This article will provide a solution for an error that might occur installing a new SQL 2005 64-bit cluster. This article will assume that you are fully prepared to complete the installation and describes the error as it occurred during an installation I eventually completed.
All the settings for the installation were made and the installation started. The entire installation progresses correctly except at the very end it gives the following error:
The installation was blocked with an error that wasn't clear. Clicking the retry-button did't help so "Cancel" is was the only option. The installation rolled back and I'd lost about a 45 minutes of your time monitoring a failed installation.
Let's review the configuration of the cluster node that had this problem. The node had the following hardware.
Note: Not every item of hardware is listed only those that could affect the installation.
DL 580 G5
34 GB memory
4 x Intel Xeon E7450 (6 core) CPU
Several logical disks
Both nodes for the cluster have the same hardware specifications.
I started puzzling over what could be the problem. Did I use the wrong settings for the installation? The log files didn't give me any direction as to where the problem could be; they only showed that the installation stopped at starting the services.
In a desperate attempt to fix things, I tried to do the installation again but the same error occurred at the same point.
Google didn't help because I couldn't find anything related to this problem. Than I remembered an article about the fact that SQL Server 2005 has trouble with processors that have an uneven number of cores in the CPU. I have an even number of cores, but I decided to try it because I wasn't going to solve my problem by looking at my screen.
I started searching the Microsoft articles and found the following page: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/954835
I started up the "Systems Configuration Utility" through Start->Run->msconfig. Set the "/NUMPROC" to 2 in the "Advanced Options" in the "BOOT.INI" tab and restarted the server.
I started the installation of SQL 2005 and the installation was completed correctly. The process was a little slower than normal, but the SQL cluster was installed.
You're probably thinking "How do I enable all the cores for use by SQL?". This problem is resolved in Service Pack 2 for SQL Server 2005 (at the time of this writing Service Pack 3 has been released).
After SQL Server 2005 was installed and the server restarted, I installed Service Pack 3 and undid the settings I had made in the "Systems Configuration Utility". I restarted the server and everything worked like a charm.
If you have trouble installing your Service Pack 3 in your clustered environment you can probably fix this by reading my previous article "Prepare SQL Server 2005 in a Clustered Environment for SP3".