Upgrade from SQL Server Evaluation Edition to full blown editions?

Well, the last month has been really hectic and I have been involved with a lot of stuff that I never planned for – as you can see, I didn’t get much of a chance to blog this month.

But now that things are back to normal pace, I am coming back!!!

Recently, one of my customers had an Eval edition of SQL 2005 which expired. But they had some critical data that they wanted to retain. I helped them out and thought will blog about it too.

Eval Edition of SQL 2005

SQL Server 2005 Evaluation edition provides the same functionality as the Enterprise Edition – however, it has a pre-set expiration date.

You can learn more about the eval edition and download it from here.

Upgrading from Eval Edition

In an ideal scenario, you would install SQL 2005 Eval edition to evaluate the features and then upgrade to the full blown versions (Standard or Enterprise Edition) for production use. For more supported upgraded paths from Evaluation Edition, refer to the Version and Edition Upgrades section at MSDN.

To perform an in-place upgrade of SQL 2005 Eval edition to other SQL Server 2005 full blown editions, simply run the setup and it will identify the existing installation, and will run an upgrade check. It will then let you know if the upgrade is possible or not. If the upgrade is possible, simply go through the setup wizard and it will automatically upgrade the already installed instance of eval edition.

Upgrade from Eval Edition 2005 after it has expired

Now, this becomes a little tricky. You have to first uninstall SQL 2005 Eval edition and then install the full blown edition on the machine.

In case you want to keep the existing databases, you can use the SAVESYSDB parameter at command prompt. For more information on this, refer to KB 914158

In case you are still running SQL 2000 Eval edition (I would doubt that), you can refer to KB 281574 for steps on how to upgrade the same to a full blown edition of SQL 2000.