Add SQL Server Management Studio to Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 R2

When installing VMware vCenter 5 with the default database engine (Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 R2) the SQL Management Studio is not installed by default. It can be confusing to add SQL Management studio at a later time. Here are the steps explained:

1. Download Microsoft SQL Express 2008 R2 (can be found here) or browse the vCenter installation ZIP or ISO. The installation package can be found in the “\redist\SQLEXPR” folder.

2. Select “New Installation or add features to an existing installation”.

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3. Select “New installation or add shared features”.

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– Only select “Management Tools – Basic”.

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When the installation is completed you see the “SQL Server Management Studio” listed under the start menu.

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Important to know is that you need exactly to follow these steps. If you choose the wrong option and  use the back button the “Management Tools – Basic” isn’t listed anymore. Strange….

3 thoughts on “Add SQL Server Management Studio to Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 R2”

  1. Hi Ivo,
    Thanks for the article. Just building a Lab and noticed that there are two packages of SQL 2008 R2 Express. The one on the vCenter 5 DVD doesn’t have the management tools, you need to download it (74meg vs 235meg).
    Look for “SQL Server 2008 R2 Express
    64-bit Database and Management Tools”


  2. I needed to do this today in order to empty various tables used by vSphere 5.5.

    You can download SQL Server 2008 R2 Express from here:

    There’s a bunch of downloads. Here’s what the file naming really means:

    SQLEXPR – SQL Server Express
    ADV – with Advanced Services (reporting services)
    WT – with tools
    _x64 – 64 bit
    _x86 – 32 bit

    I grabbed SQLEXPRWT_x64_ENU.exe (~ 350MB). The installer throws a .NET exception error on Server 2012 – just click the little red X on the top right of the exception dialog to allow the installation to proceed.

    Otherwise delete the user.config file to stop the .NET exception … %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft_Corporation\LandingPage.exe_StrongName_ryspccglaxmt4nhllj5z3thycltsvyyx\\user.config

    Then you can proceed with your procedure as detailed above to install SQL Server Management Studio.

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