SQL Server Denali CTP3 on Windows 2008 R2 Server Core

Windows Server Core is a minimal server installation option for computers running on the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. You can learn more about Server Core here –  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee391626(v=VS.85).aspx

SQL Server Denali supports installing on Windows server core. You can refer to following link to learn more about new features in SQL Server Denali.  http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/future-editions/denali-mission-critical-confidence.aspx

This blog entry explains the following

  • The steps you could follow to setup SQL Server Denali CTP3 on a Hyper-V based Windows 2008 R2 Server Core virtual machine for testing purpose.
  • Using  SYSPREP feature in SQL Server to prepare image and later clone many virtual machines.
  • Enabling SQL Server instance to be remotely manageable from SQL Server Management Studio.


  • SQL Server Denali Installation media
  • Windows 2008 R2 Hyper V enabled machine with free hard disk space of at least 50 GB.
  • Windows 2008 R2 Server Core installation media

Downloading Denali CTP3:

  1. Download Denali CTP3 from Download SQL Server “Denali” CTP3
  2. Save downloaded files to  c:\CTP3 on  host machine
  3. Open command prompt,  CD c:\ctp3
  4. Run SQLFULL_x64_ENU_Install.exe – This extracts downloaded contents to c:\CTP3\SQLFULL_x64_ENU
  5. Create a ISO image of folder c:\CTP3\SQLFULL_x64_ENU using CD / DVD burning software. You can also use tools like  Oscdimg  –  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749036(WS.10).aspx

Preparing Server core Virtual machine:

1. Setup a Windows 2008 R2 Server Core Virtual machine ( reference: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732470(WS.10).aspx )

2. Start Virtual machine, you will see a command prompt window after logging on

Installing SQL Server on Server core Virtual machine:

1. Deploy SQL Server components with prepare image option. The Prepare Image step installs the SQL Server product and features but does not configure the installation.

a) Mount SQL Server Denali CTP3 ISO image to Virtual machine, In command window, check if the mounted drive folder has access ISO image contents


b) Prepare Image

In command prompt , CD d:\

SETUP /Q /IAcceptSQLServerLicenseTerms





Sysprep & Export Virtual machine:

1. Seal Image ( Additional details on Sysprep – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302577 )


2. Export this virtual machine so that multiple copies of this Virtual machine can be imported back. ( Reference: http://blogs.technet.com/b/chenley/archive/2011/03/23/exporting-cloning-virtual-machines-on-hyper-v-with-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx )

Complete SQL Server installation on Virtual machine:

1. Import Virtual machine, start virtual machine

2. Rename machine name (join domain if needed) – use sconfig.cmd and follow instructions

3. Complete SQL Server installation with

  • In command prompt, CD d:\










Note: replace “WIN-Q1A9DGJ2BNU” with your machine name

Above command line installs default SQL Server instance with

  • SQL Authentication is enabled.
  • TCP protocol is enabled.
  • Adds local Administrators group as sysadmin in SQL Server

4. Configure Firewall rules to allow remote clients to connect to SQL Server instance

· In command prompt , enter the following command

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name = SQLPort dir = in protocol = tcp action = allow localport = 1433 remoteip = localsubnet profile = DOMAIN

Reference: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc646023.aspx

Remote management using SQL Management Studio:

1. On a remote machine install SQL Server Management tools

2. Connect to Server core instance like any other SQL Server instance, now you can perform administrative tasks from remote machine.


If you have any issues in these steps please email me at sethu.srinivasan@microsoft.com . We would like to hear your feedback.

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.
Use of included script samples are subject to the terms specified at


Developer @ SQL Server Team, Microsoft

Posted in server core, SQL Server, SysPrep
5 comments on “SQL Server Denali CTP3 on Windows 2008 R2 Server Core
  1. Aryan Nava says:

    This is great. I am going to install using your steps.

  2. …I was planing to test CTP3 on CORE, now I know that its works fine 🙂

    Thanks! Useful.


  3. Rich says:

    I’m exploring the abilities of Denali on Server Core and notice that reporting services does not appear to be supported and was wondering if you knew of the reason and whether is just “not yet supported in CTP3” or won’t be supported due to undefined technical issues or limitations.

    I’ve posted the same question on the forums but haven’t yet had a response and was hoping you might have some insight.

    This is great information! Thanks


  4. Goden Yao says:

    Hey Sethu, good to see you evangelizing Server Core with SQL Denali 🙂

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