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SQL Server 2008 Express Installation with Management Studio

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I recently needed to install SQL Server 2008 Express with Management Studio. I tried on three different workstations, one my own development workstation and two out of the box brand new Dell computers. All computers were high end Dell systems one running an i7 processor with 8 GB's of memory, the other two running Intel E7600 dual core processors both with 4 GB's of memory. My development workstation and one other out of the box computer were running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit operating systems and the last computer was running Window 7 64-bit Home Premium Edition.

On all three of the computer system mentioned above, SQL Server 2008 Express with Management Tools failed to install into with the following major error message at then end of the SQL Server 2008 Express install wizard. There were other error messages as well advising that other SQL Server instances existed on my computer when there were none. The Management Studio component failed to install during the installation process as well. The final error after all was done is shown below.


After closing the above screen the SQL Server 2008 Express Configuration Manager failed to run and connect and the Managment Studio did not install and could not be found anywhere within the computer system.

These work instruction I decided to publish due to the many problems and issues developers have been facing trying to install SQL Server 2008 Express with Management Studio on the Windows 7 Professional 64-bit operating system. It is my hope that this will assist you with your installation efforts.

1. I went into my Windows 7 64-bit operating system Control Panel and verifed that Microsoft. NET Framework 3.5.1 was installed with SP1 and it was.

2. Now to the kicker of my problems. Went into the Registry Editor and checked under:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mirosoft\NETFrameworkSetup\NDP\v3.5 and there found a key called SP. This was REG_WORD key and was set to 0.
Had to change the value to 1. So although I had .NET Framework 3.5 installed with SP1, my Windows 7 system still seen this as .NET Framework without SP1 applied. This registry key tells Windows 7 what .NET Framework service packs are installed.
REBOOTED THE WORKSTAITON after this registry change.
REBOOTED THE WORKSTATION a second time just to make sure.
Two of my worksations had the key mentioned above set to 0 and one workstation did not have the SP key at all that I manually added in.

3. In contact with Microsoft I was informed, "You did download SQL Express 2008 "the slip-streamed version with SP1 already included in the download?"
Duuuh, say-what!!!
OK. . .lets me get this, there are download pages for SQL Server 2008 R2 Express with management tools and now I am kind of suspecting that the R2 does not include the SP1 rollup! Now I cannot 100% verify this fact, but I suspect this is the case.
Apparently SQL Server 2008 will not install on a Windows 7 64-bit system without the slip-streamed version with SP1 already included.
I was told prerequisites to install on Windows 7 64-bit is to have SP1 in the install exe Wizard and also .NET Framwork had to be at least v3.5 with SP1 applied. So now I know the reason for my 3 days of frustrations, I had registry key settings that did not reflect the installation of .NET Framwork with SP1 applied and I was trying to install SQL Server 2008 Express without SP1 included.

Below are some other links you can review to see the issues many others have had regarding this installation:


Below are the download links I used to get the correct installation files:



Contrary to what earlier declared, I was advised Microsoft SQL Server team released a self contained package to install Server Management Studio Express as a separated tool instead of requiring to upgrade a basic SQLExpress installed instance to a bigger edition of SQL Server Express. I was not aware of this fact. This package will also install the management tool on a computer running SQLExpress basic or no SQL Server at all.

Now there is a bug in the installation package of SQL Server 2008 Express Management Studio and it comes up with a warning that this progam has know compatibiitiy issue and go and apply SQL Server 2008 SP1 prior to continuing.


This warning MS advised me to disregard and click Run Program as we knew that SQL Server 2008 Express was already installed with SP1 applied. Now for the installation of Management Studio. After running the downloaded exe the SQL Server Installation wizard comes up and you in fact select create a new instance "even though you do not want to create a new instance".
This really is a very misleading part of the installation. You select "Create a new instance although you do not want to". 
This now brings up the options to add new components and you select the Management Tools and then the installation proceeded and finished successfully.
I now have the SQL Server 2008 Server Management Studio installed on my Windows 64-bit operating system.

