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Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 and Windows 8

Here’s an interesting situation I ran across this week.  Windows 8 recently came out, and as such, some of the developers at my company want to be upgraded as soon as possible so they can take advantage of the new OS and focus on Windows 8 development.  As part of the upgrade, some of the developers need SQL 2008 R2 installed.  However, upon running the installer, you may receive the following Program Compatibility Assistant notice:

SQL 2008 R2 compatability warning on Windows 8

This program has compatibility issues – according to Windows 8.   And this is true; it needs to have .Net Framework 3.5 installed. Most people will think: “Ok, no problem I’ll install the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 redistributable.” Or… they will run the program without getting help, and get the next error or notice:

NET Framework Feature download on Windows 8

An app on your PC needs the following Windows feature:  .NET Framework 3.5.  Hey, no problem right? Windows 8 is so cool, it will allow me to download and install this feature right from this prompt.  Choosing to do so, the framework will download and attempt to install, but then you may hit a final error:

Windows Feature not installed NET Framework 3.5

The following feature couldn’t be installed:  .Net Framework 3.5.  Windows couldn’t connect to the internet to download necessary files.  Make sure that you’re connected to the Internet, and click “Retry” to try again.   Error code:  0x800F0906.

Furthermore, if you download the .NET 3.5 Framework redistributable from the internet to the computer, you can end up getting similar errors/compatibility warnings.

Why and How to Fix this Issue

This issue is most likely occurring because in your work or “enterprise” environment, you have Windows 8 configured to talk to a WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) server on the corporate network.  This can be worked around by changing a group policy setting, but if you don’t feel like making the change, or if you do not have appropriate server administration rights to do so, there is another way.  One quick and easy way to fix this without having to change any GPO settings is to install the framework off the Windows 8 CD.  To do this:

1. Put your Windows 8 CD into the computer
2. Run an elevated command prompt
3. Run the command:  Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /All /Source:<your cdrom drive letter here>:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess
The installer will run the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool and should look like this when finished:

Install NET Framework 3.5 from Windows 8 disk

I recommend rebooting, and then all that is left is to run your SQL 2008 R2 installer again, click past the compatibility warning, and continue with the install.  Don’t forget to add SP2!

More information and alternative methods of getting around this error can be found in Microsoft’s knowledge base article KB2734782

  1. Pete
    November 5, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Thanks heaps . It worked:)

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