I am currently undertaking SQL SERVER 2012 Training for the exam 70-461. I currently have SQL SERVER 2008 running on my laptop but I'm looking to upgrade to 2012 and I'm having trouble trying to get together the licencing information needed to purchase what I need. I'm running Windows 7 (64 bit) and want to run the database on the laptop itself. They have asked me: · SQL Server Edition. Standard or Enterprise? Standard · Licencing Model. Core or processor? · If ‘Processor’ do you need CAL licenses quoted? (CAL =Client Access License) · If ‘Core’ how many cores? Thanks

  • Why are you doing SQL Server 2012 exams and not SQL Server 2016? SQL Server 2016 developer edition is free to download and use... you can always set the compatibility level of the database back to 110 if you need to be specifically using 2012. Having done 2012 certification, its usually best to set up a VM on your machine (HyperV is fine) and install there in order to fully experience the HA functions.
    – blobbles
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 4:15
  • Good Question. I started to download SQL SERVER 2016 and the installer informed me that I could not install it on my laptop (Windows 7) (learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/sql-server/install/…)
    – LeasMaps
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 4:47
  • Do you have Windows 7 Business pro?
    – blobbles
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 5:05
  • No - and it's a corporate PC so I can't upgrade the OS - I did try downloading and installing just in case - no go.
    – LeasMaps
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 5:11

1 Answer 1


What I would do in your case is the following:

  1. Download HyperV and install on your machine, details here: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/virtual_pc_guy/2010/07/07/installing-windows-virtual-pc-on-windows-7-home-editions/

  2. Download Windows Server 2016 evaluation edition here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-sql-server-2016

  3. Set up a Virtual Machine using HyperV (this is a good skill to have anyway and is really easy to learn. Search online for a tutorial).

  4. Install the Windows Server 2016 on the VM.

  5. Download SQL Server 2016 developer edition.

  6. Install Developer Edition on your new VM with Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016 and enjoy the benefits of the latest release of both products.

Remember afterwards that there is a bit of firewall configuration if you want to install SSMS on your local PC and connect to your SQL Server 2016 VM (also look this up on the web). SSMS is compatible with Windows 7 still, so you are OK to install locally and connect it to your SQL Server 2016 VM.

You may also require quite a bit of RAM etc for this approach. I had a 2011 laptop with 16GB of RAM and a SSD drive running 5 VMs on HyperV a while ago and it ran OK. Your mileage will be different depending on your PC specs.

  • It's a work Laptop. I don't even want to start fiddling with a virtual machine on a work PC. I can install software on it but my admin rights are limited.
    – LeasMaps
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 5:53
  • just install developer edition directly on your laptop then, no need for VM. developer is free, for non-production use
    – Bob Klimes
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 14:26

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