For MySQL 5.5, there are multiple installation package formats to choose from when installing MySQL on Windows.
MySQL Installer and the "Complete Package" methods for installing MySQL are similar, but different. The MySQL Installer is the newer and more advanced option, and it includes all functionality found within the "Complete Package."
Program Database (PDB) files (with file name extension
pdb) provide information for debugging your
MySQL installation in the event of a problem. These files are
included in ZIP Archive distributions (but not MSI
distributions) of MySQL.
MySQL Installer: This package has a file name similar to
mysql-installer-commercial-184.108.40.206.msi, and utilizes MSIs to automatically install MySQL server and other products. It will download and apply updates to itself, and for each of the installed products. It also configures the additional non-server products.
The installed products are configurable, and this includes: documentation with samples and examples, connectors (such as C, C++, J, NET, and ODBC), MySQL Workbench, MySQL Notifier, MySQL for Excel, and the MySQL Server with its components.
MySQL Installer will run on all Windows platforms that are supported by MySQL (see http://www.mysql.com/support/supportedplatforms/database.html).Note
Because MySQL Installer is not a native component of Microsoft Windows and depends on .NET, it will not work on minimal installation options like the "Server Core" version of Windows Server 2008.
For instructions on installing MySQL using MySQL Installer, see Section 2.3.3, “Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows Using MySQL Installer”.
The Complete Package: This package has a file name similar to
mysql-5.5.50-winx64.zip, and contains all files needed for a complete Windows installation, including the Configuration Wizard. This package includes optional components such as the embedded server and benchmark suite.
The Noinstall Archive: This package has a file name similar to
mysql-5.5.50-winx64.zip, and contains all the files found in the Complete install package, with the exception of the GUI. It also contains PDB files. This package does not include an automated installer, and must be manually installed and configured.
MySQL Installer is recommended for most users.
Your choice of install package affects the installation process you must follow. If you choose to use MySQL Installer, see Section 2.3.3, “Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows Using MySQL Installer”. If you choose to install a standard MSI package, see Section 2.3.5, “Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows Using an MSI Package”. If you choose to install a Noinstall archive, see Section 2.3.7, “Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows Using a noinstall Zip Archive”.