I'm in need of some help with SQL Server. I’m fairly new to SQL Server so bear with me.

My situation:

We currently have SQL Server 2008 Express installed and running on Windows Server 2003. We are reaching the max size for SQL Server 2008 Express, so we purchased SQL Server Workgroup 2008 volume license version. Now because the volume license product key is built in, I can’t do a standalone upgrade from the SQL Server 2008 Express version.

How do I go about installing the new workgroup version? Do I uninstall the express version and install the workgroup version? Do I install the workgroup side by side of the express? How do I transfer the data over from the express version to the workgroup?

As you can see, I need help on how to tackle this project. Please! Any help would be well appreciated

2 Answers 2


You can use the copy database wizard to move databases from one database instance to another.

Right-click on an existing database, choose TASKS and then at very bottom, is 'Copy Database'.

I would recommend the detach / re-attach database option, I don't like the other method, it's not reliable enough.

You'll probably want to test a couple of database detach / attach operations.

Detach takes the database offline, and makes it portable so you can change the volume, before re-attaching the database in a new location.


Install a workgroup instance. Install any service packs / cumulative updates so that its @@version is >= the express instance. Backup the database from Express, restore it on the new Workgroup instance, take the database offline in Express, and point your application(s) at the new instance name (you'll need to update their connection strings).

I believe there are ways to do /SKUUPGRADE in these cases, but I'm not sure about Express -> VL, and I simply wouldn't trust an in-place upgrade anyway.

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