Monday 19 October 2009

SSMSE 2008 - Messy!

    I just may not be smart enough to install SQL Server Management Studio 2008.
    Our company (ChangeBase) uses SQL Server 2008 to drive our application compatibility software (AOK).  So, when something goes wrong (dare I say it),  or we simply need to debug something, I have to install SQL Server Management Studio - which is fine.
    Except the fact, that I can't. Really.
    I downloaded the installation for SQL Management studio, which can be found here:
    It's a simple, single executable. How hard can it be? Well, one of the surprises with the SSMSE is that to install it, you actually instantiate the SQL Server main installation routine which looks like this;
    Is this the SQL Server Installation start-up dialog? Oh no it isn't. It the Microsoft Program Compatibility Assistant. Quite wisely, my Operating System has detected a potential issue and is trying to direct me to either a later version (which hopefully solves the problem) or a support page for some commiseration.  The problem with this dialog box, is that I am (and I have checked) running the latest version of SQL Server 2008 (SP1) and the latest release of SQL Server Management studio.  What am I missing?
    This problem can be overcome as I choose to simply run the program (for the fifth time) and try install Management Studio Express. So, I now I get a chance to install software, with an installation dialog that looks like this;
    I have always struggled with these kind of installations "front-pages" as there is a distinct lack of a "Install" button. Where do you start? OK, I got past this hurdle , and chose the Installation tab, and then was presented with the following "quiet point in my day";
    It looks like I should be waiting for something, as the message indicates "Gathering user Settings"... So, I waited a while, nothing happened and my instinctive tendencies overwhelmed my better judgement and I pressed the Install button.
    And, I installed the SQL Support files for the fifth (or sixth if you included the initial SQL Express installation) time.
    And, here is where everything goes a bit wrong. The next dialog helpfully asks the user if he/she wants to perform a new installation or add to an existing feature. I have installed SQL Express 2008 already - really I have. I mean it - I use the database several times a day - it's there.
    Note: There is NO option for installing SQL Server Management Studio
    I struggled here: And after several rounds of failure. I tried to un-install SQL Server Express. Tried to find a later version (self-doubt ruins your concentration), I searched the web.
    In desperation, I tried the following ;
    Yes, I tried to install a new instance of SQL Express 2008 using the installation media for SQL Server Management Studio. After progressing through the SQL Server EULA, I was finally rewarded with the following;
    Now, I had the option to install the Management Tools (Basic, of course).  The installation then went smoothly .... Or, so it appeared initially. As a result of my aberrant behaviour, I had to re-attach all of my databases back to my initial instance of SQL Server Express.
    That said, I can now run SQL Server Management Studio 2008.
    Remember, SQL Server Management studio 2005? A single EXE, it installed. It worked. Yes??


Unknown said...

Wow. So glad to find I'm not the only one. This installer is a disaster.

Anonymous said...

Even if you're succesful at the install (which I was, maybe I'm just "intuitive" enough for the installer), you then have the issue of whether you're running on Win7 or not. On win7, at times SSMSE 2008 will start to eat up memory like a hungry beast. Or it will make Skype eat up memory like it's a hungry beast. Either way, ultimately, when SSMSE 2008 gets hungry, it takes it's time, which is great if you happen to be sipping tea when this happens, but usually in my case, this happens just when I need the answer from that critically complex query I jsut pasted in. MS acknowledged this issue sometime back, but they have still not fixed it. Oh wait, they have. I just haven't figured out how to get the installer to UPGRADE my installation yet!

Anonymous said...

Just wait until SSMSE 2008 starts getting memory hungry on Win7. It gets into these moods where it eats whole Gig's, and becomes largely unresponsive. This usually happens around the time that you need a millisecond response from your latest query online for the presentation you're doing. MS has acknowledged that there are "issues" but I haven't been able to figure out how to use the installer to UPDATE my installation yet.

Anonymous said...

And here we are... 2012, SSMSE 2008 R2, still the same problem. Holy eff this installer is just killing me, I just want management studio not the damn server.

Seriously, how come I can install SharePoint clusters and I get defeated by SSMSE 2008? I'll be the first one to get a cert for installing SSMSE if MS ever offers it.