How to View and Read SQL Server Setup Log Files
Usually when something goes awry in a SQL Server, the first place that comes to mind to check is the SQL Server error log, or Windows event log. But what if the error was during SQL Server installation? What if you’re installing SQL Server and suddenly the GUI disappears? Poof! Gone! There were no pop-up errors or anything to give you a hint of where to start troubleshooting.
What do you do?
When you first kick off a SQL Server install, there are a couple directories and files that are created. The directories are time stamped and the files within the directories record a detail “process-by-process” snapshot in a plain text file for troubleshooting and record keeping.
Check out this MSDN link to all the setup files SQL Server creates during initial installation. It’s definitely a great place to start when troubleshooting install problems. Add it to your bookmarks!