SQL Server - Could not find the Database Engine Startup handle.

SQL Server - Could not find the Database Engine Startup handle.

A few weeks ago I had the task to install SQL Server 2014 Express Edition and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 18.4 and what it was going to be no more than an hour ended in a 16 hours change.

Actually, I did install successfully one of the servers, but the other one which was apparently exactly the same was a totally different story.

So everything started when the SQL Server installation was taking more than usual.

... and then showed this error message.

TITLE: Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Setup
------------------------------
The following error has occurred:

Could not find the Database Engine startup handle.

and once I clicked OK, this one.

After I clicked on Summary, I saw the following.

Overall summary:
  Final result:                  Failed: see details below
  Exit code (Decimal):           -2061893607
  Start time:                    2020-08-29 06:18:49
  End time:                      2020-08-29 06:32:02
  Requested action:              Install

Detailed results:
  Feature:                       Database Engine Services
  Status:                        Failed: see logs for details
  Reason for failure:            An error occurred during the setup process of the feature.
  Next Step:                     
  Component name:                SQL Server Database Engine Services Instance Features
  Component error code:          0x851A0019
  Error description:             Could not find the Database Engine startup handle.
  Error help link:               

  Feature:                       SQL Server Replication
  Status:                        Failed: see logs for details
  Reason for failure:            An error occurred for a dependency of the feature causing the setup process for the feature to fail.
  Next Step:                     
  Component name:                SQL Server Database Engine Services Instance Features
  Component error code:          0x851A0019
  Error description:             Could not find the Database Engine startup handle.
  Error help link:               

  Feature:                       SQL Browser
  Status:                        Passed

  Feature:                       SQL Writer
  Status:                        Passed

  Feature:                       SQL Client Connectivity
  Status:                        Passed

  Feature:                       SQL Client Connectivity SDK
  Status:                        Passed

  Feature:                       Setup Support Files
  Status:                        Passed

After many hours of troubleshooting I tried the solutions of the following links:

SQL Installation error: Could not find the Database Engine startup handle

SQL SERVER – Install Error – Could not Find the Database Engine Startup Handle

But nothing was working for me ... until I found this.

SQL Server Troubleshooting: Could Not Find Database Engine Startup Handle Error During installation

So I've checked the Windows registry - regedit

and as expected the Protocol configuration on the second server was different ... my server was configured to have TLS 1.2 only too.

Therefore, to overcome this problem, we could enable  TLS 1.0 and try again or use the link below to download a SQL version that supports TLS 1.2 like the service pack SP3.

Download Microsoft® SQL Server® 2014 Service Pack 3 (SP3) Express from Official Microsoft Download Center

On the other hand, sometimes reading the registry might cause confusion about what protocols are actually enabled/disabled, so there is a very useful called IISCrypto.

IIS Crypto is a free tool that gives administrators the ability to enable or disable protocols, ciphers, hashes and key exchange algorithms on Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2019.
Nartac Software - IIS Crypto