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Database Engine Configuration - Data Directories

The following table lists the default directories that are user-configurable during SQL Server Setup:

Description

Default directory

Recommendations

Data root directory

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\

SQL Server Setup will configure ACLs for SQL Server directories and break inheritance as part of configuration.

User database directory

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.<InstanceID>\Data

Best practices for user data directories depend on workload and performance requirements. For failover cluster installations, ensure that data directories are placed on the shared disk.

User database log directory

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.<InstanceID>\Data

Ensure that the log directory has adequate space.

Temp DB directory

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.<InstanceID>\Data

Best practices for the Temp directory depend on workload and performance requirements.

Temp DB log directory

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.<InstanceID>\Data

Ensure that the log directory has adequate space.

Backup directory

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.<InstanceID>\Backup

Set appropriate permissions to prevent data loss, and ensure that the user group for the SQL Server service has adequate permissions to write to the backup directory. Using a mapped drive for backup directories is not supported.

  • When adding features to an existing installation, you cannot change the location of a previously installed feature, nor can you specify the location for a new feature.

  • If you specify non-default installation directories, ensure that the installation folders are unique to this instance of SQL Server. None of the directories in this dialog box should be shared with directories from other instances of SQL Server. The Database Engine and Analysis Services components within an instance of SQL Server should also be installed to separate directories.

  • Program files and data files cannot be installed in the following situations:

    • On a removable disk drive

    • On a file system that uses compression

    • To a directory where system files are located

    • On shared drives on a failover cluster instance

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