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I had dinner in Seattle (three words: bacon-wrapped-steak) with the folks that put on "How Microsoft Does IT" (get it? Does "it", "IT"? OK, I'm easily amused) and I wanted to point out this fantastic resource to you - again. I rave about it all the time, because before I started at Microsoft I worked at shops large and small, and many times I was called on to come up with strategies and architectures for my organizations. And what better place to start than the people who wrote the software, and use it in their business every day. There are so many references there you'll never get through them all.
If you're not familiar with the site, it's a great compilation on how we at Microsoft run our IT infrastructure - Windows, Office, SharePoint, Exchange, SQL Server, Biztalk, the whole thing. If you don't have it bookmarked, definitely go check it out. There's a DVD you can order as well, and we keep the site very up-to-date and current.
The link is here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb687780.aspx
Please make sure this makes it to the appropriate groups.
I'm not sure that this is "SQL Server" related, as it may be more of a "Windows Installer problem" related... but here goes.
I just had an evil experience with SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Advanced 64-bit.
When it installed, the Management Studio was missing, even though its supposed to be part of the install. Long-story-short, after numerous un-installs and re-installs, the SQL Server Windows Installer package ended up killing my registry and I had to format my brand new (4-month old) Windows 7 64-bit system and start it over. It's a pitiful shame.
AND I'm not the only with these types of problems, Google (um, I mean Bing) for SQL Server Installation problems, and the list is endless, and the fixes are painful.
Like I said, I doubt its specific to SQL Server, since Microsoft wrote a "Windows Installer Clean-up Utility" then took it off the website because it realized that trying to clean-up an install, can corrupt the operating system.
This is truly a sick problem that needs to be addressed.
The MS Office team was quick to respond when the Clean-Up utility disappeared, the wrote specific "Fix It" patches that remove problem entries in the registry specific to Office 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2007.
The SQL Server Team should do the same. We need "Fix ITs" so that when an install of SQL Server goes bad, we don't have to format the system to fix the problem.
Right now, I'm on day #3 of reloading software and restoring backups, which is not all that productive, since I'm supposed to be programming right now.
Do "Fix Its" exist for SQL Server? Publish them and make them available, because Google and Bing could not find them.
John - good info. Make sure you file a case with support, and check this out as well: http://connect.microsoft.com