Installing SQL 2012 with a Configuration File

I’ve always prefered installing SQL with an anwer file (configuration file) to save time and keep my installations consistent. That holds true for SQL12 as well, but it seems there are some slight changes you’ll need to make from the 08/R2 days so I might as well post them here in case I forget!

SQL File Locations

  • SQL
  • SQL\CU1

For those of you also using the Enterprise edition, you want to be really careful not to accidently deploy it as it’s far more costly in term of licensing. So make a folder layout that makes sense and stick to it everywhere.

First off, if you don’t have a config file, just make one. Run the SQL setup right up to the point of installation, but then stop and copy the ConfigurationFile.ini offered to you before proceeding with the install. Then just cancel the install and copy the file to a permanent location so you can modify and test it.

Edit ConfigurationFile.ini

The 1st thing you’ll want to add is the acceptance of the EULA which doesn’t get copied in.


Just add it under [OPTIONS] at the top of the file.

Add a semicolon before UIMODE as we’re trying to stay silent and that parameter cannot be used with a silent switch.

Set either QUIET or QUIETSIMPLE to "True" – the former forces a completely silent install which is nice if you want to send this with CM. The latter is nice during testing to watch the progress.

New to SQL12 is something called Product Updates. It replaces slipstreaming and makes updates a breeze.

Product Update can pull in a cumulative update, service pack, or service pack plus cumulative update.

So instead of the old PCUSOURCE and CUSOURCE locations, you simply point SQL to either "MU" for Microsoft Updates or to a local folder or UNC.

To make it work, just make sure you have UpdatesEnabled="True" and then set UpdateSource="\\myserver\sqlshare\CU1" in the ini file. I extracted Cumulative Update 1 for SQL 12 to the CU1 folder (run it with /X). Then ran the SQL install via command line.

Command Line to Install

\\myserver\sqlshare\STD\setup.exe /ConfigurationFile=C:\Storage\ConfigurationFile.ini

And 10 minutes later, I had a fully function SQL12 v11.0.2316 running. So CU1 clearly installed.


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