SQL SERVER – Error 1324. The folder path ‘Program Files’ contains an invalid character.

SQL SERVER - Error 1324. The folder path 'Program Files' contains an invalid character. errorman Some error messages are so interesting that it takes a lot of time to get the right solution. One of the errors which I faced during SQL Cluster installation is so common that my search was showing various solutions which were not applicable to me. After spending a lot of time, I was able to find the real cause. In this blog, we would learn about SQL Cluster installation error “The folder path ‘Program Files’ contains an invalid character “


My client was installing SQL Server in the cluster. One first node they created a new failover clustered instance. On the second node, they were performing Add Node operation and it was failing with an error.

Detailed results:
Feature: Database Engine Services
Status: Failed: see logs for details
MSI status: Failed: see details below
MSI error code: 0x2AFCCCD0
MSI log file location: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log\20180220_114356\sql_as_Cpu64_1.log
MSI error description: The folder path ‘Program Files’ contains an invalid character.

If we look at the file name it is “sql_as” which means this is for analysis services. I looked at the log mentioned above and found that setup was looking for D drive on the new node. This was due to the fact that Program Files were installed on D drive on the first node.


It looked like this issue occurs if we have different drive letter names on both nodes of the cluster. For example, we install SQL Server binaries on D drive on one node. However, there is no D drive on the passive node.

  • Uninstalled ALL SQL components that had been installed on passive node via the control
  • Change the local drive letter on the passive node so that it matches to the local drive on the active node which contains SQL server binary files.
  • Reboot the passive node and then re-run the setup.

This resolved the issue for my client. Have you encountered the similar error? What was the solution you opted for?

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

SQL Error Messages, SQL Server, SQL Server Cluster, SQL Server Installation
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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Matthew Carter
    April 13, 2019 2:04 am

    I changed drive letters from E:\ to D:\ as SQL was originally installed with that drive and it worked. I used Computer Manager to update the drive letters. First I moved the DVD drive D:\ to another letter like R or something and then changed E:\ to D:\ and SQL allowed me to start it immediately in Services


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