SQL Server 2012 Installation Error-Wait on the Database Engine Recovery Handle Failed

Yesterday, I tried to install SQL Server Express 2012 on my windows 8 PC and in the middle of the installation process I get an error like this:
                         Configuration error description: Wait on the Database Engine recovery handle failed.

I continued with the installation and at the end of the installation process, it showed me error that some of the SQL Services installed successfully while some other were not successfully installed.Here are the screenshots of the error and the failed installation :

SQL Server 2012 Installation Error-Wait on the Database Engine Recovery Handle FailedWait on the Database Engine Recovery Handle Failed
I copied the error and searched it over the Internet.After six hours of struggle and googling, I was able to overcome this error and ended with successful installation of SQL Server 2012 on my windows 8 computer.The solution of this problem is quite easy. I found many different suggestions for solving it but none of them was complete or demonstrated properly.So I decided to write a post for solving this error.Here is the easiest way to solve this error:
  • First you need to Uninstall all the previous Installations of SQL Server.If you tried to install SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2005,uninstall them as well.You not only need to uninstall them,also you need to delete all the registry values related to SQL server.For this I suggest you to Uninstall all the instances of SQL Server using Revo Uninstaller.  Click Here to go to download page .
  • Revo Uninstaller enable you to scan for registry files and remaining files after the default uninstallation. Delete all the registry values and remaining files.
  • Also Navigate to C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server and delete all the files present in the folder.Restart your PC.
  • Now Double click on the SQL Server setup to begin the installation and proceed with the default settings.When you come to Server Configuration Screen, Change the Account Name of Database Engine Service to NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE and continue installation and it will successfully install all components without any error.
SQL Server 2012 Installation Error-Wait on the Database Engine Recovery Handle Failed solved
  • If, after changing the Account Name to  NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE, you are getting validation error it means that your previous installation files of SQL Server are not completely removed.Try to change the Instance name of the SQL Server.Also delete all the registry files of previous installations.
SQL Server 2012 Installation Error-Wait on the Database Engine Recovery Handle Failed
This simple solution worked for me straightway.Let me know whether your problem is solved or not by commenting below.


  1. Anonymous

    thank you very much , i had the same error with sql server 2008 R2 and i did what you said and it works properly , thank you very much

  2. Jose Angel Labbad

    Hi, i'm trying to find the user NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE but i can't find it…

    Do you have any idea?

  3. Amar pawar

    While installing sql server,when server configuration window comes, look for the Account Name of Database Engine Service and change it to NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE and continue installation…

  4. Anonymous

    Sql Express 2014…TY brother

  5. Connor McGwire

    What do I do if I uninstalled an earlier version of SQL without clearing all of the registry values at the time of the uninstall?

  6. Amar pawar

    You should again install the same version and then uninstall it and clear the registry values.Then try to install the version you want .Hope this helps

  7. Anonymous

    thanks fucking awesome

  8. Anonymous

    Thank this worked

  9. Unknown

    you are a good. yoy saved my ass, i could not finish my licens so i can finnish my studies . tnks

  10. Harry

    Thanks! It works for installation. However, I cannot connect to the server from same computer. the error message is as following:
    TITLE: Connect to Server

    Cannot connect to localhostMSSQLSERVER.


    A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 25 – Connection string is not valid) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 87)

    For help, click: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?ProdName=Microsoft%20SQL%20Server&EvtSrc=MSSQLServer&EvtID=87&LinkId=20476


    The parameter is incorrect


    The server is running. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

  11. Sasuke T

    tried many sites, microsoft guides, youtube nothing worked. Then I came to this site and followed the simple steps, now no errors and everything works! thank you man, keep it up! 😀

  12. Hassan Ali

    Worked !! Thanks! (SQL Server Express 2014, Windows 8.1

  13. Amar pawar

    Thanks for your valuable comment….Comments like this helps me keep going…

  14. John Clancy

    Worked for me also, that account is not there if I search for it, but works if you just type it in.

  15. Ammar Umer

    You are awesome that worked after 3 days of struggle……

  16. chps

    Awesome hint, man! I am using Windows 7, and as John Clancy said above the account is not listed, but just typing it does the trick. Thanks!

  17. knei dels

    Thanks. Should the Startup type for SQL Server Browser remain as "disabled"?

  18. Mariane

    OMFG It worked!! Can't believe!! Thank you very very very much!!!!!!

  19. Geoffrey

    THANKS ! – thought I would add comment for those installing on a Domain Controller ( specifically 2012R2). When I selected the NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE, I got an error saying you can't do this on a DC, so I created an account with administrator rights and selected that and it worked. ALSO, if you find that the option to change the account is greyed-out, you need to backup and select the type of install that doesn't do the default options, hence giving you the ability to make this change. It's one or two steps before the serverconfig page. good luck T h a n k Y o u AMAR

  20. Mark Sutak

    Sweet! Worked for me as well on Server 2012 R2 domain controller. You the man Amar!

  21. Thomas Caesens

    Very helpfull. Thanks. I actually did not change registry values, only removed all SQL Server 2012 related progams and used the NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE setting. Worked as a charm.

