Automating installations is a good thing. It means that the installations are consistent across multiple installations, there’s (by necessity) documentation for later reference of what and how something was installed, and automatic, unattended installations scale really well. If you’re doing it more than once, you should be automating it.
There are two ways to specify installation parameters for an unattended install of SQL Server 2012:
- Manually, specifying each parameter:
Setup.exe /q /ACTION=PrepareImage /FEATURES=SQL,RS /InstanceID= /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS ...
- Easily, specifying a configuration file that contains all of your configuration parameters:
I much prefer the second method of provided a configuration file as I don’t have to remember all of the required parameters and I know my parameters are correct. Most of the time all I have to do is take a previously used configuration file, tweak a few lines, and I’m good to go.
Creating a Configuration File
You have a few different options for creating a confirmation file: You can create it from a previously existing one you may have or an example one provided by someone else, make your own from scratch (you may want to reference the Microsoft documentation, or opt to have SQL Server 2012 Setup create it for you. There isn’t much too it, as it’s just a plain-text INI file. Read more