You don’t need to install WSS v3 before Project Server 2007

One common issue we see, particularly from customers familiar with Project Server 2003 is that they will install WSS v3 before Project Server 2007.  This is an unnecessary step and in some cases can then make it difficult to install Project Server 2007 in precisely the way that you want.  For instance if WSS is installed then it can install a SQL Express instance for its databases.  Then when you install Project Server it follows the lead of WSS and also uses SQL Express - when you really wanted to load the databases in another instance of SQL Server 2005.  Just installing Project Server 2007 will also install all the bits of WSS you need and allows either a "standalone" install - which does use SQL Express, or you can choose "Advanced", followed by "Complete" and this will allow a choice of SQL Servers to connect to.  Often a customer will choose standalone to mean that SQL will be on the same server - but will not intend to use SQL Express - but a full SQL Server 2005 database engine that is also running on the server.  Standalone does not give you the choices - but Advanced and then Complete does.

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Comments (17)

  1. aangas says:

    Hi Brian,

    The wording of ‘Standalone’ isn’t clear unless you are smart and read the installation guide first! It would be helpful if at least by the next WSS/Project Server release this could have an explanation alongside or different name to make clear that the installation of another database engine will occur.

    Thanks, Alex.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Alex.  I will certainly pass this on.  This is certainly one case where it is smart to read the instructions first!


  3. Hi ZD – from the first line it looks like a B2B or Beta to Beta upgrade is trying to run.  Are both WSS and Project Server the 2007 RTM versions?  If you still see this problem then I suggest opening a support incident with Microsoft – see

    Best regards,


  4. ignbell says:

    I´m having problems migrating PS2007 StandAlone Installatio to another PS2007 StandAlone Installation. Followed all the instructions Microsoft Told me but it seems to be only for PS2007 Farm Installation with Sharepoint Server.

    What i`m really trying to do is to see how to recover my ps2007 if the server crashes. I`m really disappointed with microsoft, but i`m not surprised. Microsoft released PS2007 with insufficient information about it.

    Thanks for your help. sorry i wrote about another subject. I´d apreciate if somebody could help me.


  5. Hi Nacio,

    I am sorry you are having a bad experience.  For a standalone installation where by definition everything is on the same server a server image may be the best option.  A farm installation may give you more flexibility and it is still possible to have everything on the same server – it will just enable you more control over SQL Server and the accounts used for the various services.  For SQL Express you can also now download management tools as part of SP2 which may help you.

    Best regards,


  6. Michael says:


    Excellent, helpful blog and I have a question: you alluded to setting up a farm on a standalone server. This is what I’m wanting to do simply as a proof-of-concept here at work. Essentially I only have one "test" machine at my disposal, so I would need to use this one server as the SQL/app/web server



    (P.S. This POC would eventually be used as the basis for implementing MOPS enterprise wide solution as we will be implementing MOSS later in the year)

  7. Hi Michael,

    The standalone install would do what you want – but if you already have SQL installed on the server then doing the custom install give you more flexibity.  Just install the full server (can’t remember what it is called in the dialog – but not web front end)and then you can choose the SQL Server to use (and it can be on the same server).

    Best regards,


  8. Molly Cook says:


    I am trying to install Project Server on a server farm environment with a DB server and then the rest on another server. When it comes to Database Farm account it won’t accept and usernames I provide if it is a domain user, which it needs to be due to the server farm aspect of the installation. I have added the username as an SQL user, domain admin, local admin, tried creating the dbs before the install and during and many combinations of these and have not been able to progress at all.

    The error I get is that the password for the username is invalid.

    Please has anyone got any tips?


  9. Hi Molly,

    Are you sure the password is OK?  This doesn’t sound like the kind of error you would get from the database.  Are you seeing any errors in the SQL logs?  Again, I feel it may not even be getting this far.  Exactly which step are you getting the error?  I am assuming it is when running the Config Wizard.

    Best regards,


  10. MollyCook says:

    Hey Brian,

    Yes I am 100% the password is OK unless the keyboard is changing what I type. I have even written it in plain text and copied it in and I know I can login to the server with the same credentials.

    I don’t think it’s hitting the SQL server and can’t see any logging for it except the Project Server log which says the Password is invalid. It is during the config wizard yes. I am wondering if it is anything to do with a weird network setup but I am past any ideas. Have just had my servers re imaged to start afresh again but I almost don’t want to in the knowledge I’m obviously doing something fundamentally wrong and it will fail again.

    I have tried the Microsoft deployment guide and an internal guide and still had no luck! :0(



  11. Hi Molly,

    One other thing that can cause issues (but I didn’t think it gives a password error) is firewall blocking access to SQL Server.  You can create rules on the firewall to make sure traffic to/from SQL Server is permitted (within the domain).  If you still run into problems on the re-install I’d suggest a support call so one of our engineers can step through things with you.

    Best regards,


  12. Joe says:

    Hi Brian,

    I am trying to create a lab here at home with trial versions of WSS, MOSS 2007 and Project Server 2007.  I’ve stepped in the pile you describe; can you help me get out of it?!?

    In the documentation I read, I didn’t see that SQL Express wouldn’t work.  I don’t suppose it’s as easy as uninstalling WSS and/or MOSS then starting over?



  13. Hi Joe,

    SQL Express will work, but may not give you the control you want in terms of db location.  Best way is to uninstall, and you may need to visit Control Panel and also manually uninstall the SQL Express components too.  Then use the Advanced, Complete option when you can choose your DB location.

    Best regards,


  14. adgross says:

    Wow, that was frustrating.  How hard would it be to put a message on the install screen that said, "you already have WSS installed, so I’m only going to let you choose a stand-alone installation"…sometimes I wish I was a Linux administrator.

  15. Be careful what you wish for adgross :).

  16. Joseph Pursel says:

    Hi Brian

    Does MS Project Server have the ability to be installed on Linux with Oracle or MySQL?



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