Below are some Microsoft links on what to do:

Now after fumbling around with this one MS informed me to go to this support link: 
where there is a "Fix It" script you can download. Again this web page is misleading as it seems to target only Windows 2008 server, but I was told it also works on Windows 7 and Vista.
In fact if you run the downloaded FitIt exe, it will fail advising you your operating system is not supported, but what I was instructed to do was to copy and paste the script below into Notepad and run it as a .bat file:
@echo =========  SQL Server Ports  ===================
@echo Enabling SQLServer default instance port 1433
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 1433 "SQLServer"
@echo Enabling Dedicated Admin Connection port 1434
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 1434 "SQL Admin Connection"
@echo Enabling conventional SQL Server Service Broker port 4022 
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 4022 "SQL Service Broker"
@echo Enabling Transact-SQL Debugger/RPC port 135
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 135 "SQL Debugger/RPC"
@echo =========  Analysis Services Ports  ==============
@echo Enabling SSAS Default Instance port 2383
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 2383 "Analysis Services"
@echo Enabling SQL Server Browser Service port 2382
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 2382 "SQL Browser"
@echo =========  Misc Applications  ==============
@echo Enabling HTTP port 80
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 80 "HTTP"
@echo Enabling SSL port 443
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 443 "SSL"
@echo Enabling port for SQL Server Browser Service's 'Browse' Button
netsh firewall set portopening UDP 1434 "SQL Browser"
@echo Allowing multicast broadcast response on UDP (Browser Service Enumerations OK)
netsh firewall set multicastbroadcastresponse ENABLE

After running the above batch script file I went into the Windows 7 firewall and in fact SQLServer had all the correct ports opened up.


Now all that was left to test was to make sure I can connect to SQL Server 2008 Express using the Management Studio.
I made sure that in the SQL Server Configuration Manager that TCP/IP was enabled and set to port 1433 "and it was", and made sure Named Pipes were also enabled "and they were".

Load up Microsoft SQLServer Manager and enter in:
Server Type: Database Engine
Authentication: Windows Authentication
I had added my admin account in when installing SQL Server 2008 Express so my admin account is set to login without credentials and ... YES I HAVE A CONNECTION WORKING.



I had installed for mixed mode so lets check the sa account. Disconnect and select SQL Server authentication, enter sa and the sa password and ... YES I HAVE A CONNECTION WORKING.



As to installation of Visual Stuio 2010 I was told to:
1.  Install .Net Framework 3.5 first and make sure SP1 had been applied. In my case already was, but the registry key was wrong.
2. Check the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mirosoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\SP and make sure SP value is set to 1.
3.  Install SQL Server Express 2008 with SP1 included, the slip-stream version.
4. Then install SQL Server Management Studio next and forget about the waring about incompatibity.
5.  Then when installing Visual Studio, make sure to not install the Express Edition of SQL Server that is part of this installation.

So the above is my documented way I got SQL Server 2008 with SP1 and including SQL Server Management Studio finally installed and working as it should on my Windows 7 64-bit operating system. Finally I was able to install Visual Studio 2010 and I did not install the SQL Server Express components.

I was told that the correct download link for SQL Server 2008 Express with SP1 and with Management tools is:
Apparently this installation should work. You get SQL Server 2008 Express with SP1 and the Management Tools all in one download install file. OK, I went the extra step and tried this on one of my workstations after I had reformatted and reinstalled Windows 7 Professional. I make sure the .NET Framework was correct with the correct registry key existed. This latest rollup also failed on my computer miserable.
Reformated my hard drive and reinstalled Windows 7 Professional again and followed my work instructions as outlined above and another successful installation of SQL Server 2008 Express with SP1 and Management Tools.

Some folks have advised me they had no problems at all installing SQL Server Express 2008 with Management Tools on their Windows 7 64-bit operating system. Other have told me they spent litterly hours and hours and could not get an installation to work and many finally gave up.
As to what is the underlying cause, I still do not 100% know, but I do know the following in my case:
a)  The combination of SQL Server 2008 Express + SP1 + Management Tools on Windows 7 64-bit operating systems installation failures is the common thing.
b)  Installing SQL Server 2008 Express + SP1 seperately and then after this installing the Management Tools does work.
c)  Seems like there maybe some bug in the .NET Framwork 3.5 installation with SP1 that on some computer systems does not successfully update the:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mirosoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\SP key.  Not sure of this either and maybe this is a problem on Dell originally installed operating systems?  After some investigation on this in Google, I have disgarded this as a Dell only problem.  Please go into Google and type these keyword for a search:
"Net Framework 3.5 SP registry key SP".  Common problem here folks with all computer makes and models.

I hope others that do experience what I did can use the work instructions above to eliminate all the frustation that I had. I spent in total 3 full days on this to finally get a set of installation work instructions that seem to work as expected for SQL Server 2008 Express with Management Tools on a new Window 7 64-bit system.

At the end of this morning I have the following on my desktop and all working as expected. . .



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