I just installed Windows 7 and SQL Server on my laptop. I loved the Windows 7 setup (a huge improvement) but I was, shall we say, "underwhelmed" by the SQL Server setup process.
My laptop is a couple of years old Dell Inspiron 1300 and I was a bit dubious that Windows 7 would work on it, especially after reading the complaints on the Intel forums about the lack of support in Vista for the graphics chipset. But you only live once so I just went for it and it runs fine. At first there was no wireless networking and the graphics were dire but, as soon as I plugged my network cable in, Windows Update installed the drivers and it was all sorted. It's at least as responsive as XP was on this machine (I skipped Vista). But, damn them, they've moved everything around again! Stupid, isn't it? We want everything to improve but we hate it when it changes. I expect we'll all get used to it pretty quickly though.
Then I tried to install SQL 2008 Developer Edition, which is where the gloss started to rub off. Now I installed it on XP on this machine without a hitch but it seems we're not in Kansas any more. I created a local account for the SQL services and started the setup, which warned me that I would need to install SQL SP1 afterwards before SQL would work properly. Towards the end it failed saying that one of the dependencies was not available. But not which one. The event log showed that the SQL service couldn't start because it needed the NetLogon service and that wasn't running. I tried to start that but Nanny said "You don't need this service because you're not on a domain, so I'm stopping it". This is true. I don't have a domain at home, just a workgroup. I thought maybe I should just carry on with SP1 but that wouldn't start because the original setup was not successful. Hmm.
I did some Googling and found this article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/955392/ about slipstreaming SP1 into the setup process. Sounded promising. I re-installed Windows because it seemed quicker than un-installing SQL and cleaner. I followed the instructions and start the setup with the /PCUSource parameter and it said there is no such thing, which was borne out by running setup.exe /?. So don't bother trying that!
In the end I settled for using the local system account for my services and that worked fine.
I don't think a standalone laptop is that unusual. Why isn't there better information about this? Perhaps there's a way to tell the NetLogon service to run anyway. Perhaps there are several ways round this. But should I have to run around blogs and forums trying to find it? I don't think so.