Error message when you try to install a SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 SP3: “The NT service 'MSSQLSERVER' could not be started

Issue - We encountered an issue while working on a SQL 2008 R2 SP3 Installation. While running SP43 setup files suddenly a window populated with message.

Error Message – “SQL Server has encountered the following error: The NT Service: MSSQLSERVER could not be started, error code 0x884B20001”




Troubleshooting done –
1.     Some blogs were suggesting, it’s a permission issue, immediately we logged in to the server with different admin account and tried to install SP3 but it threw the same error.
2.     When we checked the “installed updates” under “programs and features”, we found that SP3 got installed. We tried to remove installed components of service pack 3 but again it was giving “Access Denied” error.
3.     We tried to repair SQL instance but again we came across “Access Denied” error.
4.     We checked the summary.txt (C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log) and observed following logs:

Final result:  The patch installer has failed to update the following instance:. To determine the reason for failure, review the log files.
Exit code (Decimal):   -2068709375
Exit facility code:        1202
Exit error code:          1
Exit message:            The NT service 'MSSQL' could not be started.
Requested action:       Patch

Additionally, observed below error message in the Details log placed at (C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log\Instancenamefolder\Details.txt

Slp: The following NT service was in a stopped state prior to patch action: SQLServer
Slp: Sco: Attempting to open SC Manager
Slp: Attempting to run patch request for instance: Instancename
Slp: Error: Failed to run patch request for instance: SQLinstance (exit code: -2068709375)

Above logs clearly says while patching installer not able to start and stop the NT services, which seems to be issue with the permissions of the account running the upgrade. While checking the permissions and goggling we found that account used for patching should have administrative rights on SQL and Windows server including below permissions in local policies listed below.

Backup files and directories (SeBackupPrivilege)
Debug Programs (SeDebugPrivilege)

Manage auditing and security log (SeSecurityPrivilege)
Local policies can be accessed from below path
Control Panel--> Administrative Tools --> Local Security -->Settings --> Local Policies --> User Rights Assignment

Resolution - Immediately, we checked Group policies being applied on this server and found that our patching account does not have rights on these above polices i.e. causing issues while for NT services start/stop.

To resolve this we moved this affected server in proper OU where administrators are being added to these above group policies, we rebooted the server and re-initiate the installation and it completed successfully this time. 

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