This is a question that comes up quite often by windows users, so thought we would share how we normally do it. The question is can you run a PostgreSQL server on your windows desktop/server box without having to install anything? The answer is yes and quite easily. Why would you need to do this. There are a couple of cases -- one you are developing a single user app that you want users to be able to run from anywhere without having to install it first. The other common reason is, you aren't allowed to install anything on a user's pc and you also want to package along a database you already have created.
For our purposes, many of our developers develop on portable WAMP like things, and for some of our applications, they need to work in both MySQL and PostgreSQL, so we need an easy way during development to swap one out for the other.
Below is the script that will start a PostgreSQL server and clicking the enter key will shut the service down. This is one we were using as part of a self-contained devleopment kit running PostgreSQL 9.0 beta. We chose to run on a non-standard port (5439 so we know its 9.0 server). To initialize the database for the first time, you will want to run the remarked out initdb line. You only need to run once. From then on you can carry the server on USB device if you want and launch as you wish. Clicking enter in the window will shut it down. The assumpution of the script is that its in the root of your unzipped PostgreSQL folder. The %CD% returns the folder path of current directory and %~dp0 returns folder path of script.UPDATE
Original script@ECHO ON REM The script sets environment variables helpful for PostgreSQL @SET PATH="%~dp0\bin";%PATH% @SET PGDATA=%~dp0\data @SET PGDATABASE=postgres @SET PGUSER=postgres @SET PGPORT=5439 @SET PGLOCALEDIR=%~dp0\share\locale REM "%~dp0\bin\initdb" -U postgres -A trust "%~dp0\bin\pg_ctl" -D "%~dp0/data" -l logfile start ECHO "Click enter to stop" pause "%~dp0\bin\pg_ctl" -D "%~dp0/data" stop
@ECHO ON REM The script sets environment variables helpful for PostgreSQL @SET PATH="%CD%\bin";%PATH% @SET PGDATA=%CD%\data @SET PGDATABASE=postgres @SET PGUSER=postgres @SET PGPORT=5439 @SET PGLOCALEDIR=%CD%\share\locale REM %CD%\bin\initdb -U postgres -A trust %CD%\bin\pg_ctl -D %CD%/data -l logfile start ECHO "Click enter to stop" pause %CD%\bin\pg_ctl -D %CD%/data stop