Troubleshooting SQL 2008 Installation (Access Denied)

I have to say that the improvements in the SQL 2008 installation have been pretty good to me. We have a Hyper-V lab with automated SQL installation based on configuration templates which works really well. We can get a box provisioned with SQL 2008 in under 20 minutes. We can do it in a few minutes using sysprep, but that's a no no for supportability and a few other reasons.

Recently I saw a case where the installation did not go so smooth with a cryptic "Access Denied" message which is reported on connect. 

and blogged about here

This led me to take some notes on a generic approach to troubleshooting a failed SQL 2008 install and the following steps.

a) Review the "details.txt" file in the setupLog folder C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log.

b) Cross reference the failure message in the log file with a search engine, Microsoft Connect and KB articles.

c) If still no resolution, contacting Microsoft Premier Support will probably save time as a next step as they can search internal databases and escalate.

If you want to troubleshoot more these steps have worked for me

a) run "gpresult /V" to output resultant group policy (especially security policy). Compare this to a known working install and see if any core differences. Instructions on gpresult are here

b) Finally use the sysinternals "Process Monitor" tool to watch the install and identify the resource which is causing issues