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I'm installing MySQL 5.6 on Windows 8. I'm doing a completely generic install--I accept all defaults. Yet I get this error:

Beginning configuration step: Applying security settings

Attempting to update security settings.
Authentication to host 'localhost' for user 'root' using method 'mysql_native_password' failed with message: 
Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO) 

Ended configuration step: Applying security settings

This happens when running the MSI file found right on the MySQL download site.

I am an Administrator on the machine.

What am I missing?

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Review your installation settings; if you selected the default to have a root password (always a good idea) then make sure you have supplied one. Don't just leave it blank.

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I have uninstalled and reinstalled MySQL 5.6 on Windows 8 several times, and it always holds onto the last configured root password. That is, a reinstall will ask you for the root password, and from my experience this is always the last configured root password of previous installations.

Why MySQL does this is not clear to me, given that as an administrator I can delete everything on the file system. If you manage to get rid of the previous configuration (reformat the HD, for example) MySQL will ask you to set a root password. Using a blank password seems to generate intermittent errors when upgrading or reinstalling.

I prefer installing MySQL on a Linux system because the package manager will usually help you out or you can install the server package without Oracle's installer.

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The problem is that MySQL saves its configuration data in a different location and that includes your old root password. If you're going to re-install MySQL you have to first delete this old configuration data which can be found in:

C:\ProgramData\MySQL

You may have to tell windows to show hidden files and folders because this folder is hidden by default.

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