Adding a node on a SQL 2005 cluster

by Shijaz Abdulla on 18.09.2008 at 23:22

In the absence of a dedicated SQL DBA at the place where I work, I take care of the SQL Servers too. (No comment.)

One of the passive nodes of a SQL Server 2005 cluster had died a sudden death (hard drive and RAID failed under mysterious circumstances) which necessitated a total rebuild of the failed node.

So I went ahead and evicted passive node from the Cluster Administrator on the surviving active node. After the server rebuild was over, I configured Windows clustering on the second node using Cluster Administrator. Next, I started setup on the active node (from Control Panel –> Add/Remove Programs –> SQL Server 2005 –> Change).

I reached the point in the setup wizard where I choose to add a node to the existing virtual server/cluster. After a while I get the following error message:

Setup failed to start on the remote machine. Check the Task scheduler event log on the remote machine.

Upon checking the Task Scheduler event log on the node being rebuilt, I found this:

"SQL Server Remote Setup .job" (setup.exe) 9/18/2008 11:36:24 PM ** ERROR **
    Unable to start task.
    The specific error is:
    0x80070005: Access is denied.
    Try using the Task page Browse button to locate the application.

Now that’s very helpful, isn’t it?

A few minutes of head-scratching and web-searching yielded what I was missing – I was working on the servers connected via Remote Desktop! For the installation to start successfully on the remote (new) node, it should not have any active remote desktop sessions on it. I went ahead and closed all RDP sessions on the new node being rebuilt using Task Manager (Users tab) and also logged off the session that I was connected to.

Another retry from the first node, and setup now progressed without any errors.

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9 Responses to Adding a node on a SQL 2005 cluster

  1. Shijaz says:

    Further comment: The same applies when you are installing Service Pack 2 for SQL Server 2005. No Terminal Services/RDP connections should be active on the Passive node.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Shijaz,
    I have one question, after you added new node to sql 2005 cluster,how u added sql 2005 sp2 in the newly added node…
    Can u please explain that procedure?
    My id is

  3. Jotty says:

    hi Shijaz,

    I have one question,after u added the newly created node in sql 2005 u applied Service Pack2 in the newly created node having SQL 2005 node(RTM)?


  4. Shijaz says:

    Hello Alex,

    I believe you just need to re-run the SP2 setup from an active node and it will automatically install SP2 on all the other nodes.

    Make sure all RDP connections have been closed on all the passive nodes before beginning the SP2 installation or it will fail.


  5. Jotty says:

    hi Shijaz,

    have u did this sp2 installation in your newly added server?because i saw this procedure in some sites but i just want to know whether its worked for u


  6. Shijaz says:

    Yes, it did work for me.

  7. eduardite says:

    In my case the DBA was present but didn’t knew about this.
    An occupational hazard

  8. Richard Long says:


    May I know if the hardware configuration of your new node the same as the old one?

    I am going to add 2 nodes (with more processors and memory) to an existing SQL Cluster.

    Any advice and suggestion are highly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.


  9. Jones says:

    I know this topic is super old but I am in the same position… However I am NOT logged on in any shape or fashion on any of the passive nodes. I even rebooted them to make extra sure. What else could cause this?

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