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How do you install SQL Server in a remote server?

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How do you install SQL Server in a remote server where you don't have the option to put a CD or DVD on the machine (or have anybody do it for you)? That is, having the ISO image.

I can think of installing a CD emulator, but most of the look like nasty software I wouldn't want on a server.

Answers

I copy the .iso to the target server then use winrar (I suppose 7zip and any number of similar products will work) to extract the .iso to a folder, then run setup from the folder in the normal way. The sort of software you install on a server isn't interested in playing games about whether or not you have a disk in a drive somewhere, it just needs to be able to find all its install files.

I've install SQL, Exchange, ISA Server and Sharepoint like this several times, just to name a few microsoft products I know it works with.

If you can remote desktop into the server, you can create a shared folder, give yourself rights to that folder, copy the contents of the cd/dvd into that folder (from your local box), then from the server (using RD), run the installer. As long as the folder paths are the same that should work.

If you want to avoid third party virtual CD drives, Microsoft has a tool to mount .iso files.

Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel for Windows XP

It also works on Server 2003

You can do one of two things:

1) Install Daemon Tools - although i don't like putting cd emulators on Servers

2) Pop the cd into a local drive and copy the files over the wire, the installer doesn't really care if it's off hard disk or cd.

I have done it with a fast network link and just shared the CD drive on my own workstation and then mapped that drive from the server. Cheap and easy anyhow. I wouldn't do it over a slow WAN link though.

When ever possible I have the media on a network share and simply install from the network share. That way I'm not installing any un-needed software on the server.

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