3 January 2012

SQL Server Express - How Not To Install It!

So new year, new job and new laptop. This is a great way to start the new year.

Working for a new company has meant installing a new Microsoft based development environment, part of which is the freely available SQL Sever Express. Installing it should have been a breeze using the free to download installer (or I believe you can also install using the Web Installer). However, as I had already installed the ASP.Net framework stack it turned into a rather long process.

SQL Express does ship with Management Studio which I think is brilliant considering it's all free! However, when I installed SQL Express there was no option to install Management Studio. I, wrongly, assumed this would just be installed by default. When the install finished I looked for Management Studio but realised it was not installed. After much reading and research I found out that if you install SQL Express as part of the .Net framework installation you are unable to then install Management Studio tools as part of a subsequent instance installation.

That's really not very helpful!

The short version of the rest of the story is that you need to uninstall all instances of SQL server Express and then re install it again. Once you restart the installation you find you have the option to include Management Studio Tools.

Now don't get me started about not being able to change the servers default collation ....

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