Installing SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express

Installing MS SQL Server Management Studio 2005 Express was a breeze.  You simply download the .msi file that matches your computer’s architecture and double-click on it to install.  Currently I am taking a two-course certificate program on Microsoft SQL Server and at school we use SQL Server 2008.  Just so that I can do my assignments from home on the same platform, I installed SQL Server 2008 Express on my laptop.  Sadly, Management Studio Express 2005 cannot handle  SQL Server 2008 Express.   Installing MS SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express is not straightforward.

To follow this how-to,  you must have

1. SQL Server 2008 Express installed on your machine

2. If you have Visual Studio installed, you need to have Visual Studio 2008 with SP1.  Otherwise it will not work.

BEWARE:  Updating Visual Studio 2008 Professional to Visual Studio 2008 SP1, takes a really long time.

3. a rather not-so-popular tool called Power Shell 1.0 from Microsoft installed (in one of the steps below, it’s a dependency).  Good news is, it’s freely available from Microsoft and takes a few seconds to install.  Also, quite neat.

Oh, another thing.  It may tell you to use IE for accessing downloads on the msdn site.

Here we go…

Step 1.

Visit this page to download Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express.  The file size is quite big, so if you have a slow Internet connection, it might take a very long time.

Step 2.

After the installation is complete double-click on the executable which brings up the following window.

Main Screen
Main screen of the installation wizard

Step 3.

Click on the Installation tab/link on the left, the contents of which are as follows.

Installation Tab Contents
Installation Tab Contents

Choose the option highlighted in RED.  This brings up the “Setup Support Files” window.  Click on the Install button.

Setup Support Files
Setup Support Files

Step 4.

After the installation in Step 3 is complete, you should have a GREEN check mark beside all the rules listed on the grid, except Windows Firewall maybe.  I didn’t have Power Shell installed, but I am sure you paid attention to my assumptions above and got the following screen as shown here.

Support Files successfully installed
Support Files successfully installed

Press the Next button

Step 5.

This seemed to me as the counter-intuitive part.  I was adding Management Studio, so I selected the radio button that says “Add features to an existing instance of SQL Server 2008” … but it doesn’t even list Management Studio when you select this option.  Select the first option.

Option Select
Which option to select dilema

Click on the Next button

Step 6.

In the Feature Selection Window, click on the check box beside “Management Studio – Basic”  and select it.  I think it gave me an error when I didn’t select it, even though I had the check mark.

Feature Selection
Feature Selection

Click the Next button.

Step 7.

The installation wizard will show you how much disk space you need.

Disk Space Requirement
Disk Space Requirement

If you think you can afford to dedicate the required disk space, click on the Next button.  Notice that the disk space required for the installation is mammoth.  I think the caveat here is, this installation wizard re-installs SQL Server 2008 Express along with Management Studio, but it doesn’t duplicate your previous installation.  So there is nothing to worry.

If you don’t have Visual Studio 2008 SP1 (you don’t need to have Visual Studio 2008 Professional, you can have Visual C# 2008 Express … but you need SP1 it seems) you will get the following error.

VS2008 SP1 Error
VS 2008 SP1 Error

If you are in my shoes, get the SP1 update and then click on the Re-run button on the above window (“Installation Rules”).

Step 8.

Click on the Next button and after a few minutes (not seconds) you will have Management Studio successfully installed on your system.


7 Replies to “Installing SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express”

  1. Thank you for your guide, I fell into the misleading instruction trap (add features option), but due to your guide found out how to get to Management Studio via installation wizard.

    I had to remove SQL Management Studio 2005 during the installation (it is one of the conditions being checked by wizard) and then to rerun conditions check.

  2. Databases can be restored if you have .BAK files. If you give me a little bit more details I can try to help you out.

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