SQL Server 2008 cluster installation error

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I installed a SQL Server 2008 cluster at a customer the other day and was trapped in a weird error. The installation failed towards the very end when it was trying to get the Network Name cluster resource online for the first time.

I was however pleasently surprised to find that the Windows 2008 and SQL Server 2008 combo actually produced a very informative error message: Cluster network name resource ‘SQL Network Name (xxxxx)’ failed to create its associated computer object in domain ‘xxxxx.xxxx.xxxx’ for the following reason: Unable to create computer account. The text for the associated error code is: Access is denied. It turned out that the computer account for the cluster group containing the quorum disk needed to be able to create the computer account for the SQL Server Network Name in the domain.

I was quite puzzled by this and have not yet understood why this is. In other installations I have done at other customers, I have never had this problem before.

The solution however is simply to give the said computer account the required permissions for the duration of the installation process, or to pre-create the account. You might also need to give permissions to the pre-created account to the cluster name computer account.