Installing SQL Server 2008

Once in a while I need to install SQL Server and there are a few options in the installation process I want to document here. 


  • Brand new box, WinXP SP3, no pre-existing Sql Server installed
  • VS2008 SP1 and .NET 3.5 SP1 have been installed
  • Edition: SQL Server 2008 Express

Pre-requisite on installing SQL Server 2008 

Default Instance vs. Named Instance

Named instance: SqlExpress2008

Service Accounts

Recommended to create a new account, because NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE and Local System give too much power.  But I use NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE for now.


  1. Windows Collation vs. SQL Collation, use Windows Collation, Sql Collation is for backward compatibility.
  2. Collation designator: Chinese_PRC and check AS leave the rest un-checked, thus Chinese_PRC_CI_AS

Authentication Mode

Use Windows Authentication Mode over Mixed Mode, and Add Current User.

Data Directories

User database directory & User database log directory: change to yours instead of default.