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SQL Server Express Fails to Install During On-Premise Installation – How to Troubleshoot and Available Options

If SQL Server Express fails to install during the On-Premise installation, there are some troubleshooting steps you can take to figure out what may have caused the problem.  In addition, you have some alternative options to install SQL Express on the same machine or a different machine to circumvent the issue.

SQL Server Path Name Length Exceeded – Possible Solutions

  1. Shorten the name of the user account where EIOBoard is being installed so that the path name will no longer exceed 133 characters. The maximum length of a windows user account where EIOBoard is to be installed is 18 characters.
  2. Install a new SQL Instance manually. Allow the installer to detect it automatically and create the database.
  3. Provide the installer with an existing SQL instance in which to create the database. For instances on another server, the ‘sa’ user must be used during installation and must have the rights necessary to create a database via remote operation.

How to Install SQL Express Manually

1. Get the download for SQL Express from the Microsoft website

SQL Server Downloads Page: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-downloads
SQL Server Express 2019: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=866658

2. Enable Mixed authentication, set the sa user password, and enable the sa account: https://knowledge.insourcess.com/Supporting_Technologies/Wonderware/Tech_Notes/Setting_SQL_Server_to_use_Mixed_Mode%2F%2FSQL_Authentication

3. Restart the SQL Server. Navigate to the Server in the SQL Server Configuration and restart, or do it through SSMS

4. Create an empty database for the install to use. This will be overwritten during the install itself.

5. In the EIOBoard Server installer, select ‘Use Existing SQL Instance’ and put in the information of your newly created SQL Server

How To Troubleshoot Other Errors

  1. Open the log file. Go to the bottom of the SQL Express log file and look for the error message.  Your best bet at that point is to correct the problem if it is obvious or Google the error to find suggested resolutions. You can find the SQL log files specific to your install with the link below.
  2. Run the SQL installer in Full User Interface mode. The SQL installer was downloaded to the temp folder (%temp%). Simply, double-click on it to start it in User Interface mode.  At this point, you can configure the installation appropriately. Any errors are more apparent during the interactive installation process.

Alternatives to Using Included SQL Express

  1. Use SQL that is installed on another machine or install SQL on another machine.
  2. Find and download any version of SQL Server Express from Microsoft and install it.
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