How to: Determine Whether the Database Engine Is Installed and Started

A successful installation of the SQL Server Database Engine installs files to the file system, creates entries in the registry, and installs several tools. The easiest way to determine whether the Database Engine is installed and running is to use the SQL Server Configuration Manager.

How to view and start the Database Engine by using SQL Server Configuration Manager

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server, point to Configuration Tools, and then click SQL Server Configuration Manager.

    If you do not have these entries on the Start menu, SQL Server is not correctly installed. Run Setup to install the SQL Server Database Engine.

  2. In SQL Server Configuration Manager, on the left pane, click SQL Server Services. The right pane lists several services that are related to SQL Server. If the Database Engine is installed, the Database Engine service is listed as SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) if it is the default instance; or SQL Server (<instance_name>), if the Database Engine is installed as a named instance. Unless the instance name is changed, SQL Server Express installs as a named instance with the name SQLEXPRESS. A green triangle icon indicates that the Database Engine is running. A red square icon indicates that the Database Engine is stopped.

  3. To start the Database Engine, in the right pane, right-click the Database Engine, and then click Start.


During setup, the user can select a location in which to install the program files and the database files. If the user accepts the default location, the files are installed to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\ and C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.x, where x is a number.