Adding Debug Permissions To User


Setting the DEBUG rights permission level is a critical issue prior to attempting an install of SQL Server Express, or any other version of SQL Server 2008. This is due to a BUG in the Microsoft SQL Server Express installer. Usually, if not 99% of the time, the settings noted here will already be correctly set. But, users who have added non password protected administrator accounts, or who have added multiple accounts to a machine which is later joined to a workgroup or domain, or who have had security policies altered by other software installs, in particular AV, may have this permission level demoted. If it does become demoted, any SQL Server Express install will fail.

On Windows XP 32 or Windows XP 64, you must insure that the User rights of the installation user (admin level), HAS the debug rights assignment in order to install SQL Server – for any version.

Do this by :

[Start] >> [Administrative Tools] >> [Local Security Policy]

Then, per the screens below, go to :

Security Settings>>Local Policies>>User Right Assignment>>Debug Programs

Note that we add “Authenticated Users” to the DEBUG group in this screen.

Once you have made this change, cold boot your computer and check that the change was successful.

If you already loaded SQL Server Express or any other version of SQL Server 2008, and this check reveals that ADMIN is the only entry with DEBUG permission, you must completely un-install SQL Server Express 2008 and any other related SQL services installed along with it from control panel, by using the Add/Remove Programs, then cold boot your computer and make sure no services are left in place.

You may then re-install SQL Server with the correct DEBUG permissions.