Installing SQL Server Express

In this chapter I’ll show you the basic installation of SQL Server Express with screenshots.

After downloading and starting the install file, choose the first option of installation: New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation.

SQL Server install Step 1

When the installer finished checking the updates and you chose the new installation, you can choose the features to be installed. Database Engine Services is enough for you this time and keep the default instance directory (advanced SQL admins know how to separate the install directories).

Now you have to choose the instance name on Instance Configuration page. This is an important part, if you wish to use it with Visual Studio later. If this is your first installation, I suggest you use the Default instance and not the Named instance (in this case this is SQLExpress). Even if you install the Express edition of SQL Server or any of the full versions (Standard or Enterprise), the default instance name will be MSSQLSERVER. And Visual Studio knows this… 🙂

SQL Server install Step 2

On the Server Configuration page of the installer, leave everything on default value this time.

On Database Engine Configuration page first think a bit about your knowledge of SQL and administering SQL:

  • if you are a beginner: choose Windows authentication mode and check if your Windows username is added to the admins (by default: yes it is).
  • if you know, what is SQL Server Manager console, choose Mixed Mode. This could be help, if you over-hack your SQL Server. 🙂 Also check if your Windows user is added to the admins and specify a local SQL admin account (username is going to be sa) with a password.
  • for advanced users: choose Mixed Mode. You can also add local groups or domain groups here. For testing purposes only, you can add your local Everyone group.

Skip now all other tabs (Data Directories, User Instances, FILESTREAM).

By clicking Next, the installer will finish installing the server.

In another chapter I will explain how to make all the default configurations in SQL Server in order to use it with Visual Studio.