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How to upgrade SQL Server Exress.

Few days ago I spend almost all day trying to upgrade SQL Server Express. And I mean – not uninstall and install again – just upgrade. In may case I wanted to upgrade SQL Server Express 2005 to SP4 but it should also work with other SQL Server Express editions. Here is how you can upgrade your SQL Server Express:
1. Download the SQLEXPR file. Yes, I know it doesn’t seem to suggest just the SP. Do it anyway.
2. I would suggest storing it on the root of the SQL box you’re trying to upgrade, or maybe in C:\TMP like I usually do (makes for easier typing, here in a minute…).
3. Log onto that box, run CMD.exe as “Run As Administrator”.
4. Navigate to where you stored the Download in Step 1.
5. Copy and paste this whole line at the Command Prompt:

SQLEXPR.exe /qb UPGRADE=SQL_Engine,SQL_Data_Files,Client_Components,Connectivity INSTANCENAME=YOUR_SQL_INSTANCE_NAME

6. The Setup will launch. It’s only going to upgrade the necessary components, so just follow the prompts.
7. When it’s done, you’ll be back at the Command window. Exit.
8. To confirm the upgrade, log into the Management Studio, launch a new Query, and paste this command into the Query window, precisely as you see it here, no changes:

select serverproperty('PRODUCTLEVEL') as sql_product_level

9. Then click the “Execute” button, and in a few seconds, in a small area near the bottom of the Query window, you’ll see the version.

I hope this helps someone else who wasted time scouring the Internet for this information.

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