Troubleshooting Installation

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This page is intended to help people collect information to troubleshoot problems with the PostgreSQL Installers supplied by EnterpriseDB.

Many problems have already been identified and fixed, so make sure you're using the installer for the latest point-release of PostgreSQL before reporting a problem.

Because some problems can't be fixed in the installer, but are issues with the Windows installation or how it is being used, there is also a list of frequently asked questions and frequently encountered problems with PostgreSQL on Windows. Please read the common installation errors section, or preferably the whole document. You'll probably save some time and hassle by doing so.

If you've tried all that, and you're still having problems getting PostgreSQL installed, please read on to find out how you can collect the information we need to be able to help you with installation problems.

Make sure you're installing on a supported platform

See the installer download page and (for Windows) the Running & Installing PostgreSQL On Native Windows for platform support details.

Please do not ask the mailing list for help with installation on unsupported Windows platforms. However, one of the paid PostgreSQL consultants, or EnterpriseDB (who make the PostgreSQL installer) may be able to help you on a paid basis.

Try again without your virus scanner or 3rd-party firewall

The Windows FAQ discusses potential issues with antivirus software and 3rd-party firewalls. If you're encountering any installation issues, please try again with your virus scanner uninstalled (not just disabled) to see if the problem goes away. If it does, please report the fact to the mailing list and to the vendor of your antivirus product.

Read about other common installation problems

Before reporting a problem, please read the windows FAQ to see if your problem is one we've already seen and found a workaround or fix for.

Reporting an installation error

To be able to help you with an installation problem, we will need you to collect some basic details about your computer and the problem. Please see the instructions below.

Note down the basic information about your system

Any problem report must include:

  • The exact words of any error message you see when the installation fails
  • The exact version of PostgreSQL you are installing
  • Whether you installed a 32-bit or 64-bit release of PostgreSQL
  • The operating system and version you are using, eg:
    • "Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3"
    • "Mac OS X 10.4.2"
    • "Fedora Core 14"
  • Whether you are running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of your operating system
  • How you ran the installer. Command-line arguments, what user account you ran it from, etc.
  • What antivirus and/or software firewall products you have installed, if any, even if they are disabled
  • Which, if any, of the troubleshooting instructions you have already tried
  • Whether a previous version of PostgreSQL was installed, and if so:
    • whether you uninstalled it before running the new installer
    • If you uninstalled a previous version, whether you did it with the uninstaller or some other way
    • Whether you removed the postgres user/service account when you uninstalled
  • Additional details and platform-specific information as described below

Collect the installer log file

The installer creates a log file in the system 'temp' directory. This will log all manner of data about the installation, and is invaluable when troubleshooting. The log will be called install-postgresql.log if the installation completed successfully. If not, the installer may not have been able to rename it, in which case the name will be either bitrock_installer.log or bitrock_installer_xxx.log, where xxx is a number (actually the process ID of the installation attempt).

On Linux and Mac systems, the logfile will almost always be found in the /tmp/ directory.

On Windows, the easiest way to find the logfile is to click Start -> Run, enter %TEMP% in the box and then click OK (these instructions apply to Windows XP and 2003 - adjust as necessary for other versions).

Get the contents of the PostgreSQL server error log

The PostgreSQL server has its own error log. This may not exist if installation failed early on, but it can be very informative for errors that happened later in installation. You can find it in the "pg_log" folder inside the data directory you chose for PostgreSQL. If it exists, please include it in any problem reports.

Extra information Windows users need to collect

Windows users must collect additional Windows-specific details to help troubleshoot installation issues:

  • (On Windows Vista and Windows 7): The UAC security level
  • Whether you started the installer by logging in as Administrator, started it from from your own normal user account, or ran it using the "Run As Administrator" menu option.
  • Whether your computer is a part of a Windows domain. Home computers usually are not, business computers usually are.
  • Whether your computer and network has any Group Policy configured. If you're on a corporate windows domain you probably have group policy and need to ask your network administrator for details about it.

Windows: Check for messages in the Windows event log

Please check the Windows Event Viewer for messages that might be related to installation problems or service startup problems.

TODO: detail on how to collect and save events.

Windows: Check what Group Policy, if any, is active on your computer

TODO: instructions for collecting domain and local group policy.

Windows: Take a copy of the environment variables set on the computer

Open a command prompt and run "set". Then copy and paste the results into your problem report.

I'd be better to collect the "all users" environment from the system control panel, but it's not easy to just dump this information.