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SQL Server 2012 Setup Error: Hexadecimal Value 0x00 Is an Invalid Character

I’ve tried to install SQL Server Express 2012 on a virtual machine to perform some tests and I received the following error: //setup fails with: ‘.’, hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid character. Line 1, position 367455//

This VM had SQL Server 2012 RC0 installed so I thought that maybe that was the problem. I tried to uninstalled it but the same error was thrown.

After investigating the issue in the internets, the problem is that there’s some kind of incompatibility with MSDE (Microsfot Desktop Engine aka SQL 2000 Express). So in order to install SQL Server 2012 you have to remove any MSDE instance.

There are tons of applications still out there that use MSDE, so if you find this error check that you don’t have a hidden instance of MSDE.

Microsoft Connect ticket