  22. sachin

    Thanks a lot..u r god to me now _/_

  23. Unknown

    it works for me! thks!!!!!

  24. Morten Nielsen

    Had same problem with windows 10 and sqlexpress 2014. Your guide is on the spot. Great job 🙂

  25. Unknown


  26. Michael Krier

    Had exact issue on Server 2012 R2 Standard with Sql Express 2012. Brand new hardware with fresh Windows 2012 install. Only thing done on the server prior to the Sql install was windows updates. It blows my ever living mind, how this got past Microsoft and released with this issue. I don't know how every living soul that tries installing this doesn't end up with same error (maybe they do…idk). I banged my head for 3hours before finding this post! ANYWAYS..Amar – YOU THE MAN!!! Truly Respect.

  27. Unknown

    You are great. I lost many hours battling with this error. Cheers.

  28. saurabh rocks

    Thanks a lot brother. Could you please explain what was the reason behind the exception and how does this NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE solve it like a boss …

  29. Vinod Naidu

    Even I got the same error then I've uninstalled everything and reboot the server. Tried to install it again but unfortunately I am still getting the same error even though I specified the database engine service account as NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE…what could be the reason??

  30. Unknown

    i do what you said and it installed successfully .but after that i didnt find my sql2012 how to open

  31. Lamar Davis

    Worked for me. I used LOCAL SERVICE instead of NETWORK SERVICE and it still worked.

    Thank you, spent two days trying to figure this out!

  32. tabbebi najmeddine

    Thank you bro it works with sql server express& windows 10 , your awesome bro !!!

  33. Unknown

    working good……thanks man!

  34. Scotty

    Thanks Amigo! With your help third time was a charm!

  35. Adityo Purnomo

    It is working for me :

    When you come to Server Configuration Screen, Change the Account Name of Database Engine Service to NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE and continue installation and it will successfully install all components without any error.

  36. CKing27@mac.com

    Thank you, this was VERY helpful. Thanks for putting the time to create this post! – Charlie

  37. DanielB

    Worked!!!!! Thank you so much!

  38. Adrian Leffler

    Thanks! New Install of Sqlexpress 2014.same error and this fixed it!

  39. Payam Zare

    hi. when i install sql server 2012 enterprise on my dc server at the end of installation i got this error… i try two times whith two user first system and second administrator…
    but the error still happen to me…
    please help me. please. how can i solve this problem?

  40. Happy man

    Fucking love you!!

  41. Gala

    It worked for use in SQL Server 2012 after trying so many time, it was your solution which worked! Thanks!

  42. Chand Teckchandani

    Thank you so much. I literally don’t even remember by now how many times I uninstalled and reinstalled, finally came across this link. It worked smoothly for SQL Server 2016. Thanks..!!!

  43. Pat eells

    IT worked in SQL 2012 Express SP2. After searching every where, you are the man! Cannot thank you enough as I saw this 2 days in a row on different machines.

  44. Gillen Young

    Had the same problem and this worked when installing SQL Server 2014 Express on a Windows 2012R2 Essentials Server. The only issue was finding the NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE. I had to use Network Services as my search, then select the NT AUTHORITYNETWORK SERVICE user. This link helped me identify how to solve finding the user: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/39b8da31-fc09-4663-b8ef-76acd192bd78/where-is-nt-authoritynetwork-service?forum=winserverDS

    Also, I did not use the Revo Uninstaller. This link (http://www.networksteve.com/forum/topic.php/tool_to_completely_remove_sql_server_2014/?TopicId=99348&Posts=3) gave good instructions on the specifics of the registry items to remove. I unstalled SQL Svr first, made a backup of the registry, deleted the registry items listed in the link, then reinstalled SQL Server 2014 Express.

  45. Giuseppe

    Yesssss 🙂 🙂

  46. Gabriel Mikael

    Thank you very much. I followed your points and successfully resolved my long awaited problem.

  47. khoi

    exxcelent , tks you vey much , it take me 5 hours to uninstall, install again , download 2008 , 2012, 2014 , too bad until I google and got your link
    TKs you so much and have nice day

  48. Angelo Ramirez

    Thank you very much! I had to search for hours for this!

  49. Andreas Sandner

    Thanks! This did the trick.

    • Didier Jacquart

      I hade the same problem with Sql Server 2014. I’have tried your guide, but unfortunately it didn’t work. I’m desperate. More over the microsoft help pages indicated in the log files don’t exist ! Thanks microsoft.

  50. Anon

    I had this problem installing SQL Server 2016 that I need for college. I’ve been told to uninstall, reinstall, delete registry keys. This is the only thing that worked.
    Thanks so much.

  51. Ayman

    Thanks man, it worked with SQL Server 2016

  52. Pradeep


  53. H

    legent you , saved my ass

  54. Olivier

    Thank you !!!

  55. kalyan

    thanks man

  56. sanjay

    thanks bro, I was stuck with this for 4 days.

  57. Roman Zhylak

    Thank you! It also worked for SQL Server 2017, all what you need is type “NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE”

  58. davi guttierrez

    Thanks man, that help a lot with SQL Server 2016

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