I'm in the process of migrating an old server running Windows 2008 R2 with SQL 2012 Express to a new server running SQL Server 2017 Standard and Windows 2016. I would like to mirror databases between them, but the Express Edition doesn't support it. I tried to upgrade it to SQL 2012 Standard Evaluation, but I received the following error:
Failed The selected SQL Server instance does not meet upgrade matrix requirements.
I discovered this isn't possible: Upgrade SQL Server 2012 Express to Evaluation Edition
I was forced to install SQL Server 2012 Evaluation as a new side-by-side instance and named it ./SQLSERVER2. In order to use this instance, however, it would require moving a ton of data files and changing the instance names in all my configuration files. This will also require server downtime as well. This will be a major PITA without the humous and I want to avoid it if at all possible.
Is there a way of reconfiguring ./SQLSERVER to use the Standard Evaluation Edition with minimal downtime and side-effects?