Error: Object reference not set to an instance of an object


I'm trying to install the AdventureWorks 2008R2 database and I keep on receiving following error message: 'A fatal error occured during installation. Details: Object reference not set to an instance of an object'.
I have checked the prerequisites as well as installed and unistalled the SQL Server 2008 R2 several times yet I keep on receiving this message.
I am quite new to the SQL Server and any suggestions and help would be very appreciated and welcome.
Thanks so much!


vincpa wrote Jun 22, 2010 at 3:03 AM

I also get this error. I'm using Windows 7 x64.

a70070540 wrote Jun 23, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I am installing the product on Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 clustered with 2 SQL Server 2008 R2 instances, one default and one named instance. On my Windows 7 machine x64 with a default instance everything went just fine.

rwillemain wrote Jun 30, 2010 at 8:08 PM

Attempted Adventureworks install on XP-pro. Same problem.

rwillemain wrote Jun 30, 2010 at 10:35 PM

I did NOT have sql service running at the time. Started SS and install completes normally.

karolko wrote Aug 13, 2010 at 6:58 PM

I’m getting the same error on x86 servers. Why do we need some fancy installer that doesn’t work for so many of us? Why not just .zip file so we can extract it?

deepmh wrote Aug 18, 2010 at 1:56 PM

I get the same error. I'm using Windows 7 x64 too.

Mahesh_p27 wrote Oct 18, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Pls check whether TCP/IP protocol is enabled or not., if not enable the same.
Below are the steps.
Configuration Tools--> Sql server Configuration Manger-->Sql Server Network Configuration-->Right Click on TCP\IP protocol and click on enable.

MrIanYates wrote Oct 25, 2010 at 7:03 AM

I have had the error for a while.
One fix: It's a self-extracting zip archive, so just open it in your favourite zip program (eg WinRAR) and follow your nose. Inside the archive are directories - one for each database. There's a SQL script in each directory with a comment explaining how to manually run that script from within SQL Management Studio.

Other fix: As someone sort of touched on, start ALL of your SQL Server instances on your local machine and then run the installer. I have 5 instances (long story - dev/testing for 2005 onwards with x86 & x64 + local test SharePoint) and never have all 5 running at the same time. On a hunch today I started all 5 and the installer worked. I guess the installer enumerates and tries to connect to each one. Each instance is represented as some object and, if it couldn't connect to the instance, the object is NULL. Something in the installer doesn't check for this (left hand, right hand...) and presto, you get your error.