SQL Server 2012 Installation Step By Step

In our previous article we learned how to install SQL Server 2008 on machine.

Here we’ll install named instance of SQL Server 2012 and we’ll see the installation steps required during the installation process.

Step 1: Open installation media in new window and right click on setup file to run it “As Administrator”.


Step 2: Installation Center

After running the setup file, you’ll be redirected to Installation Media Center where you find various options. As we’re working on the installation, we won’t dig other parts. Click on Installation section and you’ll find something like the following window.

Installation Center

From here, you can perform stand-alone installation of SQL Server or you can add any additional features to installed instances of SQL Server. Also if you want to upgrade you version of SQL Server, there’s an option for that as well.

As we want to perform stand-alone installation, we’ll go with option 1. Click on the first link and the installation process begin.

Step 3: Setup Support Rules

Before proceeding with the installation steps, SQL Server setup runs a setup to check all the things required for installation. This check is nothing but a kind of verification to ensure you can proceed further or not.

Support Rules

If any of the check fails, you’ll get a failed notification in status column and you won’t be able to proceed further with the installation. If all requirements fulfill, you’ll get passed in Status column. Click OK.

Step 4: Product Key

Select edition of SQL Server you want to install on your machine with your product key and click Next.

Product Key

Step 5: License Term

Accept the license by clicking on “I accept license terms.” Click Next.

License Term

Step 6: Product Updates

Here, setup will look for latest product updates to enhance SQL Server performance as my setup found one update of 22 MB for enhancement as shown below.

Product Updates

Step 7: Install Setup Files

At this window, you’ll get Install button to install the updates.

Install Setup Files

Step 8: Setup Support Rules

After successful completion of previous step, setup will again run a check to ensure everything looks good for the installation.

Setup Support Rules

Step 9: Setup Role

At this step, you’ll find options like install SQL Server instance or install instance of Analysis Service with SharePoint integration. By default it’ll select ‘SQL Server Feature Installation’.

Setup Role

If you select “All Features with Default”, the following things will be set by default:
  • On the Feature Selection page, all features will be selected by default.
  • On Server Configuration page, default accounts will be set.
  • On Database Engine Configuration page, your current logon account will be added as a Server Administrator.

Step 10: Components or Features to Install

Components or Features to Install

Select the components you want to install on your machine. The following is the description for above listed components.

  • Database Engine Services: Allow you to install SQL Server instance.
  • Analysis Services: Allow you to install an Analysis Services instance on standalone or on cluster node.
  • Reporting Services: Allow you to install the server as report server.
  • SQL Server Data Tool: Allow you to install SQL Server Developer tool to work with integration packages. In SQL Server 2008 installation you’ll find this service named as ‘Business Intelligence Development Studio’.
  • Integration Services: Allow you to install Integration Services.
  • Management Tool: Allow you to install SQL Server management configuration tool including command line and power shell tool.

If you selected “All Features with Default” in previous step, all these components will be checked automatically.

Step 11: Installation Rules

After selecting the features to install, setup again runs a check to ensure whether your machine’s configuration is compatible or not to proceed further.

Installation Rules

If all looks good, click Next.

Step 12: Instance Configuration

This step will ask, what type of instance you want to configure, as we all know, either we can install Default or Named instance. If default instance is already installed, you’ll have to have proceeded with named instance.

Instance Configuration

Select type of instance you want to install. If you want to change the root directory of your instance, you can change it from ‘Instance root directory’ option. It’ll also show you the instance already installed on your machine. As shown in above screenshot, I already installed 2 instances on my machine.

After doing instance configuration, click Next.

Step 13: Disk Space requirement summary

At this step, you’ll get disk space summary which will show how much disk space your instance will take on the machine.

Disk Space requirement Summary

Step 14: Server Configuration

On this step you’ll find options to specify Service Accounts and Collation Configuration.

pecify Service Accounts

Under Service Account tab, you’ll find option to set account name and password for any of the services; also you can choose start-up type of those services. You can set startup type as Manual or Automatic. It’s recommended to set Start-up type of SQL Services to Automatic.

Next, you’ll find Collation tab where you can set collation level for SQL Server and Analysis Services. The collation type you select here will be set as default collation for your instance.


After performing above steps, click Next.

Step 15: Database Engine Configuration

This is the most important step because over here you’ll configure your servers configuration, data directories and file stream options.

At Server Configuration tab, you’ll find authentication mode and SQL Server System Administrator [SA] account configuration.

Server Configuration

If you see Data Directories tab, you’ll find your root directory, and location of below:

  • Data root directory.
  • User database directory,
  • System database directory,
  • User database log directory,
  • Temp data and log directories, and
  • Backup location

You can change these locations of your own choice.

change these locations

On FileStream tab, you’ll find option to enable FileStream feature.


After completing the steps, click Next.

Step 16: Analysis Services Configuration

If you had chosen Analysis Services to be installed on your machine, you’ll find this option during installation process.

Complete this step by choosing server mode and adding Analysis Services Administrator.

Complete this step

Specify your Analysis Services data directories as shown below.

Analysis Services data

Click Next,

Step 17: Distributed Replay Controller

If you had selected all shared features to install, you’ll get this and next step to complete.

Replay Controller

At this step, you’ll find Distributed Replay Controller. This feature helps you assess the impact of future SQL Server upgrades.

Distributed Replay Controller

This is similar to SQL Server Profile, Distributed Replay Controller replay a captured trace against an upgraded test environment. This feature can use multiple computers to replay trace data and simulate a mission-critical workload.

Add users to have unlimited access to the Distributed Replay client service and click next.

Step 18: Distributed Replay Client

This is one of the component of Distributed Replay Controller under which one or more computers (physical or virtual) running the Windows service named SQL Server Distributed Replay client. The Distributed Replay client works together to simulate workloads against an instance of SQL Server.

Distributed Replay Client

Enter Controller Name so that the client computer will communicate with for the Distributed Replay Client Service. This is the optional parameter and the default value is ‘BLANK’.

Specify the working directory for the Distributed Replay client service.
Specify the result directory for the Distributed Replay client service.

Click Next.

Step 19: Error Reporting to Microsoft.

Error Reporting to Microsoft

Click Next.

Step 20: Installation Configuration Rule

At this step, setup will perform a final check to ensure everything looks good for installation operation.

Installation Configuration Rule

If all rule passes, click Next.

Step 21: Installation Summary

Here you’ll get summary of your installation as shown below.

Installation Summary

If you’re satisfied with everything, click on Install button and you’re set to go.

Step 22: Ready Steady Go!

Installation process will start and you’ll see the progress as in the following,

Ready Steady Go

This will take some time, relax and just watch the progress.

Step 23: Installation completed

After successful installation you’ll get the following window. This will show you the components installed on your machine with ‘Succeeded’ message in Status column.

Installation Completed

Also you’ll get location of the log file of the complete installation.

Step 24: Verification

Open SSMS and connect your instance and you’re ready to explore.



We’ve successfully installed SQL Server 2012 named instance on our machine. We have seen the steps involved in the installation. In our upcoming articles we’ll explore other concepts related to SQL Server. Till then, keep learning and sharing.

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