Running SQL Server Management Studio on Win 7

On a Win 7 PC the local SQL server will often not be automatically offered and using (localhost) or browsing and finding the SQL server for the local PC caused a “Cannot connect to..” error.
The solution is to use this in the server name box when trying to connect:


The explanation:- (local), the address it offers by default, resolves to, and works for defaults only. Instances, like the default for SQL Server Express, need a real name. Note that you can check the error log for SQL Server (SQL install folder, then log) and one of the first few entries will give you the IP, port, and name of the instance.

SQL Server Express (SSE) 2008 Limits

SQL Server 2008 Express supports 1 physical processor, 1 GB memory (any additional memory will not be used), and 4 GB storage

Viewing Data

Right Click table and select Edit Top 200 Rows
To update the data displayed right click in the display area and select ‘Execute SQL’

Auto Index Columns

Create as BigInt
Set as primary key
Identity Specification

Is Identity Yes
Identity Increment 1
Identity Seed 1


Don’t use the web based installer – follow the link for custom install so you can get the proper installer (need the version with advanced features)

You Need First

.NET 3.5 SP1 (make sure is SP1 or above)
Windows Installer 4.5 or above
Windows Power Shell

Run the system configuration checker

New SQL Server Stand Alone Instalation or add features to an existing instalation
Even if you download the SQL Server Express with the ‘System Management Studio’ you have to select the Management tools – basic if you want the management application also installed (it is not part of the default checked options when installing 2008)

Feel free to comment if you can add help to this page or point out issues and solutions you have found. I do not provide support on this site, if you need help with a problem head over to stack overflow.


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