I was recently asked to install SQL server 2008 R2 on a freelance project for a client. Its been a very long time since I have used such an old version of SQL. But the process is still very straight forward and best of all, SQL 2008 R2 is still under support from Microsoft.

Installation of SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows Server 2012 R2

SQL Version – SQL Server 2008 Standard R2

Media and License to be provided by Customer.


For Windows Server 2012 R2 builds there is a requirement to install .NET framework 3.5. This feature is not installed by Default in 2012 R2 Builds as this has been superseded by new versions of .net

From Server Manager, select Manage and then Add Roles and Features Wizard.

Select Role-based or feature-based installation.

On the Select Destination Server screen choose the local server from the server pool

Skip to Select features and choose .NET Framework 3.5 Features

Next, insert the Windows Server 2012 R2 media to the Server.

On the Confirm installation selects select specify and alternative source path

Source path is usually Z:\Sources\SXS

(whichever Drive letter you have mapped the DVD Drive too).

(For the example below the source DVD was the D:)

Click OK and Install

This completes the installation of .NET 3.5 Framework. Installation will take several minutes, no reboot is required.

Note : If you do not point the source files of .NET 3.5 to the Windows Server 2012 media, the installation will fail, and SQL Server will also fail to install.

SQL Installation

Insert SQL Server 2008 R2 Media into server.

Run Setup from DVD.

Select Installation then select New installation add features to an existing installation.

A pre-installation server test will now run.

Click next after pre-test completes.

Enter product key provided by Customer (or see project manager).

Accept the Licence terms and conditions.

Click install to setup support files.

Click Next and then select SQL Server Feature Installation

Select ALL instance features (This has been requested in advance by the customer).

Ensure Shared Feature Directories are pointing to the D:\ Drive.

Click next.

On Instance Configuration, leave as Default instance, click next

On the Server configuration screen, change account Name to NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM. No Password is required. This will be changed by the customer after handover

Important :

On Database Engine Configuration ensure you select

Mixed Mode (SQL Server authentication and Windows authentication).

Input the pre-defined password (this is for the SA account).

It is also advised to add the local administrator as a SQL Admin in the Specify SQL server administrators section.

Under the Data Directories tab ensure you chose:

S:\ for Database files

L:\ for Logs

On the Analysis Services configuration, add the Current User

(This can be changed by the customer later in SQL Server Management Studio)

Under Reporting Services Configuration select “install, but do not configure the report server” – (This can be changed by the customer later in SQL Server Management Studio)

On the next screen, Error Reporting, ensure tick box is blank and click next

Click Next to bring up final screen “Ready to install” and chose INSTALL

The installation will take about 15 minutes to complete.

Once completed, open SQL Server Management Studio and log in with the Mixed Mode SA account you created earlier.

Log in with SA account or Administrator

Expand the column on left, if you have a green “play” button SQL is running