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Installing SQL Server 2008R2 Sample Databases

Note: By default Windows Server 2008 security is configured to prevent the download of these installers. Changing this security configuration is not recommended on production servers. Please see Windows Server documentation for information on how to change these settings.

To install all the sample databases for SQL Server 2008 perform the following steps:
  1. Ensure all prerequisites are met. See Database Prerequisites for detailed prerequisite instructions. Note that database installation will not complete unless all prerequisites are met.
  2. Using the object explorer in SSMS delete any earlier version of the AdventureWorks sample databases you may have installed.
  3. Using the file explorer ensure all .MDF and .LDF files have been deleted from the data directory for all sample databases in the instance you will be installing the new sample databases. For the default instance, the path to the data directory for OLTP, LT, and DW sample databases is typically C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA.
  4. Navigate to
  5. Click on the AdventureWorks2008R2_RTM.exe link
  6. Read the license and if you agree to the conditions click I Agree.
  7. Click Run
  8. If an elevation prompt occurs click Yes.
  9. Respond to all the dialogs presented by the installer as detailed below.
  10. If problems arise during installation, please see Database Installer Help for SQL Server 2008R2.

Dialog 1.png

Click the I agree license agreement check box, then click the Next button.

Dialog 2.png
  • Use the pull down selector to choose the instance in which to install the sample databases.
  • While it is possible to change the directory where the scripts and data files will be installed, it is recommended that the default be used. If the directory is changed, be sure that the account the SQL Server service runs under has read access to this directory.
  • Be sure to read all the content in this dialog.
  • Uncheck any databases you do not wish to install. If there are warnings, click More Information links for additional information which can help you resolve the issues which prevent those databases from being installed.
  • To copy the scripts and data files and install the selected databases press the Next button.

Dialog 3.png

Scripts and data files are copied to the directory you selected in the previous dialog. Progress bars for the whole installation and progress for installing the current database are displayed along with status messages that change as the installation progresses. More status information can be displayed by clicking Show Details. If the installation has failed for any reason it is helpful to click Show Details to find out why. Any bugs filed should include all the details displayed which you can gather by typing control-a to select everything in the details text box, and control-c to copy all the lines to the clipboard. The details can then be pasted in a bug you can create on the Issue Tracker tab at

Dialog 4.png

When the installation is complete, click the Finish button. Temporary files will be deleted by the self-extracting zip file. The databases which were installed should be ready to browse and access using either SQL Server Management Studio or the SQLCMD tool.

Last edited Nov 8, 2010 at 8:46 PM by bonniefe, version 10


vamsir Nov 15, 2011 at 11:30 AM 
The link is not valid. AdventureWorks2008R2_RTM is not available in this link. Please update steps 4 and 5.

vrmegha Sep 14, 2011 at 11:58 AM 
Hi, I am new to SQL, Sorry if I am being silly here. I have installed the Adventure workes as specified and it was complete without any problems. At the end of description it is mentioned that "The databases which were installed should be ready to browse and access using either SQL Server Management Studio or the SQLCMD tool." When I open the SQL Server Management studio, which server should I connect to view this database?

Plankgas1983 Aug 3, 2011 at 5:20 PM 
@OWLRDF ; about "Unable to install - no instances listed / visible"

I had the exact same issue over here.

Finally, it hit me that during the installation of SQL Server Express, I had deleted the Administrator account (which I was using to install) as the default sysadmin for the database. Instead, I added my personal account and made it sysadmin. To install the AdventureWorks samples, I needed to use the Administrator account again, but since I had deleted it during the installation of SQL Server Express, it didn't have a login on the instance yet...

So I managed to resolve the issue by opening SQL Server Management Studio, and adding a login for the Administrator under the security settings of the SQL Server Express instance. For the record, I also assigned it the sysadmin Server Role via properties to enhance my chances of success.

Hope that might help...

mphacker Feb 22, 2011 at 8:39 PM 
If the directory for the scripts is not created the install button will be disabled. Once you create the scripts folder you can install.

nallapraveen Feb 21, 2011 at 11:13 PM 
The link was not working, Can you please post correct link to get the databases..

BesoSH Feb 1, 2011 at 2:12 PM 
i tried to run AdventureWorks2008R2_SR1.exe file in SQL Server 2008 R2, and same screens came to me after fixing the FileStream issue as mentioned in the DataBase prerequisites, i thought i will be able to install the samples but the install button seems disabled , any more configuration i should apply to get it solved !

