Having a SherWeb Windows Cloud Server gives you the flexibility to install any product that your business needs. When a new version of a product comes out you have the freedom to upgrade to that new version any time.  SQL Server 2012 Express is one of those great products that you should upgrade to now that it is available. With SherWeb’sincredible Managed Services, an upgrade like this is something that we can take care of for you. However if you wanted to pursue it yourself here’s how to do it.

Check your Existing Version

It’s always a good idea to know which version of SQL Server you have before performing any upgrade. The SQL query below will show you in an easy-to-read format exactly which version you are running.  In the picture below you can see I will be upgrading from SQL Server 2008 SP2 Express.

SELECT  SERVERPROPERTY('productversion'), SERVERPROPERTY ('productlevel'), SERVERPROPERTY ('edition'),   @@servername 'Server Name',
    +convert(varchar(100),SERVERPROPERTY('edition'))+ ' '+
    +convert(varchar(100),SERVERPROPERTY('productlevel'))'Server Version'

Microsoft SQL Server management Studio

Before you attempt to upgrade your instance of SQL Server, be sure to have at least service pack 1 installed. If you do not have at least SP1 installed, the installation wizard will stop and you will have to start over after installing the service pack. You can download SQL Server 2008 Express SP3 here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=27597

Download SQL Server 2012 Express

Use the hyperlink below to download the installation file to your server. 


You will be prompted to choose the version that you want to install. In my example I am selecting SQL Server Express 2012 with Tools 64bit (SQLEXPRWT_x64_ENU.exe). This will include the database engine and SQL Server Management Studio Express. Follow the prompts to complete your download.

Download SQL Server

Installing SQL Server 2012 Express

Click on the installation file you downloaded and the choose “Upgrade” from the Installation Center menu.

SQL Server Installation Center

Accept the License Terms and click Next to continue.

SQL Server 2012 Setup - License Terms

The installation wizard will alert you to any product updates that are available. Just Click Next to continue.

SQL Server 2012 Product Updates

Select the instance that you are preparing to upgrade. You will likely only have 1 instance on the server.  Click Next to continue.

SQL Server 2012 Upgrade - Select Instance

Now the installation has completed. If there was a problem it would be displayed on this page.

SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Complete

Open SQL Server 2012 Express

With the installation complete you’re ready to launch SQL Server 2012 Management Studio. You will likely notice that SQL Server 2008 Express is still on the server. This is in fact by design.  Once you are satisfied that upgrade was completed successfully you can uninstall SQL Server 2008 from the Windows Control Panel.

SQL Server 2012 Express

Using the handy SQL script above you can confirm you’ve upgraded to version 2012.


However the SQL Server Installation Center also overs a ‘discovery report’ that you can run to see all the installed components and versions on your server.

SQL Server Installation Center Report

The discovery report confirms that installation was completed successfully as well.

SQL Server 2012 Service Pack Discovery Report

In Summary

SQL Server Express is a great relational database product from Microsoft. If you’re running an older version of SQL Server Express from 2005 or 2008, you have a straight forward upgrade path to SQL Server Express 2012. If you have any questions about upgrading your instance of please contact the SherWeb Webteam for more information.

Written by Peter Viola Employee @ SherWeb

Creative, customer focused, results oriented Windows web developer and server administrator who enjoys providing the highest level of customer service supporting complex Windows server hosting solutions. Peter likes learning new things to stay ahead of technology, and also enjoys working with legacy applications and processes to figure out how to optimize and improve them. He has worked with Microsoft web technologies since IIS 4.