Using Command Prompt Options to Install SQL Server Express

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (SQL Server Express) Setup provides a command prompt interface in addition to the graphical user interface. See Running Setup from the Command Prompt and How to: Install SQL Server 2005 from the Command Prompt in SQL Server 2005 Books Online to customize how Setup installs SQL Server Express.


SQL Server Express is a limited edition of SQL Server 2005. The setup experience using the command prompt for SQL Server Express is similar to that of SQL Server 2005.

Modifying SQL Server Express Installed Components

If you install SQL Server Express from the download center on the SQL Server Express Web site, you will use sqlexpr.exe to run Setup. If sqlexpr.exe is run directly without saving to a folder, the temporary directory where the binary files are extracted is deleted after the installation is complete. If you try to modify the SQL Server Express components by using Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel, the Change button will look for a setup directory but will not find it.

This scenario is not true when SQL Server Express is installed as part of Visual Studio 2005 Express. For more information about Visual Studio Express, see Visual Studio 2005 Express Products.

To modify the installed SQL Server Express components, you will have to download sqlexpr.exe again from the Web site, and save the .exe to a folder. At the command prompt, change the path to the folder where the .exe is stored, and run Setup by using the sqlexpr.exe  –x parameter. You will be prompted to select an extraction/installation directory.

When you have extracted the Setup files, you can use the Change button to make modifications to your SQL Server Express installation by specifying the extraction directory when prompted.

Running SQL Server Express in a Single User Mode

In the following scenario, SQL Server Express will not start in single user mode:

After installing SQL Server Express, you start the service, verify the connection, and then stop the service by using SQL Server Configuration Manager. You then go to the command prompt and start SQL Server Express in single user mode by using the following command:

Sqlservr.exe -s SQLEXPRESS -m

The service will start. However, if you shut down the service and try to start it again, the service will not start.

See Also


How to: Install SQL Server Express
How to: Uninstall SQL Server Express

Other Resources

sqlcmd Utility Tutorial

Help and Information

Getting SQL Server 2005 Assistance