Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 953748 - Last Review: May 4, 2011 - Revision: 3.0

On This Page


When you install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 on a Windows Server 2008-based cluster, the cluster validation rule of the setup process may fail. Additionally, you may receive the following error message:
Error : "Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) cluster verification errors" failed. The cluster either has not been verified or there are errors or failures in the verification report. Refer to KB953748 or SQL server books online for more information"
The setup log file may contain a message that resembles the following:
2008-05-20 05:27:18 Slp: Evaluating rule : Cluster_VerifyForErrors
2008-05-20 05:27:18 Slp: Rule running on machine: SQLNode_Name
2008-05-20 05:27:18 Slp: Rule evaluation done : Failed
2008-05-20 05:27:18 Slp: Rule evaluation message: The cluster either has not been verified or there are errors or failures in the verification report.
For example, the setup log file (Detail.txt) may be located in the following folder:
%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log\20090316_112604
For a successful validation, the rule will have an entry that resembles the following:
Computer_name: Cluster_VerifyForErrors: Passed


The validation process may fail under various conditions. When this issue occurs, you must perform a manual validation to make sure that the hardware configuration is correct before you try any workaround that is mentioned in this article. You can use the references that are mentioned in the "References" section for more information about how to validate clusters in Windows Server 2008-based environments. This helps prevent additional problems that you may experience in the future, if you use the workaround when underlying problems actually exist.


To work around this issue, you must fix the problem that caused validation to fail. If you can determine that the problem that caused validation to fail can be fixed later, you might want to use the command line installation option in this article to ignore the error message, and to try to install the SQL Server 2008 failover cluster instance. If you do this, before using the system again you must still fix the underlying problem that caused validation to fail.

Note If you try this command line installation option and SQL Server Setup fails, make sure that the cluster hardware configuration is valid, and then contact Microsoft Customer Support Services (CSS) for more help.

At a command prompt, change to the hard disk drive and to the folder that contains SQL Server Setup (Setup.exe). Then, type one of the following commands to skip the validation rule:
  • For an integrated failover Add-Note setup, run the following command on each node that is being added:
    Setup /SkipRules=Cluster_VerifyForErrors /Action=InstallFailoverCluster
  • For an advanced or enterprise installation, run the following command:
    Setup /SkipRules=Cluster_VerifyForErrors /Action=CompleteFailoverCluster
  • If you receive this validation failure when you add a node to an existing failover installation, run the following command on each node that is being added: 
    Setup /SkipRules=Cluster_VerifyForErrors /Action=AddNode
Note Setting up a SQL Server 2008 failover cluster instance on a Windows Server 2008-based failover cluster that contains errors in the Windows Server 2008 Cluster Validation Report is unsupported. For a SQL Server 2008 failover cluster instance to be in a supported scenario, the Windows Server 2008 Cluster Validation Report cannot contain errors. Confirm with Microsoft CSS that the cluster configuration is in a supported state.

The SkipRules parameter for setup is not a documented feature. You should not use this parameter to skip any other rules except the Cluster_VerifyForErrors rule unless Microsoft CSS directs you to do this.


SQL Server failover cluster validation testing

The cluster validation wizard is a new feature that is included with Windows Server 2008 and is integrated into failover clustering setup in SQL Server 2008. By using the cluster validation wizard, you can run a set of focused tests on a collection of servers that you intend to use as nodes in a cluster. This cluster validation process tests the underlying hardware and software directly and individually, to obtain an accurate assessment of how well SQL Server failover clustering can be supported in a given configuration.

What to do if validation tests fail

In most cases, if any tests in the cluster validation rule fail, Microsoft does not consider the solution to be supported. There are exceptions to this rule, such as the case with multiple-site (geographically dispersed) clusters where there is no shared storage. In this scenario, the expected result of the cluster validation wizard is that the storage tests will fail. This is still a supported solution if the rest of the tests finish successfully.

The kind of test that fails is a guideline to the corrective action to take. For example, if the "List all disks" storage test fails and if later storage tests do not run because they would also fail, contact the storage vendor to troubleshoot. Similarly, if a network test that is related to IP addresses fails, talk with the network infrastructure team.


For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web sites:
Failover cluster step-by-step guide: Validating hardware for a failover cluster (
Getting started with SQL Server 2008 failover clustering (
How to install SQL Server 2008 from the command prompt (
Failover cluster parameters (
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
950179  ( ) When you run the Validate a Configuration Wizard on a Windows Server 2008-based computer or on a Windows Vista-based computer, the validation does not pass

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Developer
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard
kbsqlsetup kbclustering kbrapidpub kbnomt kbexpertiseadvanced kbtshoot kbsurveynew kbprb KB953748
Additional support options
Ask The Microsoft Small Business Support Community
Contact Microsoft Small Business Support
Find Microsoft Small Business Support Certified Partner
Find a Microsoft Store For In-Person Small Business Support