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', substring(@@version,1,charindex('-',@@version)-1) +convert(varchar(100),SERVERPROPERTY('edition'))+ ' '+ +convert(varchar(100),SERVERPROPERTY('productlevel'))'Server Version'
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.
Installing SQL Server 2012 Express
Click on the installation file you downloaded and the choose “Upgrade” from the Installation Center menu.
Accept the License Terms and click Next to continue.
The installation wizard will alert you to any product updates that are available. Just Click Next to continue.
Select the instance that you are preparing to upgrade. You will likely only have 1 instance on the server. Click Next to continue.
Now the installation has completed. If there was a problem it would be displayed on this page.
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.
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.
The discovery report confirms that installation was completed successfully as well.
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.