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Can anyone tell me how I can find SQL Server on my computer? I downloaded MS Visual Web Developer 2010 Express. The MS Web Platform Installer 2.0 tells me that SQL Server is already installed on my computer. I can't find a SQL Server program launcher in the start menu and I've looked in the Programs folder in the various SQL Server folders, but I can't find it anywhere.

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migrated from Jan 12 '10 at 3:25

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Please remember to accept an answer if you found it useful. – Gabriel McAdams Jan 12 '10 at 1:18
I am not able to vote because i don't have enough reputation yet. But all answers added up to help clarify things for me, so thanks to everyone for their help. – user24498 Jan 12 '10 at 6:58

There isn't really much to "find" on a bare SQLExpress installation. If you're looking for SQL Server Management Studio, that's not part of SQLExpress; you can download the express version of the software separately though.

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I went here to download Runtime with Advanced Services, which should include SQL Server Management Studio Express, but the Web Platform Installer 2.0 used to download the program tells me that SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services is already installed. – brookmarker Jan 12 '10 at 1:55

On my computer it is here:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.SQLEXPRESS\MSSQL\Binn
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I tried all .exe's in that folder and nothing opens MS SQL Server Express – brookmarker Jan 11 '10 at 21:42

Can you see a MS SQL service in the widows service manager? I believe it is called "SQL Server" or "SQLServer Express".

Open the service manager through start > control panel > administration > services

If you find the entry there, double click it to open the service dialog. there you should see a command line that points to the daemon. You should be able to find out the path then too.

If you just want to start the server, don't run the command line. simply start the service instead by pushing the 'play' button.

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i ran the exe indicated in the path in the services properties dialog, however it did not open the program. It opened a black command screen and a small message box. When i click "OK" on the small message box, both windows close – brookmarker Jan 11 '10 at 21:54
@brookmarker: The SQL Server engine is not a GUI application, it's a service. You're seeing exactly what you should be seeing. – Aaronaught Jan 11 '10 at 21:57

Are you looking for the management .exe or the SQL service? As Aaronaught pointed out, it doesn't ship with Management Studio by default. Do you have anything running in Windows services?

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First off, SQL Server Management Studio is the program you are looking for in the start menu. That's not SQL Server. That's a utility that ships with SQL Server to allow you to manipulate the server.

Here is the page where you can download the SQL Server Management Studio Express Edition

Here is a quick way to determine if SQL Server is installed:

In your start menu, navigate to the folder titled "Microsoft SQL Server 2010 (or any other version)," then click to expand the folder titled "Configuration Tools."

In that folder, there is an application titled "SQL Server Configuration Manager" (click it)

This application will allow you to (among other things) view the services associated with the installation(s) of sql server on your machine.

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Will SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express work with SQL 2010? – Chris Jan 12 '10 at 1:39
Yes, it shouldn't have a problem. – Gabriel McAdams Jan 12 '10 at 1:42
@Gabriel McAdams: i opened, as u suggested, "SQL Server Configuration Manager" under the start menu and it does indicate that SQL Server is one of the services. – brookmarker Jan 12 '10 at 2:34
Now if you right click it and click Properties, under the service tab, look at the binary path for the executable. The folder will tell you the version you have installed (program files\ms sql server\XXX\...). the xxx in my path is the version (80 = 2000, 90 = 2005, and 100 = 2008) – Gabriel McAdams Jan 12 '10 at 3:11
It was version 2008. I was not able to install SQL Server Management Studio Express 2008, due to a previously installed Visual Studio 2008. However, i did manage to install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services SP from and i am now able to use SQL Server Management Studio Express 2005. Thank you for your help. – user24498 Jan 12 '10 at 6:39

I installed SQL but was not able to open SSMS, Later I tried to reinstall (without uninstalling) the same, and realized that I had not checked the management studio while installing last time, so this time I checked.

It successfully installed management studio and I am able to open SSMS from start menu.

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The OP isn't asking about the Management Studio (SQL Server Management Studio, for those wondering), s/he is asking about the SQL server itself – Canadian Luke Apr 22 '15 at 19:25

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