Microsoft – SQL Server – v 2008-R2 – Service Pack 1 (SP1) – Upgrade fails “silently”

Microsoft – SQL Server – v 2008-R2 – Service Pack 1 (SP1) – Upgrade fails Silently

Trying to install “Microsoft SQL Server – v2008/R2” Service Pack 1 (SP1) fails.

Yes, upgrade are apt to fail sometimes, but this time, it is failing miserably.

What do I mean miserable; well:

  • Upon extraction of the compressed exe update file, the application simply shuts down.
  • No error messages
  • Nothing useful in the Event Log
  • Tweak “Local Policy” to enable logging of failures
  • Tried SysInternal’s “ProcessMonitor”

Nothing.  It is pulling the Great Houdini.  What to do, when things go bye bye, without a word.

Well Google of course.  But for what; what is my foe.  Every story needs a foe…

So brought the old notepad editor and created a little command file:

echo ErrorLevel is %errorlevel%

Subconsciously, I know that if I am able to capture the error number, I will be able to get a bit of help from the “Oracle” of “Problem and Resolution Engine”, Google.

So run the command file and was able to get our Error Number:


Having en error number meant that in time we might get somewhere. Flirted with calling MS Support.

Went to Sleep over it. Hoping that a good night sleep and a rested mind will do a bit of good.

Googled for “2147467259 sql server setup.exe”

And, the most helpful link led to

1) SQL Server Express 2008 Setup Error : Exit code -2147467259.

Found a couple of correlated messages in the “Event Viewer”.

1) .Net Runtime version 2.0.50727.5420 – Error ‘Invalid syntax on line 166.’ occurred while parsing the ‘Machine’ policy level. The default policy level was used instead.

The fix prescribed in the article is to launch a “command shell” and issue:

C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\caspol.exe -machine -reset

Did, but no help

Hours later, went back and found another link:

1) SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2 fails to install

In an helpful exchange between Deepesh_MSNDN & Costanza, they spoke about target the 64-bit .Net Environment

cd c:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727
caspol.exe -machine -reset

As the machine is 64-bit, targeting 64-bit was most useful.

Couple of places to check per failed install\upgrade:

  • /%program files%/microsoft sql server/100/setup bootstrap/log
  • %userprofile%\appdata\local\temp\SqlSetup.log


6 thoughts on “Microsoft – SQL Server – v 2008-R2 – Service Pack 1 (SP1) – Upgrade fails “silently”

    • Sam:

      Serves you right for working last Friday of the year.

      No go out and Play (Go Outside /


      Thanks for leaving a notice – Here is to all having a safe and good New Year.


  1. Note that this also can occur when installing SQL 2012 SP1. This is where I had the issue. The steps above, specifically the “caspol.exe -machine -reset” fixed the issue. Thanks again!

  2. Sam:

    Thanks you ‘re a wonderful man.

    I ‘ve yet to work on MS SQL Server – v2012; and you ‘re already on SP1.

    Thanks for the helpful feedback, mate.

    In his grace,


  3. After banging my head against the keyboard for 2 days this finally solved my issue when installing SQL 2008 R2 after a previous installation was uninstalled. Also valid for SQL 2012.

    Many thanks!


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