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I have installed "SQL Server 2008 R2" with an instance name "SQLEXPRESS". Then I found out it cannot restore from my older "SQL server 2008" backup files .

So I uninstalled SQL Server 2008 R2 and installed back my older SQL server 2008 with an instance name "SQLEXPRESS2008". Now I could successfully restore my backup files.

The problem is that for some reason I have now two SQL server instances (SQLEXPRESS and SQLEXPRESS2008). I would like to delete SQLEXPRESS.

Following suggestions on the web, I tried going to "Control Panel"/"Programs and Features", asked to Remove "SQL SERVER 2008" (2008 R2 was not in the program list). A window opened which offered me to select an instance to remove. While the Installed Instances table did show both instances, the drop-down selection box only offered me to remove SQLEXPRESS2008.

Any ideas how I can remove the SQLEXPRESS instance?

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migrated from Feb 22 '12 at 17:55

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What do you mean "it can't restore"? The opposite is true : you can't restore a 2008 R2 backup to 2008. You should have no problem restoring a 2008 backup on 2008 R2 and you should use the most recent version available to avoid this kind of problem. That said, how did you initially uninstall SQL Server 2008 R2? Through control panel or through setup? If you uninstalled it, how are you determining that you now have "two SQL Server instances"? Where exactly are you seeing the SQL Server 2008 R2 instance? – Aaron Bertrand Feb 22 '12 at 17:53
I uninstalled "2008 R2" and related components using the Control panel (Win 7). Version 2008 R2 does not appear there anymore. How do I know I have two instances? I see two in the Task Manager process list. Also, when I open the SQL server management studio, it lets me choose and login to TWO server names: "SQLEXPRESS" and "SQLEXPRESS2008". I bet the uninstall process of version R2 doesn't work well. – Arie Livshin Feb 23 '12 at 10:30
You can run services.msc and see if two instances are running. You can also go to command prompt, type 'sqlcmd /L' that will list the sql instances. It looks like your uninstallation was not successful. Shutdown the services of the instance you would like to get rid of and try uninstall once again. – RK Kuppala Feb 23 '12 at 11:35
Thanks yogrik. I wrote the solution above. – Arie Livshin Feb 23 '12 at 14:06
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Thanks yogirk, services.msc indeed showed both the SQL servers. I stopped and deleted the extra "SQL Server 2008 R2" and then erased its directory.

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If you register here we can get you account linked to your SO account easily enough (it should even happen automatically) - then you'd show up as he OP and be able to accept your answer too ;-) – Jack Douglas Feb 23 '12 at 15:03
Thanks, did so. – Arie Livshin Feb 23 '12 at 15:51
Great - welcome to the site! Please do consider giving your answer the tick or encouraging yogirk to post the answer and accepting it. – Jack Douglas Feb 23 '12 at 16:06

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