I have an instance that really has nothing on it, it's merely been installed (it was intended for one project, but that never actually got done on this server, the project was done in duplicate on another server) so since I have the instance, I want to rename it.

Can this be done? How would I do so?

Further investigation (googling) says it's not really possible. Additional consultation with my coworkers says I might as well install a 2k8 instance and move on.

2 Answers 2


It's not possible.

You need to reinstall it. There is no instance rename facility for the Database Engine.


  • 1
    Yeah, that's what I came down to, running the 2k8 installer atm. Thanks anyways. The real question is keep+answered, close or delete? I guess keep as answered for searchers in the future.
    – jcolebrand
    Jan 6, 2011 at 16:24
  • 1
    @jcolebrand: Definitely leave as answered. When in doubt, you can always flag for moderator attention and let them make the call.
    – BenV
    Jan 6, 2011 at 16:32

You cannot change the instance name, but if I may suggest, you may be able to use server aliases instead. Eg: if your DB server was stackexchange and the instance name was sql2005, you would connect to the sql server by going to stackexchange\sql2005. An alias can be setup in the SQL configuration manger with a name of lets say dbaxchange and then pointed to stackexchange\sql2005. Now when you want to connect to your server, only provide the name of dbaxchange and it will be as though you are connecting to stackexchange\2005.

  • Yes, aliases are very useful. +1 Just be careful that you enable the protocol they it uses, and (if TCP/IP) that the right port number is selected. Aliasing the default instance is fine, but if you're aliasing a non-default, you need to use a different port from 1433.
    – Peter K.
    Apr 16, 2011 at 15:19

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