The ability to use a parameter file (configurationfile.ini), for automating the installation of SQL Server, has been around for many years. However, each release of SQL Server has had different parameters that could be included in the file. Here are some directions on how to find or create a parameter file, along with the parameter values that are supported by each version of SQL Server.
Obtain parameter file from an existing server
Each instance of a SQL Server installation will have a ConfigurationFile.ini saved to the local computer as part of the installation process. The file will include all of the parameter settings (excluding passwords) that were entered in the setup wizard (for that instance). The default location for the parameter file is: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Server Version>\Setup Bootstrap\Log\<installation datetime>\ConfigurationFile.ini.
Create a new parameter file
- The parameter file is a basic text file that contains name/value pairs that are separated by an equal symbol (=).
- Lines can be commented out by using a semi-colon (;) at the beginning of the line.
Using a parameter file
- The name of the parameter file is specified in the setup command by using the /configurationfile parameter (ie. setup.exe /configurationfile = c:\install\servername.ini).
- Any parameters that are specified in the setup command will override the values in the parameter file. (ie. Setup.exe /SQLSVCPASSWORD=”************” /CONFIGURATIONFILE=”c:\install\configurationfile.ini”)
Parameter values supported by SQL Server version
The chart below can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet (here).