SQL Server 2017 (Windows) – Setup and First Use

SQL Server 2017 (Windows) – Setup and First Use

There is a huge catalogue of changes and additions found in SQL Server 2017. It’s still the SQL Server we know and love, but better. Lot’s better.


Let’s setup our test system and have a play with some of them.


Three of my favourite new features are:


But enough chat. Time to get it running.

Table of Content

1. Download SQL Server 2017
2. Installing SQL Server 2017
Step 3. Header Three
Step 4. Header Four
Step 5. Header Five

Step 1. Download SQL Server 2017

SQL Server 2017 is available to download for free in number of editions and flavours.


For this tutorial, I will be using the Windows developer edition; the primary difference between the developer and standard editions relates to licensing and not functionality, specifically the developer edition is free for non-operational use.


Get it here: Download SQL Server 2017

Step 2. Installing SQL Server 2017

As with older versions of SQL Server, the wizard will see you through to the end and even create a new shiny ConfigurationFile.ini for rolling out via a Deployment Server.


You can skip this step and go straight for the scripted installation at Step 3, if you are familiar with the Wizard.

To use the wizard, mount the ISO and run the setup.exe.


In most of my use cases, I use a stand-alone SQL installation, so we will start there.


Select “New SQL Server stand-alone installation”.

As mentioned before, we will use the developer edition.

Next we select the terms.

Unless SQL Server is running on my laptop, where I like it to be updated automatically, I leave this part unchecked – I deploy my updates via an on-premise Update Server.

This part almost always goes through without an error. At most, you may get a Firewall warning. If I am deploying a new OS via a Deployment Server (WDS), I apply the firewall rules during installation so I can safely ignore this warning.

Here is the warning in more detail.

The feature selection I am most interested for my installation are the database engine and the new python stuff. I have also included the client tools etc. You can see exactly what I have installed in Step 3, where I go through the script for an automated rollout.

Starting from SQL Server 2016 *TBC* Microsoft started to support group Managed Service accounts within SQL Server, therefore for all my SQL Servers, which are domain members, I only use gMSAs. However, this is out with the scope of this tutorial hence I am sticking with the defaults.

Since I almost always run my SQL Servers in a domain, I use User Groups, gMSAs and disable the default SA account. However, as this is also out with the scope of this tutorial, I will stick to the defaults and use Mixed mode with a single Windows user.


The other tabs e.g TempDB will be discussed in a future performance related tutorial.

Microsoft doesn’t want to get bitten by adding third party stuff (pun intended). Click, done.

This is the bit where you can validate your click next wizardry and save a backup of the ConfigurationFile for future use.

You are now emotionally, psychologically and physically drained from all the reading and clicking. It’s time for a break. You deserved it. Next time, it will be simpler. To be truly Lazy, you must have the need not to repeat mundane tasks.

Step 3. Header Three

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