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How do I upgrade SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Evaluation Edition to licensed Enterprise edition

Posted on 2009-07-14
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a Windows 2003 Server with SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Evaluation edition installed. The evaluation is due to expire this week so we need to upgrade to our recently procured licensed copy of SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (Microsoft Volume License).

MS Would have you believe that it is possible to simply upgrade. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143393.aspx

However in testing, at the point when the upgrade tries to verify the features to be upgraded in the pre-installation section of the upgrade, an error is produced advising there is nothing to upgrade and there appears to be nothing to select for upgrade.

Ideally I would rather perform an uninstall / reinstall of SQL and restore or re-attach the original DB's. However, I am unsure whether simply restoring all of the original db's will actually restore everything that is required for the system to work. I would appreciate any advise on exactly what is required in terms of migrating data when uninstalling and reinstalling SQL Server 2008.

Many thanks
Oliver Jacobs
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Question by:ojacobs
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Mark Wills earned 50 total points
ID: 24856142
Yes you can upgrade. Use the command line setup  :  Setup.exe /q /ACTION=editionupgrade   etc...

Have a look at command line setup in : http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=66D3E6F5-6902-4FDD-AF75-9975AEA5BEA7&displaylang=en

Read the How To : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc707783.aspx  lots of links and discussion as to the various scenarios, if you consider your eval edition as a "previous version", then most of it still applies.

And, there is a 490 page "book" advising best practises etc when upgrading to SQL 2008 : http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=66D3E6F5-6902-4FDD-AF75-9975AEA5BEA7&displaylang=en   might not be entirely relevant if not coming from a previous version, but a worthwhile read anyway.

Apologies for the links, and you may have read them before, but they really are the best "introduction".

Essentially what you will want to do is to take full SQL backups of your wanted databases. Uninstall the Eval, Install the full version and then restore the databases. Few little "gotcha's" - you will have to set up security / logins again, and any SSIS type packages will have to be re-established (or recreated). For that reason, it is sometimes easier to upgrade in place. If you haven't done too much additional work outside the database itself, then installing from scratch, apply patches / updates then restoring your database is a fairly "clean" start.

Let me know if you want more specific discussion once you have looked at some of the links above.
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by:ojacobs
ID: 24859320
Many thanks for the info. I have just completed the upgrade and everythings seems to be working fine.

Your last point (full backup, un/re-install, restore) is exactly where I was heading anyway. Not being overly familiar at a scripting / t-sql level I was hoping a GUI driven approach to this would be possible as I have a lot of experience managing SQL 2000 from the management console.

I am lucky that the only DB hosted on this server is for a recently deployed SCCM environment which is not heavily utilized ... yet! As such I was able to stop the live SQL services temporarily (SQL 2008 Evaluation edition) with minimal impact and take a copy of all the DB's including Master. I copied all of these into a test environment of Vanilla SQL 2008 Enterprise Edition and all the DB's and logins were present when I restarted the SQL services. As such I mirrored this approach when upgrading the live environment from evaluation to licensed, simply stopping the SQL Services, backing up all the DB files, uninstall, re-install, stop the services, replace the newly installed vanilla Master DB with the original Master DB from backup and then starting the SQL services.

All my users and non DB specific objects seem to be present having managed to re-instate the original Master DB.

Im not sure if there were SSIS packages deployed to the initial installation of SQL as I wasnt involved but I guessed not, so there was no need to go down that route.

I have downloaded your documents and will keep for the future when I will inevitably need them!

Many thanks for the help.
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