Unattended SQL Server Installations

Once you have created your custom Installation Setup Initialization file you need a way to initiate the installation. You can initiate the installation by entering the appropriate commands at the command prompt or by creating a batch file to start the installation.

Beginning an unattended installation from the command prompt is not a big deal if you only have a few systems, located locally, that you need to install SQL Server on. Imagine if you needed to install the client tools on hundreds of workstations. To simplify that daunting task we can use a batch file and SMS (Systems Management Server http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/instsql/in_runsetup_43eb.asp) to install SQL Server 2000 without having to visit every computer. You can also use a batch file if the task of installing SQL server will be done by someone who has very little knowledge of the network or SQL Server. For more information on batch files look at the examples provided with SQL Server.

No matter what way you choose to start the Unattended Installation, both methods run setupsql.exe located in the \x86\setup directory of your SQL Server CD (ex: D:\x86\setup\setupsql.exe). You can then use command line parameters to specify how setup should run.

The table below shows you the command line parameters available with setupsql.exe:

Parameter – Description

-s: Run setup in silent mode with no user interface

-f1 : Specifies an Installation Setup Initialization file ex: -f1 setup.iss

-SMS: Returns control back to the command line only after setup has completed. You use this parameter in a batch file in conjunction with the “start /wait” command.