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Is there a way to upgrade an instance of SQL Server 2012 Express to SQL Server Evaluation Enterprise?

I tried using the SQL Server Installation Center and clicking Maintenance, and then Edition Upgrade. I selected to upgrade the Express Instance to Evaluation, but I get an error on the Edition Upgrade Rules step, which says "The selected SQL Server instance does not meet upgrade matrix requirements." I also checked out the Supported Version and Upgrade Paths on Supported Version and Edition Upgrades and Express 2012 to Enterprise 2012 is supported, so it would make sense that Express 2012 to Evaluation Enterprise 2012 should be supported especially since they are both free and Express has less features than Enterprise. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a better way to perform this upgrade? Thanks,

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  • How many databases on your express install? How much work to backup, install fresh, and restore?
    – RThomas
    Mar 21, 2013 at 20:32
  • Currrently, around 12 databases on the Express install. All of them are related to a SharePoint 2013 evaluation install. I'm just worried that if I migrate them with a fresh install, I'll get some configuration wrong and SharePoint won't work.
    – Anne-of-GG
    Mar 21, 2013 at 20:44
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    Yeah, sharepoint install makes it a little more fragile for sure.
    – RThomas
    Mar 21, 2013 at 20:47

1 Answer 1

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You can not Upgrade from SQL Server Express Version to SQL Server Evaluation.

See this msdn link for all upgrade path...

Supported Version and Edition Upgrades...

Install them side by side and they you copy wizard to move DB.

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    Well, it doesn't explicitly say that you can or can't upgrade to the Evaluation version when you have a free express version, but I guess I'll have to take that as a no.
    – Anne-of-GG
    Mar 26, 2013 at 1:46
  • Unbelievable! I don't think Microsoft ever uses their own products! Instead of doing something intelligent, it just puts up a non-descript error message. I guess it was too expensive or they were trying to save space by not adding a proper error message.
    – ATL_DEV
    Oct 25, 2018 at 20:39
  • I wonder if this isn't an oversight, but to way to punish the the customer for not buying the standard version.
    – ATL_DEV
    Oct 26, 2018 at 17:07

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