This week I was reviewing Watson setup failure rates and comparing them to cases opened in the same areas with SQL Server support. Dec 2006 was the highest volume level for SQL Server 2005 RTM and SP1 cases to date.
The values were not out of line, in fact encouraging to a reasonable degree. Many of you took advantage of your holiday, production lockdowns to check out SQL Server 2005.
I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to use the self help feature in SQL Server 2005 setup. When setup fails it bundles various data points into a package that can be submitted to the Microsoft Watson site. The files include package details, machine configuration and other necessary troubleshooting data points.
Since early spring 2006 the CSS and Development teams have been watching the SQL Server 2005 Watson report rates. The top buckets have been liked to proper knowledge base responses. Looking at the statistics at the end of calendar year 2006 the top 80% of SQL Server 2005 setup issues reported to Watson are linked to detailed responses.
If you should be unfortunate and encounter a setup problem I encourage you to give Watson a try.
Senior SQL Server Escalation Engineer