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SQL Server 2008 Express

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Installing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express was an interesting experience. After downloading it, the software patched and rebooted my Microsoft Vista machine 4 times before beginning the installation. Once started, it only took 55 minutes and 37 seconds to install it.

SQL Server 2008 Express Installation

Here are the steps if you’re interested in installing it.

After you download the file, you’ll need to launch the program from the following dialog. Click the Run button to continue.


The next screen requests you accept the license agreement. Please make sure you do that or you could run into trouble later on if you violate the EULA. Click the Accept button to continue.


The installation will start and then you get to wait. It is at this point that the installer will examine and patch your operating system. While you think you’re up-to-date, you’ll probably see a couple patches applied before the real installation starts.


After you start the installation, you’ll see this dialog. It’ll even reappear after completing the install, and ultimately you may need to click the Cancel button. You don’t have to worry at that point because it’ll be installed.


After you’ve started, this is the dialog you’ll get after applying operating system patches. You’ve really no choice but to reboot if you want to install SQL Server 2008 Express successfully.


This is the first installation screen. Make sure you select the correct version of SQL Server 2008 Express. Typically, you’ll want the one with Advanced Services. Click the appropriate radio button, and then the Install button.


When you see this dialog, you’re installation has truly begun. Don’t click the Cancel button now.


The file extraction takes several minutes. Have something ready while you wait or take a break.


After the file extraction, you’ll see the SQL Server 2008 Setup Support Rules dialog. Click the OK button to continue.


You only get a choice on this dialog if you’re installing the full version. Choose Next to continue.


Check the I accept the license terms box, and then the Next button to continue.


All the rest was plumbing. Now you start the SQL Server 2008 installation. Click the Install button to continue.


You’ll see this for a few minutes before you’re prompted to continue.


You should get all check marks but a lot of folks forget to open the firewall ports. If you forgot, this is what you’ll get as output. Return to the top of the post and open the required ports before continuing. When you’ve opened the ports, click the Next button to continue.


You’ll get this prompt only when you failed to open the ports before beginning the installation. Click the OK button to continue.


The Feature Selection dialog is important. You should probably make the same choices as shown if you’re deploying a development machine. That’s really all you’d want to do with SQL Server 2008 Express edition. Click the Next button to continue.


Now you accept the installation of SQLExpress as the named instance by clicking the Next button.


Now you accept the 1,446 MB space requirement by clicking the Next button.


The account name must be an authorized user account defined by the operating system or left blank. If you want to set it up for local system authentication against Operating System accounts, you must select from the list of values. If you want to provide credentials manually, leave it blank! Click the Next button to continue.


The easiest way to enter a valid credential is to click the Add Current User button. It’ll load it right where you see authorized user in the screen shot. Click Next to continue.


Choose which pieces of information you’d like to send. Not checking anything is also an option. Click Next button to continue.


Now the install will check if everything works before attempting it with the rules you’ve entered. Click the Next button to continue.


After verifying the installation is possible, you’ll see what you’re installing before you click the third Install button to continue.


It is now time for another break while SQL Server 2008 Express edition installs.


If you arrive at the next screen, SQL Server 2008 Express is installed.


Now you’ll see the final installation dialog and the link to the installation log file.


Now the final prompt before configuration. Yes, you must now reboot the system again.


You’ve now installed SQL Server 2008 Express. However, if you want to use the command line client tool, sqlcmd.exe, there’s more work. I posted those steps in this other blog entry.

Written by maclochlainn

March 30th, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Posted in SQL Server 2008

18 Responses to 'SQL Server 2008 Express'

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  1. Express nothing! That was the longest install process of anything I’ve ever installed! (Sorry, had to vent.)

    Jojo the Indian Circus Boy

    21 Apr 09 at 10:28 pm

  2. Hi. Thanks for taking the (considerable) time and trouble to post the how-to and screen shots. They have been a life-saver.


    21 May 09 at 4:11 am

  3. Thanks for detailed information with that screen shoots.
    Very helpful …


    24 Jun 09 at 1:57 am

  4. Thanks for providing the screenshots. It was helpful.


    25 Jun 09 at 10:26 am

  5. Thanks for the hard work. It was clear and very helpful.


    24 Nov 09 at 8:11 am

  6. I installed it successfully, but unable to connect to the management studio, it is asking for a server name.


    24 Apr 10 at 2:19 am

  7. Did you opt for Windows authentication, as done in the post? If so, you should be able to login as the Administrator account that you used for the installation. Please provide more detail about the install because they’re not enough here to help you.


    24 Apr 10 at 10:48 pm

  8. I was lost! With this help I could find the Finish! Thanks!!!


    15 Jul 10 at 2:39 pm

  9. I was lost on the authentication. Thanks for the help.


    4 Aug 10 at 8:17 am

  10. […] Also, find a screenshot-guided installation of MS SQL Express here: […]

  11. I ran the install but do not see anything on my Desktop. In Programs, I see Microsoft SQL Server folders, but not the Management Studio icons within the folders.


    10 Oct 11 at 11:30 am

  12. That’s strange. I’d try uninstalling it, then install it as the administrator.


    10 Oct 11 at 5:33 pm

  13. Hi. Running into the same problem as Terry, but I’m a noob. Can you please explain how to install it as an administrator. I’ve already attempted the reinstall, with the same result (no Management Studio icons within the folders). Thanks.


    26 Jan 12 at 10:57 am

  14. You right click the executable and this displays a context sensitive menu. In this menu, choose Run as administrator.


    26 Jan 12 at 12:22 pm

  15. Thanks for the fast response. Getting the following error message after right-click:

    Microsoft Management Console
    Unable to log on:

    Logon failure: user account restriction. Possible reasons are blank passwords not allowed, logon hour restrictions, or a policy restriction has been enforced.

    I read the instructions to Terry as installing it under my name as I am the only user on the computer, and therefore, the administrator.

    I’ll try it again, and this time as the administrator. Will I need to create a password, or can I leave that blank?

    Thanks again for your help.


    26 Jan 12 at 12:57 pm

  16. It’s a guess at this point but did you first install it as a non-administrator user? If so, you need to uninstall the product, delete all files created by the installation, restart the operating system (which resets the registry). Then, install it as the Administrator.


    26 Jan 12 at 3:30 pm

  17. […] Installing it can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner so here's a tutorial on how to do that too. (Learn how to install SQL Server 2008 Express | MacLochlainns Weblog) For SQL Server basics, (creating databases/Tables etc) you should check out this one. (SQL Server […]

  18. Thanks for the concise and comprehensive guide… Really helpful.


    19 Dec 13 at 8:01 am

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