with extension numbers reflecting the most recent file. You can modify the number of previous logs saved by right-clicking SQL Server Logs in SQL Server Enterprise Manager and then clicking Configure. You can also cycle the error log file without stopping and restarting the SQL Server service by using the sp_cycle_errorlog system stored procedure. This is useful on a busy system where the error log file can become quite large.
The Windows application log in Event Viewer is also a useful place to look for error messages related to SQL Server 2000 setup problems. The Windows application log records information, warning, and error messages related to applications running on the Windows operating system. Information in the Windows application log combined with information in the SQL Server 2000 error log, each of which time-stamps all recorded events, can help you narrow down and isolate the probable cause of problems. You can isolate SQL Server events in the Event Viewer application log by clicking on the View menu, pointing to Filter Events, and then selecting MSSQLSERVER in the Source list.
In this practice you review the SQL Server Error log and the Windows Application log.
To review the SQL Server error log and the Windows application log
The Open With dialog box appears.
The contents of the current error log appear in Notepad. Review the entries related to the startup of SQL Server 2000. Become familiar with typical entries.
In the details pane, the contents of the Application Log appear. Review the entries related to the startup of SQL Server 2000. Become familiar with typical entries. Notice that entries for both of your SQL Server 2000 instances appear here.
A SQL Server installation does not fail frequently. When it does fail, several log files record information to help determine the source of the failure. The SQL Server error log and the Windows application log are the most useful of these log files to the database administrator. Microsoft also provides online troubleshooters and Knowledge Base articles to help an administrator determine and resolve problems.