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Installing MS-SQL Express for those not familiar with it

First of all, it’s really stupid I have to write a blog post on how to install the free Microsoft SQL express package, but it just isn’t that easy to do.  It’s nice they give it away for free for people like me to learn it all, but they assume you already know it in the limited instructions you are given.  The big problem is, there are a ton of pre-requisites that — if not already installed, will fail the installation and leave your install in a bad shape.  For example…. this lovely error:

An installation package for the product Microsoft SQL Server Native Client cannot be found. Try the installation again using a valid copy of the installation package ’sqlncli.msi’

10 Step Install

All of this assumes a fresh install of Windows XP in a virtual machine with one gig RAM allocated to it.

  1. Do it inside a virtual machine and snapshot it before the install so if it fails, you can start over easily.
  2. Go into Add/Remove programs, Windows Components, check IIS, install it
  3. Install .NET Framework 3.5 – I just went into Windows Update, optional installs, and it was listed there.
  4. Go to Windows Download page, search for MSXML 6.0 and install it
  5. Google “ms sql express download” and pick the appropriate link from Microsoft’s site. When I did it I went to: http://www.microsoft.com/Sqlserver/2005/en/us/express.aspx
  6. Click the link for 2005 express download. That took me to http://www.microsoft.com/Sqlserver/2005/en/us/express-down.aspx
  7. Do NOT install the Advanced Services option. I had errors doing that.
  8. Download and install SQL Server Express (sqlexpr32.exe), take all defaults.
  9. Download and install SQL Server Management Studio Express
  10. Reboot

Hopefully that will do it.  The SQL Server Management Studio program will be in the program menu.   I’ll write more blog entries as I figure it out myself.

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