It is possible to install SQL Server 2008 on a domain member server simply with a local administrative account. Besides specifying service accounts for the various SQL services*, you also need to add at least one user account that will be designated as SQL Server administrator(s) in Windows authentication mode. The same goes for account provisioning at the configuration step for the SQL Analysis service. Adding the current user (= <machinename>\Administrator) will work in both cases.
Next, you log on using an account with membership in the Domain Admins and RTCUniversalServerAdmins security groups and start the Monitoring Server Activation Wizard. At the “Select SQL Server Instance” page, you provide <machinename> as the SQL Server instance. Only the computer name is essential when SQL is configured to use the default instance. Clicking Next will cause an error message to be displayed:
An error occurred during the backend detection:
SQL instance detection failed.
Click ‘Cancel’ to close this wizard.
Click ‘Try Again’ to go back to the previous page and enter a different SQL instance.
Click ‘Continue’ to ignore this error.
Starting the SQL Server Management Studio using the same credentials at this point in time will also fail. To resolve this, logoff and log in with <machinename>\Administrator then add and assign the <domain>\administrator (or equivalent) account with SQL administrative permissions that are similar to the former. Rerun the Wizard by logging on with the domain administrative account to complete the activation process on the target Monitoring Server.
* NT AUTHORITY\Local System and NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM
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