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I just installed Win7 on a fresh laptop and want to put a lightweight MS Sql Sever on it. VS2010 already installed SS2008 Express. So now I just need a management studio for it.

What would you recommend? I see there is a Management Studio Express, and have also read that you can install Management Studio from the SS2008 full discs. Is there a preferred route to take?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

If you are licensed to use the full Management Studio, I would install that. It has more features that will come in handy if you ever need to manage other SQL Server instances other than your local development/Express version. If you're not licensed or you know this is not a requirement, you can download Management Studio Express from here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms365247.aspx

Yes, that's for 2008 R2; probably better to get the most recent release, which will work just fine with 2008.

Whether you end up using the full version or the Express version, can't hurt to install Service Pack 1 once SSMS is installed:

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26727

(Probably more appropriate for the full version, since there is a greater chance that issues are fixed since it includes more features.)

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I do have a license for the fill Sql Server, just not wanting to put more than I need on the laptop. –  Daniel Williams Sep 2 '11 at 23:56
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For the difference that you will most certainly not notice, I'd rather have the full tool than a half-enabled one. Chances are you'll need the full version at a time when it's not convenient to uninstall SSMSE and install the full version (they can't co-exist). –  Aaron Bertrand Sep 2 '11 at 23:58
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When you do the SQL Server install, you will come to a window that allows you to explicitly install specific components. There will be an option for management and performance tools (if you so choose to have profiler installed). Just keep those selected and not the db engine, etc.

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