A number of people have had issues with PowerPivot installation failures in CTP3. Hopefully, we have resolved all of these for RTM, but I can tell you that setup is still a bit tricky. To give you something of an understanding, the “New Farm” installation option is responsible for getting your machine up and running with as few steps from you as possible. It installs SQL Relational Engine & AS, then configures SharePoint using the newly installed Relational Engine, then configures AS integration with SharePoint. In can be especially tricky in the case of patching and so forth since technically speaking SQL Server does not have to be running to be patched but we cannot interact with SharePoint if SQL Server is not running. We have done a lot of work to try and get this right, but I am not foolish enough to think that there will be no issues. Any issues you hit should be reported to the appropriate forums and perhaps followed up with CSS if necessary, but to get you started on installation issues, this is what you want to look at:
In the %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log you will see a list of folders with Date-like names. Search inside them for a file called detail.txt (easiest way is probably “dir /s /b detail.txt”). You want to go to the most recent directory with this file and open up this file and search for the string ”Running Action: ASSPI_Install_ASSPIInstallStartupFinalize”. This is the beginning of the section in which we do our configuration of SharePoint with Analysis Services. I will admit that the logging has not been “scrubbed” so grammatical errors might abound, however you should be able to glean some potentially useful information from it. I tend to look for exceptions with stacks. Even if you can’t figure out what the error means, it will be useful to include in any “help” postings and might get you faster turnaround.
Please make sure, even if you figure out what is happening and are able to “workaround” it, that you report any issues so that we can continue to improve the experience.