OWLRDF Jan 27, 2011 at 10:11 AM 
Unable to install - no instances are listed whatsoever - and the prerequisites seems to be meet. I'm tring to install on SQL 2008 R2 cluster with 2 nodes and 5 names instances.

prmody Jan 10, 2011 at 11:19 PM 
It took me couple of days to get this to work on my Windows 7 home premium and SQL Enterprise 2008 R2 Trial. I do not see OLTP database sample under analysis server even after successful install. Am I missing anything here? Anyone facing same issue? Any idea how can I see OLTP database? Thanks!

w3 Dec 23, 2010 at 12:10 AM 
(Just trying to get their attention)
Other than that, I had no problems installing the above and then running the BI version of VS to install and run both solutions for Analysis Services.

ccdev Nov 22, 2010 at 3:51 PM 
I'm unable to find AdventureWork2008R2 sample database. Could someone please assist.

DavidBridge Nov 18, 2010 at 10:12 AM 
There is a slight error i nthe link at the top of the page. goes to a page with an error "The specified release was not found. "
I think this is because of the Denali release, however, there is a control to the right showing "Other Downloads" and in here there is "AdventureWorks 2008R2 SR1 - Nov 17 2010, Stable" which I think is the one I was expecting.

If you fix this on the page then please remove this comment to avoid confusion for others.


David Bridge
David Bridge Technology Limited

iwegiel Nov 8, 2010 at 8:42 PM 
Fixed with help of "".

I added some accounts as "sysadmin" role.
Stupd - if necessary I should be asked by installation software about account and password - what if I use only SQL security (not mixed or Windows)

iwegiel Nov 8, 2010 at 7:47 PM 
I have reached only first screen.
"Fatal Error"
"Failed object initialization (ISupportInitialize.EndInit). An exception occured while executing a Transact-SQL statement otr batch. Error at object 'Database selection' in markup file 'DatabaseInstaller;component/databaseselection.xaml' Line 78 Position "

I think it should be better to unpack it to user defined directory first - to have possibility to check in code waht is wrong.
Although there is a screen with directory selection I haven't seen it.

MrIanYates Oct 25, 2010 at 8:21 AM 
I found that I had to have every instance of SQL Server started even if I just wanted to install against one of my instances. This is probably similar to xonev's comment where he had to ensure he could log in to SQL Server. A meaningful error message, and not crashing just because some of the installed instances aren't running, would be more helpful.

slh1234 Oct 18, 2010 at 7:42 PM 
While the installer package is nice, it would be very nice to have the databases without the install package available. The reason is that when things like Denali are released, we sometimes need to get a database for testing. The MSI will not allow us to install this test database on a Denali instance directly. If we had just the databases, we could attach, adjust the compatibility mode if necessary, and be up and going.

ooio_karl Oct 9, 2010 at 11:17 AM 
There is no database of AdventureWorks2008. But in the example, a connection string contains that database. I changed the connection string to 'AdventureWorks' database, but it does not work for data inconsistency. What should I do??

jeffreymhunter Sep 19, 2010 at 7:32 AM 
Seamless install without any errors once all database prerequisites were satisfied.

samfreak8 Sep 6, 2010 at 10:16 PM 
i have all the pre reqs set up and satisfied however, when I run the exe, all I get after extraction is a blank white screen.I don't see the license terms screen. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

deekay Sep 1, 2010 at 7:22 AM 
Once all the prerequisites are met, the above steps work fine.

xonev Jul 21, 2010 at 12:10 AM 
I was getting the "Details: Object reference not set to an instance of an object." error as well, but I *finally* figured it out. It was because I wasn't able to log into SQL Server 2008. That was a whole other process to figure out, but once I fixed that, the installer worked (well, at least I didn't get that error, haven't tried the rest of it yet).

jl999 Jul 16, 2010 at 7:29 PM 
If you changed the settings on model database, you might get an error when installing AdventureWorksDW2008R2 database. I changed the primary file of model database to 100mb, and the install generated an error. I had to revert it back to the default 2mb and the install was successful. I don't know why it has this kind of restriction of creating the database.

VeeLdn Jun 11, 2010 at 3:50 PM 
I have spent the last two days trying to run this application. I have followed the 'prerequisites' page and ensured all the right boxes were ticked. However I still can not install this app. I have already installed, uninstalled and installed back again the SQL Server 2008 R2 several times (trying different options) but none of them succeded.
I keep on receiving following error message: a fatal error occurred during installation. Details: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
I am very new to SQL Server and I do not know how to resolve this issue. Any help and suggestions are very welcome and appreciated. Many thanks!