SQL Service failed to start during 2005 install – Multicore Processor Issue

Recently came across an interesting situation where I was installing SQL Server 2005 Developer(RTM) and Enterprise on QA and PRODUCTION environments respectively.

During install I got an error, which said “The SQL Server service failed to start. For more information, see the SQL Server Books Online topics, “How to: View SQL Server 2005 Setup Log Files” and “Starting SQL Server Manually.”

You are prompted to Retry or Cancel the setup.

 I ensured that proper service accounts where used and permissions where set properly, still the issue was not resolved. I was sure that the setup is not corrupted, as the same was used enormous amount of times.

Was going through System configuration and strange fact attracted me, ie number of processors. Both servers had 24 processors. A quick check on Microsoft KB list proved that this was a known issue.

This issue happens when The number of physical cores is not a power of 2.

Fix :


The workaround I used for both PROD and QA was :

Copied sqlservr.exe and sqlos.ddl from a different server which was having the same build which I was expecting for the new servers and pasted the same at Bin directory soon after I get the error message, Retry option was selected and the installation was completed.

Note: You need to patch sql server once again to ensure that it’s in supported state.

Microsoft has ensured that this glitch is resolved in 2008 and SP’s of 2005.Unfortunately 2005 doesn’t support slipstreaming, hence this KB needs to be referred.

I am interested to understand if anyone of you have faced this before.


4 thoughts on “SQL Service failed to start during 2005 install – Multicore Processor Issue

  1. Anup, you may want to select /NUMPROC = 1 in MSCONFIG-> BOOT.INI -> Advanced Option then reboot system. Try SQL Install then and this should get successful. Once done, you may remove this setting. Let me know if you tried this.


  2. Aftrer chanlging the value installation successfully completed .Can u tell me please what is the impact of NUMPROC value and how it’s afftect the installation and other things .

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