SQL Server 2017 Setup: the step ‘sql_inst_mpyConfigAction_upgrade_confignonrc_Cpu64’ seems stuck, or slow? Here’s why!

SQL Server 2017 is one more step further in Microsoft’s philosophy of bringing advanced analytics capabilities closer to where the data resides. With Python now supported as an ‘external script’ language (adding to the existing support for R), customers have the full power of Python at their disposal, including external packages like Tensorflow.

Now, what we have seen with some cases is that when the option to install Python has been selected, setup seems to ‘be stuck’ with the string sql_inst_mpyConfigAction_upgrade_confignonrc_Cpu64 being displayed on UI for a while. This is actually not a hang, it is just the setup taking a longer time. The reason for this is that when we install Python with SQL, we have to download and install the Python runtime. That step can take a while, because of the size of the associated packages. If you look at our documentation, you will notice that the size of the Microsoft Python Open component (circled in the screenshot below) is 850MB+). Depending on the speed of the Internet connection that download can take a while!


On top of the time it would take to download, there is an additional step of extracting the various files from within the CAB file into their actual folders within the SQL Server binary folder. That step too takes a while, typically because of disk speeds and also sometimes anti-virus scanning overheads. You can see the progress of that extraction step if you periodically look at the below file (replace the 20170804_162723 date-time stamp folder name with the actual one on your server):

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\140\Setup Bootstrap\Log\20170804_162723\RSetup.log

When you look at this file, you will see lines indicating setup is extracting several files. When you close and open the file again, you should notice the timestamp increasing. That will prove to you that SQL Python Setup is indeed progressing and not ‘hung’. In my experience, the overall installation time for this step can be order of magnitude of a few minutes – not too bad, but it can be anxious moments if you just rely on the UI!

In summary:

  • SQL Server 2017 Python setup can take a while, due to file download and file extraction times. A few minutes is normal.
  • To save on download times, pre-download the CAB files mentioned above and pass the path to those files using the MRCACHEDIRECTORY command line parameter as shown in this blog post

Happy scripting with Python and SQL Server 2017!

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