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After upgrading a SQL Server 2008 instance to SQL Server 2012 (in-place upgrade), there appears to be numerous 2008 instance components (namely the 2008 SSMS in start menu, in add/remove programs Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and other items in add/remove programs relating to SQL Server 2008).

How to remove all traces of SQL Server 2008 such that the database is a clean 2012 instance?

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You can remove the older components related to sql 2008 from the add/remove program. Ideally, I would prefer a side by side migration - installing sql 2012 and then performing backup/restore of 2008 databases to 2012. Also, refer to post upgrade steps. –  Kin Jan 6 at 16:21
    
Thanks Kin but the application requires use of the default instance, and my understanding is that the instance cannot be changed after install. Unless there is another way around this? –  tubgirl Jan 7 at 1:11

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