SQL Server Express Installation Misery

I just wanted to play with OnTime, and figured I could install SQL Server 2008 Express as a database and be off and running quickly. Hah!

First attempt: download SQL Server 2008 Express from Microsoft.

The installation wizard starts and eventually gets through its prerequisite checking to get to the point where it has installed something, but I donít know what. Iím lost in a maze of twisty wizards, all alike. The Express front end is the same as the full cluster-fail-over installer. The express front end is way way too comples.

Ok Ė uninstall 10 pieces of software and try the simpler approach.

Web Platform Installer apparently scripts the Express installer to get a default instance up and running with minimal fuss. Just what I need. Too bad it doesnít work. It looks like Iím in good company.

Iím installing on a simple WinXP box Ė but the WebPI shell says the SQL Express install failed. Event log says

FCB::Open failed: Could not open file e:\sql10_main_t\sql\mkmastr\databases\objfre\i386\MSDBData.mdf for file number 1.  OS error: 3(failed to retrieve text for this error. Reason: 1815).

The SQL Server (SQLEXPRESS) service terminated with service-specific error 1814 (0×716).

Where the hell is E:\ coming from? I have nothing there.

Iím going to try uninstalling SQL Server again and trying WebPI again Ė maybe something got installed that it needed without realizing itÖ

Frakking black magic MSI.

All I want to do is play with OnTime

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