Installing SQL Server Management Studio when you already have Management Studio Express installed!!!

Argh, I just beat my head against a wall trying to do this for the last couple hours:(.  After a bit of web searching, I finally found this.  So if you try to run the SQL Server 2005 installer to install the full version of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), you will inevitably get an "Edition Version Conflict" message.  However, the installer sends you on a wild goose chase because it just tells you to uninstall "express tools."  I did what I would guess most of you would do.  I uninstalled SSMS Express.  Then I ran the full installer again.  DOH!  Same error message (head banging began here).  Turns out that you have to do the following (pasted from the link I provided earlier) after you uninstall SSMS Express:

"1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Double-click Add or Remove Programs.
3. In the list of installed programs, click Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and
then click Change.
4. On the Component Selection page, select Workstation components, and then
click Next.
5. Click Next.
6. On the Change or Remove Instance page, click Change Installed
7. Click Client Components, and then select Entire Feature will be
8. Click Next.
9. Click Install.
After that, please rerun the setup wizard and then check if the SQL Server
Client tools are able to install on the system."

Hopefully this tidbit prevents someone from banging their head!  Unless, of course, you are a Metallica fan:).



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Comments (37)

  1. Dan says:

    Damn, I did this yesterday… I ran the sql 2005 installer at least 15 times, what a nightmare.

    Anyway I’m a Metallica fan 🙂

  2. Tom Garth says:

    Alas. It would have helped me a couple of months ago. It wasn’t the express edition, but the full Management Studio that I needed to uninstall on a Virtual PC that had been running SQL 2000, but had 2005 Management Studio installed for other reasons. The real problem is that SP2 had already been applied, so it was not compatible with the reinstall.

    MS has a little work to do there if you ask me. I lost about 2 hours that day.

  3. DM says:

    Here is the link to Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express. Just download it and install. Take a few minuts. Worked for me just fine.

  4. Steve says:

    Thank you for making me feel better!

    I too, attempted to Install SSMS over SSE about 6 months ago.  I gave up after almost a full day and just resolved to continue with SSE.  A feew weeks ago, I again made the attempt to install SSMS.  I can’t recall exactly how I finally got it to run, it only took another day….

    I wanted to let others know what I did to get it to install but though:

    1) It is just my NEWB status that caused so much effort to be required and…

    2) After running around the same tree all day, I had (and still have) no idea what I actually did to get it installed.

  5. JRBII says:

    worked for me! Now I can install SQL Refactor… I copied this info and put it in my blog with a reference to yours.

    thanx alot!

  6. Clive Chinery says:

    I only had a default SQL Express but had exactly the same problem. Your fix worked! – Thank you!

  7. Greg Dyck says:

    Simple and neat.  Worked for me too.

    Thanks for posting your solution for all to see.

  8. Paul Hauer says:

    Thank you, was already at the despair. I have also worked out 🙂

  9. George says:

    I found that if you find the SQL Server Express installed the installer provides a warning message about edition changes.   Click the warning message and you find that you need to run the install from the command line with an upgrade parameter.  

    To do this – Suppose your CD is in D:

    D:setup.exe SKUUPGRADE=1

  10. Paulo says:

    Thanks a lot… I did head bang for a while before finding this, but it’s ok, I like Metallica. ^^

  11. Jason says:

    Thanks. Saved me a lot of trouble at a client site 🙂

  12. Luke says:

    Thanks, your instructions helped save me a bunch of time.

  13. Darryl says:

    Thanks!  This saved me as well. I was just trying to install the BDIS component and got the above error.  I ended up removing SSMSE to try and solve it but if I’d found this post first I probably wouldn’t have needed to!

  14. Dave Stuart says:

    Thanks for this. It didn’t save me a wasted day or a massive headache but at least I can go home at the end of this day knowing that I might actually get some work done in the morning. I ran around that tree all day long. Thanks again for taking the time to provide this answer for everyone.


  15. Minal says:

    Thanks a million.

    I had hit a hard wall, trying to install the developer edition if SSMS.

    You tips above worked superb.


  16. robin says:

    Thanks mate! it worked, appreciate!

  17. Vivek M. Chawla says:

    Thank you very much for providing this information.  I followed your instructions and it worked like a charm.  

    Windows Vista has been nothing but trouble, but you’ve saved me a few hours of further frustration today.  You’re a hero today, friend!

  18. Andy C says:

    Thanks for that – although had quite a relaxing day watching little progress bars ambling across the screen and repeatedly rebooting my increasingly warm laptop.  Glad to finally get it resolved.

    ….a little something from Master of Puppets for me please.

  19. Ori says:

    sharing is caring! 🙂

    thanx alot!

  20. Dirk says:

    Thanks a ton! You definitely saved me a lot of time.

  21. Me says:

    Thanks a ton! This is exactly what I needed! Cheers!

  22. Mon says:

    The running "setup.exe SKUUPGRADE=1" without the quotes worked for me. Thanks!

  23. Mon says:

    Running "setup.exe SKUUPGRADE=1" without the quotes in the command prompt worked for me. Thanks!

  24. Jen says:

    Thank you so much for this!  We tried everything to install Management Studio Dev over Express.  Nice job.  

  25. HCF says:

    Bless you for this info!  I’ve been trying to find a way to do this, on and off, for months!

  26. chris fontan says:



    order of installation for sql server 2005 and visual studio 2008

    Install sql server first.. Then VS 2008

  27. Dan says:

    Thanks… saved me a lot of time.


  28. AL says:

    Top class, thanks for sharing!

  29. Thanks! You just saved me quite a few headaches. Lost 30 minutes struggling on the SQL tools setup before finding your article.


  30. Harrison says:

    Well done! This save my life…and my job…

  31. Derek says:

    Thank you very much, much frustration until I found this post!

  32. AK says:

    Thanks a lot …was about to bang my head…ur post helped me resolve  :).

  33. IT Dave says:

    Exact same issue. You saved me the trauma you went through and Im grateful!

  34. Jared says:

    Thanks!! Unknowingly installed the wrong version of SSMS 2005 and this was the first post that I saw when trying to upgrade from express.

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