Q. How can I perform a silent install of SQL Server?
A. The simplest way I have found to silently install SQL Server is to initially just run the regular setup.exe and fill in all the questions in the wizard. At the last stage of the install before prompting for configuration it shows the path of the configuration file it has created based on the values entered in the wizard. Navigate to the location is shows and take a copy of the configuration file then cancel the installation. This file will perform the basis for your silent install so make sure the answers you enter during the wizard match the values you wish to use.
Open up the configuration file in notepad and you need to make a few changes. At the top add acceptance of the licensing agreement by adding:
; Required to acknowledge acceptance of the license terms.
Next within the file set the QUIET parameter to True, i.e.
Next remove the UIMODE="Normal" line from the file by deleting or just commenting out with the semi-colon (;) character.
You can now use this file with the SQL Server setup.exe via the /ConfigurationFile switch. For example:
I also use PowerShell to automatically open up port 1433 to enable remote use of the SQL services.
New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "MSSQL ENGINE TCP" -Direction Inbound -LocalPort 1433 -Protocol TCP -Action Allow
Below is my complete example configuration file as a reference.
;SQL Server 2012 Configuration File [OPTIONS] ; Required to acknowledge acceptance of the license terms. IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS="True" ; Specifies a Setup work flow, like INSTALL, UNINSTALL, or UPGRADE. This is a required parameter. ACTION="Install" ; Detailed help for command line argument ENU has not been defined yet. ENU="True" ; Setup will not display any user interface. QUIET="True" ; Setup will display progress only, without any user interaction. QUIETSIMPLE="False" ; Specify whether SQL Server Setup should discover and include product updates. The valid values are True and False or 1 and 0. By default SQL Server Setup will include updates that are found. UpdateEnabled="True" ; Specifies features to install, uninstall, or upgrade. The list of top-level features include SQL, AS, RS, IS, MDS, and Tools. The SQL feature will install the Database Engine, Replication, Full-Text, and Data Quality Services (DQS) server. The Tools feature will install Management Tools, Books online components, SQL Server Data Tools, and other shared components. FEATURES=SQLENGINE ; Specify the location where SQL Server Setup will obtain product updates. The valid values are "MU" to search Microsoft Update, a valid folder path, a relative path such as .\MyUpdates or a UNC share. By default SQL Server Setup will search Microsoft Update or a Windows Update service through the Window Server Update Services. UpdateSource="MU" ; Displays the command line parameters usage HELP="False" ; Specifies that the detailed Setup log should be piped to the console. INDICATEPROGRESS="False" ; Specifies that Setup should install into WOW64. This command line argument is not supported on an IA64 or a 32-bit system. X86="False" ; Specify the root installation directory for shared components. This directory remains unchanged after shared components are already installed. INSTALLSHAREDDIR="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server" ; Specify the root installation directory for the WOW64 shared components. This directory remains unchanged after WOW64 shared components are already installed. INSTALLSHAREDWOWDIR="C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server" ; Specify a default or named instance. MSSQLSERVER is the default instance for non-Express editions and SQLExpress for Express editions. This parameter is required when installing the SQL Server Database Engine (SQL), Analysis Services (AS), or Reporting Services (RS). INSTANCENAME="MSSQLSERVER" ; Specify that SQL Server feature usage data can be collected and sent to Microsoft. Specify 1 or True to enable and 0 or False to disable this feature. SQMREPORTING="False" ; Specify the Instance ID for the SQL Server features you have specified. SQL Server directory structure, registry structure, and service names will incorporate the instance ID of the SQL Server instance. INSTANCEID="MSSQLSERVER" ; Specify if errors can be reported to Microsoft to improve future SQL Server releases. Specify 1 or True to enable and 0 or False to disable this feature. ERRORREPORTING="False" ; Specify the installation directory. INSTANCEDIR="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server" ; Agent account name AGTSVCACCOUNT="NT Service\SQLSERVERAGENT" ; Auto-start service after installation. AGTSVCSTARTUPTYPE="Manual" ; CM brick TCP communication port COMMFABRICPORT="0" ; How matrix will use private networks COMMFABRICNETWORKLEVEL="0" ; How inter brick communication will be protected COMMFABRICENCRYPTION="0" ; TCP port used by the CM brick MATRIXCMBRICKCOMMPORT="0" ; Startup type for the SQL Server service. SQLSVCSTARTUPTYPE="Automatic" ; Level to enable FILESTREAM feature at (0, 1, 2 or 3). FILESTREAMLEVEL="0" ; Set to "1" to enable RANU for SQL Server Express. ENABLERANU="False" ; Specifies a Windows collation or an SQL collation to use for the Database Engine. SQLCOLLATION="SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS" ; Account for SQL Server service: Domain\User or system account. SQLSVCACCOUNT="NT Service\MSSQLSERVER" ; Windows account(s) to provision as SQL Server system administrators. SQLSYSADMINACCOUNTS="POCDom\administrator" ; The Database Engine root data directory. INSTALLSQLDATADIR="F:\SQL" ; Provision current user as a Database Engine system administrator for SQL Server 2012 Express. ADDCURRENTUSERASSQLADMIN="False" ; Specify 0 to disable or 1 to enable the TCP/IP protocol. TCPENABLED="1" ; Specify 0 to disable or 1 to enable the Named Pipes protocol. NPENABLED="0" ; Startup type for Browser Service. BROWSERSVCSTARTUPTYPE="Disabled"