SQL Server 2005 Encounters Exception During Install When System has Odd Number of Processors or Logical Processors Per Core

While attempting to install SQL Server 2005 you may encounter an error familiar to the following and a retry option presented by setup.

Faulting application sqlservr.exe, version 2005.90.1399.0, time stamp 0x434f82e9, faulting module sqlservr.exe, version 2005.90.1399.0, time stamp 0x434f82e9, exception code 0xc0000005, fault offset 0x01019027, process id 0xe70, application start time 0x01c8d28679b262eb.

There are a few known issues; all corrected if you install SQL Server 2005 SP2, but getting Service Pack 2 installed makes this a chicken and egg scenario.  Here a references knowledge base references.

KB 954835 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/954835/en-us   (This article currently states that you should use a CPU value that is a power of 2.   This is only partially correct and comments to the KB have been submitted.)

KB 931666 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931666/en-us  Systems with 9, 17, 18, 19, 33, 34, 35, 36,37,38,39 encounter the issue



1.       KB 954835 describes how to use the BOOT.INI or MSCONFIG.exe to set the NumProc boot option.   Set this to 1 and not a power of 2 to avoid the vast majority of the scenarios.

2.       Install SQL Server and SQL Server Service Pack 2 with the computer configured to look like a single CPU system.




                There are a few conditions where the common workaround is not sufficient.


1.       At the time you get the failure to start SQL Sevrver during setup you are presented with a retry option.  

 At this time replace the SQLSERVR.exe and SQLOS.dll into the BINN folder at your install location from an Service Pack 2 installation and then Retry.  This allows the SQL Server to start and complete the setup.

2.       Immediately apply SQL Server SP2 and you are back in a supported configuration.



Reference: Triple Core, 3-Core, Tri-Core, Intel,  AMD Phenom


Bob Dorr
SQL Server Senior Escalation Engineer

Comments (10)
  1. squ1rr3ll says:

    This seems to also be an issue for SQL Server 2000 with service pack 4 on Windows 2000 Server.  Is there a work-around for this configuration as well?  SQL Server 2000 works fine with the initial release installed, but Service Pack 4 dies when it tries to restart the server.

    I first ran into this on a VPC machine that I use as a test bed for several production applications.  After upgrading test workstation to an AMD 3-core Phenom, the SQL Server on the VPC stopped working.  I reinstalled SQL Server (no good), then started a new VPC with Windows 2000 Server, installed SQL Server, and it started.  Then the SP4 upgrade stopped.

    Is the /NUMPROC option even recognized on 2000 Server?

  2. thomas_p says:

    This issue stung us badly on an x64 2-node cluster install. this was on dual 6-core HP DL 580s. We had already tried changing from 12 logical to 8 logical procs as per the MSKB linked here, which doesn’t work. Only way we got it to work (after trying everything else under the sun, including drinking heavily over the weekend) was to set both servers to use only 1 proc. GRRRR. we solved this using this blog article alone, before PSS came back with an help at all! So thanks very very much, Bob, you have saved my bacon, after 8 days of excrutiating stess!

  3. Consider a scenario where you are trying to install SQL Server 2000 MSDE on a computer and you get messages

  4. Nate says:

    Been struggling with this all day.  The KB article isn’t to find without the error (0x8007041d) from the installation log.  The installer GUI’s feedback leads one to believe that the service simply timed-out during startup, which obviously isn’t the case since it dies well before the timeout threshold.

  5. Eduardo says:

    This issue is solved with SQL server 2008?

  6. Amar says:

    The modifying the numproc in Boot.ini mentioned in KB 954835 (referenced in this article) helped us get around the error.

    We had 24 procs, which doesn't satisfy the (silly) inherent "power of 2" limitation in the base SQL 2005 installation media. So starting the OS with just one proc helped solve the issue.

  7. tbriand@epicor.com says:

    This is a very inconvenient "feature".  I too went down the road of reducing from 24 perceived procs to 16 (2^4) only to eventually give up and try 1 proc – and then I found this post!

    I have a 4-node W2008R2 cluster running 8 instances of SQL 2005.  I had to install them all in advance with the 1 proc workaround, then apply SP3.

    More importantly, if I want to add more SQL instances in the future, I won't be able to without bringing ALL my nodes into 1-proc mode since SQL setup.exe yields a "Build version check", regardless if I "change" SQL from the control panel or if I run setup.exe with the HOTFIXPATCH/SP3 option.

    This is is a production environment, by the way.

    Tsk, tsk, Microsoft.

  8. OscarCR says:

    hey ms can u make a pacht who solved it, i can do it, -.-

  9. Venkat says:

    Alternate workaround steps resolved my issue and I wish we have these two files made available via a hotfix or a seperate download.

  10. Teresa Schroat says:

    This solved my problem when all other solutions failed — thank you so much for posting this solution.

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