After a default install of SQL Server 2008 R2, the SQL Server Agent process seems to be set to manual startup. What is the reason for this? Is setting to automatic a bad idea or pointless for some reason?
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During the install process for SQL 2008 R2 it gives you the option to change the start-up type.
I can see a slight desire to not have it start automatically depending on what you might be using it for. I have some setups that the user has some Agent jobs that clean up data or immediately start processing data. If I am troubleshooting, or in general the server goes down, I may not want all that processing to start back up immediately after bring the server back online.
In most instances though you will see the Agent set to automatic start up.
You should set it to automatic if you intend to use it. I am not sure why Microsoft decides to leave the default to manual after installation but I always change it because I always schedule maintenance. So you are on the right track to start and set to automatic.