SQL SERVER – Install Error – Could not Find the Database Engine Startup Handle

Note: There are multiple reason of above error and this blog shows just one of them. I am sure that this blog would give you guideline about what do to in case you see this error about install error.

Some errors are generic and there is no single path / root cause for the same. It is important to know at least the basic path one needs to take while troubleshooting. One of the reasons of loving my consultancy job is that I learn something new every day. I found myself again in learning state when I was trying to help one of my clients to assist in installation of SQL Server in a new environment. While installing SQL, it was stuck at below error message.

SQL SERVER - Install Error - Could not Find the Database Engine Startup Handle handle-01-800x602

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Whenever I see any error in the setup, I start looking at setup logs. One thing which I have learned in the past is that whenever we see “Could not find the Database Engine startup handle” it is mostly due to SQL service startup failure during installation. We had no other option than hitting OK. At the end, I looked into the Summary.txt file as pointed at the last screen. Here is what I found:

Feature: Database Engine Services
Status: Failed: see logs for details
Reason for failure: An error occurred during the setup process of the feature.
Next Step: Use the following information to resolve the error, uninstall this feature, and then run the setup process again.
Component name: SQL Server Database Engine Services Instance Features
Component error code: 0x851A0019
Error description: Could not find the Database Engine startup handle.

In the setup logs folder, we should have a file with name “SQLServer_ERRORLOG_<DATETIME>” which is saved copy of ERRORLOG when SQL was unable to start. Here is what we found in that file.

Cannot use file ‘M:\MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\master.mdf’ because it was originally formatted with sector size 4096 and is now on a volume with sector size 2097152. Move the file to a volume with a sector size that is the same as or smaller than the original sector size.
Cannot use file ‘L:\MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\mastlog.ldf’ because it was originally formatted with sector size 4096 and is now on a volume with sector size 2097152. Move the file to a volume with a sector size that is the same as or smaller than the original sector size.

Since this is about sector size, I referred KB

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/926930/hard-disk-drive-sector-size-support-boundaries-in-sql-server (Hard disk drive sector-size support boundaries in SQL Server)

This doesn’t list that big number 2097152. Since it was an issue due to hardware, I asked them to contact Vendor and they provided a fix.

Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Pinal,

    Thanks for the sharing Information. I’m Stuck with the same issue with SQL server 2014 while installation. Could you please share the Solution for this issue :
    Install Error – Could not Find the Database Engine Startup Handle

    * Drive is having allocoation unit of 4k.

    What was the steps taken from the vendor in order for this fix.

    Reply
  • This issue also will be due to the registry entry. TSL and SSL entries should be enabled to get the SQL Services started. This can be done in the registry.

    Browse to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SecurityProviders\SCHANNEL\Protocols

    enable the registry entries for TSL 1.0 and SSL 3.0. Change the value to 1 to get it enabled.

    Reply
  • Very useful article. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply

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