As it turns out, the installer currently provided on the download page is bundled with the 32-bit version of the SQL Server Native Client, which causes the subsequent SQL Server installation to fail with the following symptoms:
- The installer prompts for sqlncli_x64.msi
Restarting the whole installation or uninstalling the Native Client doesn’t help.
Prior to running the installer for SQL Server 2005 Express 64-bit, you have to manually install the 64-bit version of the Native Client. The following steps proved successful:
- Install the 32-bit version of the SQL Native Client if it is not already installed.
- Download and install the 64-bit Native Client
- Download and install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition 64-bit
- Download and install SQL Server Management Studio Express Edition 64-bit
You should now have a working installation of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition on Windows Vista 64-bit.
The problem was first discussed and solved on the MSDN Forums.