Ever get one of those errors during install that you werent expecting? This error occured during SQL 2000 installation on a Virtual PC.
Installing SQL 2000 Results in 703 Error – Internal Read Error… LOCAL.INS

If you got this error, you probably got a ‘space’ somewhere in your TMP and TEMP system variable.To check:
  • Open a command prompt.
  • Run ‘set’ to view the environment variables.
  • Look for the TMP and TEMP variables and see if these paths have a space in them (e.g. c:documents and settingschewyctemp). 
To fix this, you need to temporarly modify your TMP and TEMP variables for the install.
  • Right click on ‘My Computer’ and choose ‘Properties’
  • Click the ‘Advanced’ tab
  • Click the ‘Environment Variables’ button
  • Edit the TEMP and TMP user variables to reference a path that has NO spaces (e.g. c:temp)
  • Done.

SQL should install fine. Enjoy!