Can't connect SQL Management Studio to SQL Express 2008 R2 from local machine

I need a SQL testbed.  I'd like to have it work on my laptop.

I'm running a newish Dell with a 64 bit i7 processor with 8 GB of RAM and Windows 7 Pro.

I've been working on this for some time and have installed several versions of the MSSQL server software and its associated applications and tools.  Yesterday I downloaded fresh installers from the Microsoft Download site for both the MSSQL Express 2008 R2 Database Engine and the MSSQL Express 2008 R2 SQL Server Management Studio.  Both products installed with no errors or anything out of the ordinary.  I used the default settings for both installs, Windows Authentication, Etc…  

After the install and a reboot I went into the SQL Server Configuration Manager and set Enabled TCP/IP and Named Pipes protocols.  I confirmed that both the SQL Server service for my instance was running as was the SQL Server Browser service.  The SQL Server Agent service is stopped.

When I try to connect to my local server instance using SQL Management Studio I get a SQL Error 53 and an error message about remote connections not being configured.  See error attached.
I’ve been developing in SQL since before SQL 2000 and have installed more recent SQL versions on servers or other test environments many times recently so I’m not a novice SQL user/installer.  I’m running out of ideas on how to get this connected.
 SQL Error
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If its SQL Server express default install i think it have installed a named instance of SQLEXPRESS so you would connect using local\SQLEXPRESS

Have a look in services it should show you what the instance name is in the service name.
Ephraim WangoyaCommented:

Use the name of your local instance


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If you are not sure of what is the name of your instance you can browse it from the drop down menu in the Server Name field instead of write it yourself.
TicoTimeAuthor Commented:
I had tried it so many different ways, but I was always using local or just dot, but never my machine name.  That worked.  Thanks ewangoya!  Why doesn't local work?

It will be dependant upon you tcp/ip settings under SQL Server Config Manager. Local never works on clusters for instance and they dont just work on all nic's it only works on the virtual address.

Look for the address in the ip settings and enable it.
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Windows Server 2008

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