Derek Honeybun

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Posted by  Derek Honeybun
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I just installed SQL Server 2008 Express on my Vista SP1 machine. I previously had 2005 on here and used it just fine with the old SQL Server Management Studio Express. I was able to connect with no problems to my PC-NAME\SQLEXPRESS instance (no, PC-NAME is not my computer name ;-).

I uninstalled 2005 and SQL Server Management Studio Express. I then installed SQL Server 2008 Express on my machine and elected to have it install SQL Server Management Studio Basic.

Now, when I try to connect to PC-NAME\SQLEXPRESS (with Windows Authentication, like I always did), I get the following message:

Cannot connect to PC-NAME\SQLEXPRESS. A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 - Error Locating Server/Instance Specified) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: -1) For help, click:

When I installed SQL Server 2008, I had it use SQLEXPRESS as the local instance name. As far as I can tell, through SQL Server Configuration Manager, SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections.

When I went to the help link it mentions, the help page suggests the following:

  • Make sure that the SQL Server Browser service is started on the server.
  • Use the SQL Server Surface Area Configuration tool to enable SQL Server to accept remote connections. For more information about the SQL Server Surface Area Configuration Tool, see Surface Area Configuration for Services and Connections.

Well, as far as I can tell, there is no SQL Server Browser service on my system (looked in MMC for one, couldn't find one).

And the SQL Server Surface Area Configuration tool doesn't exist in SQL Server 2008. So good job there with your help documentation, Microsoft ;-).

I'm at a loss for what to do right now. I had a lot of work I was hoping to get done today after upgrading to 2008 (the person I'm working with got it up and running with no problem and told me it would be easy - he's also far better with database stuff that I am). Does anyone have any idea what might be wrong? I'd really appreciate it. If I can't get this working in a few hours, I'm going back to SQL Server 2005 (if that will even work, gah...).

Edit: I have tried turning Windows Firewall off, and that did not help. Also, I noticed that I do not have a "Data" directory under my SQL Server 2008 install directory tree - could I have possibly set something up wrong when I installed it?

  1. Mayank Tripathi


    Re: How to connect to local instance of SQL Server 2008 Express

    Please check the ServerName which you provided. It should match with the below shown Name in the UserName textbox, and that name should followed with \SQLEXPRESS:



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