I need to install SQL Server MSDE 2000 SP4 on Windows 10.

I have other machines that run Windows 7 and 8.1 and SQL Server MSDE 2000 works fine (with merge replication configured too).

Now I testing the same scenario with Windows 10, but setup is closing unexpectedly during installation.

I know that this version is very old, but is there a workaround to install it on Windows 10?


2 Answers 2


I know of no hacks to get SQL Server 2000 to install on an existing Windows 10 installation. There are probably forces against you from both within the setup program (which looks for certain things on the host system) and within the operating system (which prevents many flavors of older software from getting installed, mostly for security reasons but also compatibility, stability, etc). I have tried in the past and even with compatibility override options I came across the same failures every time.

A couple of ideas:

  1. Use a virtual machine. This really is the simplest and most obvious solution. Most (if not all) editions of Windows 10 now support Hyper-V natively; if not, there is always VMWare Workstation (not free) and Oracle VirtualBox (free).
  2. Install 2000 then upgrade. Not really practical, especially if you want to use the Windows 10 installation you already have, but if you were doing this from scratch, you could install XP/Vista/Win7, all of which should allow you to install 2000, and then upgrade. Take care, though, because some methods of upgrading to Windows 10 will relegate all of your programs and services to Windows.old, and they won't run any more.

In either case, firewall the crap out of that thing, because the most recent security patches for 2000 are hard to find, and the ones that I found wouldn't install anyway...


I managed to install following these steps:

  1. Extract SP4
  2. Copy ..SP4\x86\other\sqlredis.exe to ..\originalinstallpath\x86\other
    (this avoid mdac insall freezing)
  3. Create this folder structure (any place):
    • Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Binn
    • Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Binn
  4. Find out sqlunirl.dll on SP4 path and copy to Binn folder above
  5. Copy dll files on ..SP4\x86\setup to Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Binn (folder above)
  6. Copy folder structure (created on step 3) to C:\Program Files (x86)
    • Give full access to user logged to **Microsoft SQL Server** folder
  7. Change install compatiblity ..\originalinstallpath\x86\setup\setupsql.exe
    • XP SP2
    • Run as administrator

All these steps are in this tutorial: How to install SQL Server 2000 (SP4) on Windows 10

  • 1
    On step 4, on the video, the sqlunirl.dll is copied to both Binn folders.
    – Shayan
    Oct 28, 2019 at 17:12

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