I'm definitely a Database newbie and I'm trying to get SQL Sever Express set up so I can create and play with a database. I managed to install SQL Server Express 2012 before and It allready had the Server name populated. I was able to go in and use commands to create a database and then play with queries.

My laptop (which had it set up correctly) has since died and I need to set it up on my desktop.

Before, the server name was Name-PC/SQLEXRESS. When I try to use that this time though it acts like that is not correct.

I also installed LocalDB because I think that's what I need...

I know this might be a bit vague but I'm at a loss to how to get this set up so I can create the database.

Thanks in advance.

  • What does "acts like that is not correct" mean? Could you explain what is actually happening, instead of telling us you think SQL Server is misbehaving? Aug 15, 2014 at 0:13
  • I get the following error :A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection to SQL Server) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 53)
    – JaReg
    Aug 15, 2014 at 0:26
  • so sounds like either (a) Express is not installed or (b) it is installed but you are not connecting to the right instance name or (c) it is installed but is not running. Aug 15, 2014 at 1:19
  • Yeah, it wasn't installed... I just had the Server Management Studio installed. I went and installed SQL Server but now Im getting errors when I try to start the service. I listed the error in a comment below
    – JaReg
    Aug 15, 2014 at 1:22

2 Answers 2


Open SQL Server Configuration Manager (Start > Programs > Microsoft SQL Server 2012 > Configuration Tools). Look at the SQL Server Services node; you should see something like this:

enter image description here

If that right pane is empty, or if you can't find Configuration Manager installed at all, then you don't have SQL Server installed. Go download the latest version (SQL Server 2014) from here:


You want ExpressAndTools 64BIT\SQLEXPRWT_x64_ENU.exe, unless you're on a 32-bit system for some reason, then you want ExpressAndTools 32BIT\SQLEXPRWT_x86_ENU.exe.

Download that, and try the setup again. You may not be able to name this instance SQLEXPRESS; that's okay, some people have many instances installed and they can't all have the same name.

  • Ah, yeah I only installed the server management.... I'm installing that now and I'll see if that fixes it!
    – JaReg
    Aug 15, 2014 at 0:19
  • I tried to install the above but was met with an error most of the way through the installation. : Error installing SQL Server Database Engine Services Instance Features Wait on the Database Engine recovery handle failed. Check the SQL Server error log for potential causes. Error code: 0x851A001A
    – JaReg
    Aug 15, 2014 at 1:12
  • yeah I just encountered the error and am in the process of going through 1 guide now. I'll check that one out to as this one doesn't seem to be working
    – JaReg
    Aug 15, 2014 at 1:30
  • The third link you posted provided the solution. I appreciate you bearing with me on this... I have everything up and running now. Thanks for all the help!
    – JaReg
    Aug 15, 2014 at 2:43

Check the services on your computer to see if SQL's DB engine is running. It will also tell you if your instance name is 'SQLExpress'. Think it should be PC\sqlexpress

  • I only see SQLWriter as a running service
    – JaReg
    Aug 14, 2014 at 23:34

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