Getting up-to-date with SQL Server 2008

One of the most important things on being a Sitecore Solution Architect is being ahead of the latest technology. Therefore I’ve installed the latest bits of SQL Server 2008 Express CTP February. And as always you’ll run into strange issues with beta products.
First I tried upgrading from SQL Server 2005, but now I’ve decided to start all over as my Management Studio didn’t like to work with 2008 instances.

It seems that there are still some issues when you are in this pane:

Fill in your SA password

I would recommend to setup an SA password afterwards and first make sure the instance is running.

During the installation it’s telling me that they’ve skipped the Client tools. What’s that? Hopefully it has something to do with the order of installing, otherwise I’ll get very angry… 2 minutes later: No it was no joke, or install order, client tools are not installed also according the log:

Feature status after execution:
  Database Engine Services: Passed
  Client Tools: Skipped
  Microsoft Sync Framework: Passed

But as it seems, my management studio of SQL Server isn’t uninstalled. Hm, so it could be my fault. Let’s do the uninstall. And make sure all other client tools are uninstalled as well. Now it’s time to uninstall my ‘favorite’ new DBMS again:

Uninstall SQL Server 2008

And normally I’m the guy who guide you through these uninstall issues, but now I’ve got no clue what I’m doing. Just messing up my machine?! Ahh now I find out, you’ve to uninstall the client tools manual. Make sure to uninstall the ADO Sync Service CTP as well. The only SQL Server stuff left is now the Compact Edition 3.5 and I think it should remain there. There seems to be and existing ‘SQLEXPRESS’ installation on my machine. I try to upgrade this one:


I should be able to remove it afterwards. Wouldn’t that be cool? A clean machine? This time the install wizards comes up with the idea to reboot my machine, but doesn’t show a message. As a brave user, I’ll reboot. This might solve some issues…

The reboot took some time, more then I’m used to, but hey okay, I installed and uninstalled 3 database services, so I won’t bother :).
According to my Services window, SQLExpress is still running:


But again don’t bother I’ll upgrade it now! The pre-requirements should be installed, but still they are using up to 1 minute to be checked. And now I’m running through the upgrade wizard and it seems to work. Or at least my log thinks so:

Product features discovered:
  Product:                       SQL2005

  Product:                       SQL2008
  Instance:                      SQLEXPRESS
  Product Version:               10.0.1300.13

A bad thing on this CTP is that I’m not able to add any features afterwards. And as my management studio isn’t installed anymore(client tools neither), I’ve to uninstall everything and install again. Hopefully that will work out ;). Unfortunately my machine doesn’t have any uninstall entries available for the SQLExpress instance. Never mind! I’ll just install a new instance of it next to my SQLExpress instance, and I’ll use the name SQL2008. The Setup project is nearly added to my favourite programs in XP. And running again! I’m going to be an expert in SQL Server installations, I’m sure! I’ve to say, they did improve the process. You’re now able to setup the authentication mode, database places, etc in a very user friendly wizard.

Hmm, again the system isn’t installing any client tools:


But I’m not the only one in the world:

I’ll install the books online. They might be able to give me a better insight. This goes well and smooth. Cool :D! At least something is working as I would expect.


The coolest thing is that this resource is going to help. I’m so sure about it:

This article describes how to manually uninstall a stand-alone instance of SQL Server. By following the steps in this topic, you also prepare the system so that you can reinstall SQL Server.

I’m going again through the Wizard and I’m now sure what to do. I’ve just to select my SQLExpress instance and uninstall it… Done! There’s only 1 instance left:


Cool. Let’s go for the Client tools. I’ll try to reinstall the SQL Server Management Studio 2005 and look what happens. This was done pretty easily, but it does not seem to like SQL Server 2008 connections:


This error will finally lead you to the following Microsoft statement.

"For the November CTP we have only released the basic version of SQL
Server 2008 Express. We’ll be releasing SQL Server 2008 Express with
Advanced Services and Management Studio Express in a future CTP. For
now, if you want to use management studio to work with your SQL Express
database, you should download SQL Developer edition, which is available
from the same site listed above, and install the full version of
Management Studio. This will work against SQL Express with no problems."

Damn. I should have know this before. Then I wouldn’t have spend so much time on it . Argh!
But anyway, I’m downloading the Developer edition right now. It’s 1.45 Gb. An extremely big installer.

And as I’ve been so disappointed, I won’t continue to blog today. I can’t imagine this product was intended to be released together with VS2008, .NET 3.5 and Windows 2008. It’s simply not ready neither are you able to understand what’s its doing. You’ll blow away Vista’s user experience when you install this crap.
But as I wants to be on top of technology, I won’t give up ;-).

Have a great night.

5 thoughts on “Getting up-to-date with SQL Server 2008”

  1. I’m so, so angry right now. Same problem.
    Microsoft for several years has been heading more and more downhill.

  2. This is just a big waste of time, in-place upgrades of sql server are buggy if not done right, what did you think a CTP upgrade would do? I don’t see the purpose in this post…

    You didn’t do a clean install on a clean machine, you never uninstalled all components of the previous version of sql server, and you didn’t read the release notes which say that the management tools are not included…

  3. I have to agree with Daniel. Your machine was a mess to begin with in the first place. Add to that that you’re installing a BETA (hey, it’s a beta) slash CTP and you ignored all the guidelines in the documentation. To me it’s crystal clear: just RTFM, stop whining and give it another shot with care, instead of using a sledgehammer to pound a nail in the wall.
    I had no such problem whatsoever and my installation went fine and without any hickups.

  4. Nonsense, if you need to start over from a ‘clean’ system everytime it means the software is lacking.

  5. I never said a ‘clean’ system should be used; I pointed out the system was a mess to begin with.

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