You might receive this error message when you try to upgrade to SQL Server 2008 on a computer that is running Windows Server: "Access to the path '<Path>\perf-MSSQL$SQL2008sqlctr.dll' is denied"

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Article ID: 955973 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you try to upgrade from the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 February Community Technology Preview (CTP) to the release version of SQL Server 2008, you receive the following error message:
Access to the path 'C:\Windows\system32\perf-MSSQL$SQL2008sqlctr.dll' is denied.

Click 'Retry' to retry the failed action, or click 'Cancel' to cancel this action and continue setup
This problem occurs if you are running a 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008.


This problem occurs because the perfrmon DLL file is locked by an external process. During the upgrade, the upgrade tries to delete the perfrmon DLL file. Because the perfrmon DLL file is locked, the upgrade displays the error message that the “Symptoms” section mentions.


To work around this problem, click Cancel. When you click Cancel, the upgrade marks the perfrmon DLL file to be deleted when the computer restarts. After you click Cancel, the upgrade finishes successfully. However, you must restart your computer for the upgrade to delete the perfrmon DLL file successfully.

If you click Retry, you receive the same error message again.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.


For more information about how to upgrade to SQL Server 2008, visit the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site:


Article ID: 955973 - Last Review: March 19, 2009 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Developer
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Community Technology Preview
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