SQL Server 2008: Upgrading to Standard/Enterprise Edition from Evaluation Edition

I often get asked about upgrading SQL Server 2008 Evaluation Edition to a retail edition such as Standard or Enterprise Edition. This is very well documented at the below SQL Server books online link:

How to: Upgrade to a Different Edition of SQL Server 2008 (Setup)

Below are the main steps, using the Setup , edition upgrade wizard.

  1. Insert the SQL Server installation media. From the root folder, double-click setup.exe or launch the SQL Server Installation Center from Configuration Tools. To install from a network share, locate the root folder on the share, and then double-click Setup.exe.
  2. To upgrade an existing instance of SQL Server 2008 to a different edition, from the SQL Server Installation Center click Maintenance, and then select Edition Upgrade.
  3. If Setup support files are required, SQL Server Setup installs them. If you are instructed to restart your computer, restart before you continue.
  4. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK.
  5. On the Product Key page, select a radio button to indicate whether you are upgrading to a free edition of SQL Server, or whether you have a PID key for a production version of the product. For more information, see Editions and Components of SQL Server 2008 and Version and Edition Upgrades.
  6. On the License Terms page, read the license agreement, and then select the check box to accept the licensing terms and conditions. To continue, click Next. To end Setup, click Cancel.
  7. On the Select Instance page, specify the instance of SQL Server to upgrade.
  8. The Edition Upgrade Rules page validates your computer configuration before the edition upgrade operation begins.
  9. The Ready to Upgrade Edition page shows a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Upgrade.
  10. During the edition upgrade process, the services need to be restarted to pick up the new setting. After edition upgrade, the Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the edition upgrade. To close the wizard, click Close.
  11. After installation, the Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the installation and other important notes. To complete the SQL Server installation process, click Close.
  12. If you are instructed to restart the computer, do so now. It is important to read the message from the Installation Wizard when you are done with Setup. For information about Setup log files, see How to: View and Read SQL Server Setup Log Files.

You can also perform the upgrade using command line option, see below SQL BOL topic.

Command Line option


Hope this can help save time in upgrading to retail editions of SQL Server from the evaluation edition.

Note: The Evaluation edition of SQL Server is based on the Enterprise Edition and thus it is recommended to upgrade to SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition so you can continue to enjoy the many capabilities such as Resource Governor, Database compression, Backup compression, Transparent Database encryption, etc.

Comments (10)

  1. Tommy says:


    Do you know how to find out what happens after entering a PID? Will we experience downtime? For how long?

    Do you know where to buy such a PID. We have 8 days left of our evaluation and really need to sort this out now. Thx. Reply to msntommy at live dot se

  2. Subha says:

    tI am bit confused.We have applications running on sharepoint and sql is of standard edition.

    CAn we upgrade to sql enterprise edition.Will it cause any effects to the applications.

    Please  clarify.



  3. itkomp.com says:

    okay thank you very much


  4. ITSway says:

    I have VM running WindowXP and on it, SQL 2008 Enterprise Edition( product version is 10.0.16.xx) and SSRS is running. I installed as native mode. I want to know that can I upgrade to Window 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition from my current version. Do I need to buy license again or just update SP then it works?Please help me as I need to know it in short time and I can't find in Microsoft site. All mention is upgrade to 2012. Thanks Dude!!

  5. Peter says:

    I have run all the steps as listed and the edition upgrade rules page tells me I can't "upgrade" my system.  I have passed the evaluation stage.  I have a license for standard.  I enter that license and it tells me it can't do the upgrade but it is available for downgrade.  I have read an awful lot of stuff about trying to get rid of R2.

  6. karthik says:

    I originally had 2005 Express installed. Attempted to upgrade to 2008 R2 but installer said no components to upgrade. So I ran the upgrade to 2008 R2 Express and that worked fine. This is all on 64 bit. I tried doing a edition version upgrade from 2008
    R2 Express to 2008 R2 Enterprise and the edition upgrade reports success, but when I run SELECT @@VERSION it still shows Express. I ran this query and it still showed Express. I did the edition version upgrade twice just to make sure but it never changes.
    The original instance of course was named SQLEXP_SOMETHING and its still there of course. I do not really care about the instance name but as long as I can get it up to enterprise.

    This is the query from SELECT @@VERSION:

    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (SP1) – 10.50.2500.0 (Intel X86) Jun 17 2011 00:57:23 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation Express Edition on Windows NT 6.0 (Build 6002: Service Pack 2) (WOW64) (Hypervisor)

    Any thoughts on why it is still showing up as express despite edition upgrade?

  7. Olja says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Did you maybe solve that problem? I have the same.

  8. Olja says:

    The problem is solved! Couldn’t fight with upgrade and these instances anymore. 🙂 Stop SQL services, Unistal all SQL, clean folders from SQL folder in Program files, and instal new version! If someone has some more "simple" solution, let me know!

  9. Shamveel says:

    Thanks Buddy. It helpep..:)

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