April 21, 2011 | SQL Server

Your Denali installation will self-destruct in 5… 4… 3…

I woke up this morning fully intending to test a scenario on Denali CTP1. I was surprised to see that, after installing Windows Updates overnight and rebooting, my Denali instance was not running. I tried to start it from the Services applet, and received the following error message:

 

For search yumminess:

Windows could not start the SQL Server (Denali) service on Local Computer.
Error 1067: The process terminated unexpectedly.

So, this was another error message from Vague County, Washington. Off to the event log, where I immediately see Event ID 17051:

SQL Server evaluation period has expired.

<facepalm>

Of course. This was the first time I'd rebooted this particular server since installing Denali more than 180 days ago (as an MVP, I had access to the Denali bits some time before they were publicly released at the PASS Summit).

I haven't started yet, so I don't know what kind of hassle it will be, but I wanted to post another reminder that the evaluation editions of SQL Server software can be quite a pain to remove. Back in October, I posted about my horrible experience, and I am still receiving thank you messages today from people finding themselves in the same nightmare (scroll down to the most recent comments).

Unfortunately, Evaluation Edition does not give an easy way to directly determine when the instance was installed (or when it will expire). Now, I've complained about this umpteen times in the past, but my Connect item was closed as "Won't Fix" (please vote to change their minds). In the meantime, you can quickly tell if you're at or near the 180 day limit by checking the "Date created" property of the instance folder. As you can see, my Denali instance was installed about 185 days ago:

 

So, if you have an instance of Denali installed, and you're coming up on 180 days, be prepared to uninstall and either start over with CTP1 or sit on your hands for a while.  Because it doesn't seem like there is a new CTP publicly available yet (and you typically can't upgrade a CTP anyway, particularly to avoid a timebomb).