I am trying to install SQL Server 2016 on a server that already has SQL Server 2012 instances installed - all of the shared and instance features of the 2012 version have been installed also. I do not have an option of uninstalling these and I just need to install a separate, independent SQL SERVER 2016 instance.

According to MS, side-by-side is supported. But then it says: "you cannot prepare a SQL Server 2016 instance side by side with a prepared instance of SQL Server 2012"

What does this mean? So can I have them side-by-side without any issues or not?

Thank you very much

3 Answers 3


Installing SQL Server 2016 side by side with an existing SQL Server 2012 can (usually) be installed without issues and is supported as they state in that article.

SQL Server supports multiple instances of the Database Engine, Analysis Services, and Reporting Services on the same computer.

What you can't do however is using SQL Server Sysprep to install different versions side by side.

SQL Server Sysprep is basically an image based deployment solution like you have Sysprep for windows images.

So as long as you manually run through the installation wizard you are fine, but you wouldn't be able to install a SQL Server image using a prepared image by selecting this option on the advanced tab:

enter image description here


I see the confusion, I believe the incompatibility only relates to the prepared images of the installation. For example, if you are trying to prepare an image using SySPrep, then you'll have a concern. It sounds like, however, that you are just installing SQL Server manually, so you should be fine.


SySPrep is typically used for cloning the installation process, and as such the point is to have shared features and shared installation features. This is therefore not possible with any mix of Sql server and applies to all versions 2005/2008/2012, no mix will ever work.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.