I want to install SQL server on my laptop.

Current spec of my laptop:

  • Windows XP SP3
  • Intel atom
  • 1GB RAM
  • 160 GB HDD

What do I need to install first, and what kind of SQL server?

  • 5
    Ahm...maybe you wanna tell us why you wanna do that and for what you need it. Maybe we can find a better solution. – Bobby Aug 27 '10 at 11:13
  • Agree with Bobby--maybe you would better served with a lighter weight product like SQLite, SQL Server CE 4, XAMPP or XAMPP Lite – David Fox Aug 27 '10 at 12:04
  • I want to learn OLAP,DATA MINING,XML...this kind of things.SQL SERVER is a must for me. – Sophie Aug 29 '10 at 8:39

According to the system requirements, it looks like you can install SQL Server 2008 R2 Express (older versions should work as well). Depending on what you are going to use SQL Server for, your hardware may not be sufficient. If this is for you to play around with SQL Server, then you should be fine.


You can install some SQL server. Depending of your preference and needs you should choose what to install. Keep in mind that for some serious use (e.g. multiple concurrent users) your hardware isn't quite sufficient.

Personally, as F(L)OSS user, I would use MySQL, PostgreSQL or Firebird but if you need small SQL server and use it as solely user maybe you should try SQLite - not real SQL server but very nice DB engine.

  • links converted for you. – DMA57361 Aug 27 '10 at 12:17

Sql server 2008 Express is definitely the download for you. Be sure to get the "advanced" version - the one that comes with SSMS (the "SQL Server Management Studio" GUI).

1GB RAM is low for any system these days, and an Atom is definitely slow... but for your purposes, it should probably be fine.

Good luck - and have fun!


If you want to learn "OLAP, [and] DATA MINING," then the only SKUs of (Microsoft) SQL Server that would suit you are the Developer and Enterprise editions - no Express edition comes with Analysis Services (the data mining and OLAP component). Both Developer and Enterprise cost money (though Developer is only $50, as long as you promise not to use it in production).

Any edition of SQL Server 2008 should install just fine given your stated configuration and the system requirements, although the server probably will make your computer run very slow given your low memory. There are certain components that SQL Server needs to install, but the SQL Server setup program will either install them for you or tell you how to do it yourself.

  • I have an alternative? – Sophie Sep 1 '10 at 13:33

Err, ahem! I have run SQL Server since 7 thru 2005 on my laptops.

The thing that I would worry about is the Atom processor. Seems to me that most of those shipped for even netbooks are dual processor varieties. If so, that is much better than a simple single core. I would worry about the 1GiB memory though. If you can upgrade your memory, do so. Second, the more spindles you have to spin, the better the disk performance. SQL books online give several strategies for dividing up the OS, SQL, the databases and the looging drives. If you can get an external drive or two hooked up, then you are better off. (I have a 2 device SATA PCMCIA card for my laptop, as well as a 3x firewire card.) I've used both to attach external drives, with SATA being preferred obviously. The one thing I have not tried in the disk storage area is using a NAS or other network storage device. But I just moved up to Gigabit networking, so we'll have to see sometime with that.

Just my $0.02 worth.

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