Microsoft KB Archive/173180

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Article ID: 173180

Article Last Modified on 10/3/2003


  • Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q173180


SQL Server Setup fails during the installation process when it attempts to start SQL Server. Setup shows the following error message in a dialog box before it quits:

The SQL Server installation could not be successfully completed.
Setup could not connect to the SQL server.

The Windows NT event log shows the following error message:

Msg 17113 : initconfig: error 2(The system cannot find the file
specified.) opening 'master.dat' for config information


A previous installation of SQL Server was removed by deleting the files from the SQL Server directory. Manually deleting registry keys and removing files is not the best way to remove SQL Server. Doing this causes any subsequent reinstallation to fail with the following error in the errorlog:

initconfig: error 2(The system cannot find the file specified.) opening
'master.dat' for config information

The "Remove SQL Server option" may also be unavailable in the Setup program, so the only way to correctly reinstall SQL Server is to cleanly remove SQL Server and then reinstall it.


To reinstall SQL Server correctly, perform the following steps:

  1. Run "setup /t RegistryRebuild = ON" (without the quotation marks) from the Binn directory under the directory where SQL Server was installed.

This rebuilds the registry and fills in any missing parameters. Type the same information in the setup dialog boxes as the first time SQL Server was installed. Setup will not copy any files or run any scripts, but it will re-create the registry and services as if you had done a full installtion.

  1. Run Setup again, and this time choose to remove SQL Server. This not only removes all the files, but also removes the registry entries.
  2. Reinstall SQL Server normally.


The RegistryRebuild = ON switch can not only be used in this situation, but also to recover from a situation where the Windows NT registry has been damaged, inadvertently modified, or restored. For more information, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

157805 : BUG: RegistryRebuild Option of Setup Is Not Documented

Additional query words: regrebuild rebuildregistry gray grey greyed grayed disabled input enter

Keywords: kberrmsg kbsetup kbprb KB173180