I have just installed SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer edition (created a new instance for it: DEVEDITION). I previously had and the default instance (MSSQLSERVER) which was running SQL Server 2008 R2 Express.

I have ~20 DB's that are running on the default instance: MSSQLSERVER.

If this is possible, I would like to convert/upgrade the MSSQLSERVER instance so that I can use all the bells and whistles of the Developer edition on it. i.e. Profiler, SQL Agent etc.

I have all DB's backed up and as it is a development environment I can uninstall all versions of SQL if needs be.

Thanks in advance.

Here's the previous question I asked regarding the installation of Developer Edition over Express.


1 Answer 1


I don't think it is possible to upgrade SQL Server Express to another edition. You should be able to use all the features of SQL Server you mentioned (agent and profiler) with the new, named instance (DEVEDITION) along side of Express Edition.

I don't think its possible to rename a SQL Server instance name, at least not with a bunch of headache.

What I would do is:

  • Detach the dbs connected to your SQL Server Express instance and uninstall SQL Server Express. Then re-install the dev edition to the default instance and reattach the dbs.
  • I'm thinking of flattening the whole system to be honest. I have 5 instances at this point and I only need one (3 stopped, two running via services.msc). I will mark as answer unless there's some miracle answer by Monday. Thanks for the info.
    – Seany84
    Commented Dec 17, 2011 at 14:32
  • Not sure this is proper etiquette, but can you mark an answer? Thanks. Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 16:35
  • Man, this sucks! Didn't Microsoft think about this issue?
    – ATL_DEV
    Commented Oct 26, 2018 at 16:34

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