It now seems impossible to maintain different ‘major’ MySQL servers on the same Windows machine using automated installers. Refer: http://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=66395 and http://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=66396 . This is an unnecesssary (and stupid) limitation/regression. Windows perfectly handles multiple MySQL versions at a time without use of Unix utilities like ‘mysql-multi’ or ‘mysql sandbox’, if only basedir, datadir, port and service names are distinct. Unix-people in MySQL organization (no matter the changing ownerships) never seem never to have understood this (I have had discussions with various MySQL people over the last 5-6 years about same and what came out was mostly sheer ignorance about Windows).
Todd Farmer blogged this http://mysqlblog.fivefarmers.com/2012/08/14/bye-bye-msi-hello-mysql-installer/ (but it appeared only one week after the change actually took change – and MySQL 5.6.6 documentation has no record of it). I actually tried to comment in Todd’s blog. The comment was not approved as he mailed me back that he would not accept the word ‘idiot’ in his blog. I never used the word ‘idiot’ however. I used the word ‘idiocy’ (and I really mean it!) .
Todd’s own blog says “I ran into a few rough edges while testing (the Windows service created could not be started, and a datadir was created in two different locations”. And in his mail to me he explained “My testing is done on an incredibly dirty system, and I was trying explicitly to break the product.”. Well .. it seems that I have a *very* ‘dirty system’ too then (as nothing works for me either). Todd simply admits that it does not work, and still it is supposed to be an ‘improvement’. Incredible! Probably everybody has a ‘dirty system’ after upgrading MySQL a few times – or what else does a ‘dirty system’ mean in a Windows context?
Bottomline: MySQL installers for Windows have simply stopped working if you have ‘a little more than trivial’ setup.
I am not in doubt that a major reason for changing the installer concept is that Oracle wants to promote Workbench. This is no problem and also legitimate (our postion to the “arsenal of GUI tools” MySQL have released over the years appears here http://www.webyog.com/faq/content/5/133/en/i-am-already-using-gui-tools-from-mysql-why-should-i-buy-sqlyog.html).
My advice for the time-being: Forget about MySQL installers for Windows for as long as above-mentioned bugs are not fixed. They will waste your time. Learn how to install MySQL using “mysqld -install servicename” command and remove it with “sc delete servicename” command. It is pretty easy. But unfortunately lots of Windows users will not do. They expect a Windows program to be installed by doubleclicking an installer placed on the desktop. PERIOD!
Alternatively use MariaDB. Here the Windows installers work as expected – each major version is independent of others.
MySQL/Oracle never did Microsoft/SQL Server a bigger favour than when now introducing this new installer (crap).