SQL 2008 R2 upgrade error: Wait on the Database Engine recovery handle failed

While preparing for an upgrade of a complex SQL Server 2000 installation to SQL Server 2008 R2 I had to figure out a way of reusing the MSDB database of the original SQL Server 2000 installation on the new SQL Server 2008 R2 setup. The reason is the third-party job scheduling tool refers to the jobs with their job_id and neither scripting the jobs or using the SSIS ‘Transfer Jobs Task’ gave me the possibility to keep the job_id. The easiest way to accomplish this is:

  • Backup the original SQL Server 2000 MSDB database
  • Restore the SQL Server 2000 MSDB database on a temporary SQL Server 2000 with the same patch level as the original
  • Do an in place upgrade of the tempory SQL Server 2000 instance to SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Backup the upgraded SQL Server 2008 R2 MSDB database
  • Restore the upgrade SQL Server 2008 R2 database on the newly installed SQL Server 2008 R2 server

Unfortunately trying out this approach I stumbled upon the following error during the in place upgrade from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2008:

 The SQL Server error log during setup is stored in ‘%programfiles\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log’. In this folder a ‘Summary.txt’ is found with the summary of the last install attempt. Looking in the newest sub folder more detailed log files are found. Opening the ‘SQLServer_ERRORLOG_somedatetime.txt’ and scrolling down gave me this error:

The database owner SID recorded in the master database differs from the database owner SID recorded in database ‘msdb’. You should correct this situation by resetting the owner of database ‘msdb’ using the ALTER AUTHORIZATION statement.

 And off course, since the msdb database is owned by the SQL Login ‘sa’ the SID of the ‘sa’ account on the originating server is not the same as the SID of the ‘sa’ account on the upgrade server. To correct the situation and let the upgrade continue I ran the following commands from a command prompt:

Stop the running SQL Server Service:

net stop mssqlserver

Start the SQL Server services with these trace flags so the upgrade scripts don’t start running again:

net start mssqlserver /f /T3608

Use a dedicated admin connection to connect to the SQL Server Instance and change the owner of the MSDB database back to the ‘sa’ login:

sqlcmd -E -A
USE msdb
sp_changedbowner ‘sa’

Use the net stop mssqlserver command again to stop the SQL Server Service.

Now I can restart the setup program of SQL Server 2008 R2 but instead of choosing a new installation I need to choose to REPAIR my latest installation. After the repair finishes I finally have my upgraded MSDB database. And when restoring the database to my target server I must keep in mind to change the owner of the restored MSDB database to the ‘sa’ login of the new server.

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