Upgrading SQL Server on Windows Server Core


This, thankfully is a quick and easy blog discussing the how's of an upgrade to SQL Server 2017 from SQL Server 2016 on Server Core.

After looking around, seeing product docs with about 2 million pages of info on it, where was the simple upgrade approach?

So, my environment is very simple:

  • One SQL Server on Server Core
  • Default Instance

So, not much to see here.

How I did it
Of course, insure that you have the media copied to the hard drive or the DVD mounted. In my case, this was the command line I used:

setup.exe /Q /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS /Action=Upgrade /InstanceName=MSSQLServer

Some things to note:

  • The IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS is required when using a /Q switch.
  • As it is a default instance, MSSQLServer is the name of the instance.
  • Since this upgrade is done entirely in the dark, the SQLSetup.log is located in your user temp directory. You can use this file to monitor progress.

When this is complete, you may see the following:

One of more affected filed have operations pending.
You should restart your computer to complete this process.

So, give it what it wants and restart.

When you go back into SQL Server Management Studio (make sure to have the latest, or at least a version that works with the version of SQL you installed), you should see the new SQL version once logging into the server.

You can also execute the statement Select @@Version in SSMS to see the version of SQL installed.


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