Cannot install Notification Server when using MSDE 2000 or SQL Server 2005 Express


Article ID: 180489


Updated On:


Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server)




Notification Server setup does not complete when using Microsoft MSDE 2000 or SQL Server 2005 Express downloaded from the Microsoft Web site as the database engine; the setup program reports that there is no SQL server or database to be found.

Notification Server 6.0 is being installed.
Microsoft MSDE | SQL Server 2005 Express was downloaded from the Microsoft Web site and installed.

The Notification Server setup configuration cannot connect with the MSDE 2000 or SQL Server 2005 Express database engine because of SA password issues.


The "default" versions of MSDE 2000 and SQL Server 2005 Express on the Microsoft website are not easily configurable for use with the Notification Server setup wizard.

Altiris provides a version of MSDE 2000 with a pre-configured SA password which can be downloaded from Altiris does not provide a pre-configured version of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express.

To use the Altiris pre-configured MSDE 2000 database engine:

  1. If you have already installed MSDE 2000 or SQL Server 2005 Express from the Microsoft website, uninstall it.
  2. Go to, and download and install MSDE2000sp3.exe (which is the Altiris pre-configured Microsoft MSDE install with the needed SA password).
  3. Run the Notification Server installation (http://localhost/Altiris/NS/Install/NSSetup.aspx).
  4. On the SQL Database Settings page:
    1. In the Server Name field:
      1. If the Notification Server to being installed on the same computer as the MSDE 2000 database engine,  enter "localhost"
      2. If the Notification Server is installed on a different computer than the MSDE 2000 database engine, enter the name of the computer where the database is installed in the Server Name field.
    2. In the Database Credentials section, choose Use application credentials.
    3. In the Database Name section, either use the default name "Altiris" or choose a new database name.
    4. When you have entered the applicable information, click the Next button and complete the setup.

Please note that while MSDE 2000 is fully compatible with SQL Server 2000 and is suitable as the database engine for Notification Server, this is only recommended for evaluation purposes as MSDE 2000 does not include tools to help manage the database and also limits access to the Notification Server database to five concurrent connections.

As a result, Altiris recommend using SQL Server 2000 SP3 or above in production environments so the database management tools are available.

Important: While the database is not required to be hosted on the same computer as the Notification Server, performance is improved if they are on the same computer. If the database is on a remote computer, there must be a fast LAN connection between the database server and the Notification Server (at least 100 MBps is recommended).

For further information on MSDE 2000 and/or SQL Server 2005 Express, please refer to the following KB articles:

Article 27514 "KNOWN ISSUE: AICM will not install if Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express in used as the database"
Article 18341 "Additional details on SQL Server 2005 Express"
Article 22418 "Getting error 'SQL Server does not exist or access denied' during NSSetup with Notification Server and MSDE 2000/MS SQL 2000 server"