Frustrating experience trying to get SQL Server Reporting Services to work on Windows XP

I’ve been working quite a bit lately with Reporting Services in SQL Server 2005 and wanted to see how much functionality the Express version has–so I installed it on my Windows XP Pro SP2 laptop. Although the installation proceeded without error, I kept getting the following error whenever I tried to browse to the Report Manager interface:

"The report server has encountered a configuration error. See the report server log files for more information. (rsServerConfigurationError)
Access to the path ‘Drive:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.2\Reporting Services\ReportServer\RSReportServer.config’ is denied.

I couldn’t find the ‘report server log files’ that the error message referred to–it would have been helpful if the error message included the path and filename!

I searched for this error message as well as for various portions of it. The only relevant match I could find was the Microsoft KB article 910023 – Error message when you use one application pool to run the Report Server Web service and another application pool to run Report Manager: "The report server has encountered a configuration error". The workaround, however, did not seem to apply when running SQL Server 2005 on Windows XP.

To make a long story short, I completely removed SQL Server 2005, re-booted, and then re-installed SQL Server 2005. After doing this, I could browse to the Report Manager interface without an error. So there must have been something amiss with my original installation. When in doubt, remove and re-install!

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