Recently while installing SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition on a “fresh” server I found that crazy thing just wouldn’t install!
I was getting the following error:
“An installation package for the product Microsoft SQL Server Native Client cannot be found. Try the installation again using a valid copy of the installation package ‘sqlncli.msi'”
Most cryptic… Considering my installation package is the disc given to me by Microsoft and I’m positive that the sqlncli.msi file is right there.
However, the actual issue appears to be as simple as an inability to upgrade an old Native Client edition. (Thanks to Jose for pointing it out). To resolve, use the Add / Remove Programs panel to uninstall an existing SQL Server Native Client installation and you should be good to roll.
Note that this appears to be common for other editions of SQL Server 2005 too.