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Upgrade to SQL Server 2012 Using the Installation Wizard (Setup)

The SQL Server Installation Wizard provides a single feature tree for upgrade of SQL Server components. You can also install SQL Server 2012 side by side with an earlier version, or migrate existing databases and configuration settings from an earlier SQL Server version, and apply them to an instance of SQL Server 2012.

For more information, see these topics:


Upgrade of an earlier version of SQL Server to SQL Server 2012 is not supported on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core SP1. For more information on Server Core installations, see Install SQL Server 2012 on Server Core.


You must run Setup as an administrator. If you install SQL Server from a remote share, you must use a domain account that has read and execute permissions on the remote share, and is a local administrator.

Before upgrading the Database Engine, review the following topics:


Be aware that you cannot change the features to be upgraded, and you cannot add features during the upgrade operation. For more information about how to add features to an upgraded instance of SQL Server 2012 after the upgrade operation is complete, see Add Features to an Instance of SQL Server 2012 (Setup).


To upgrade to SQL Server 2012

  1. Insert the SQL Server installation media, and from the root folder, double-click Setup.exe. To install from a network share, move to the root folder on the share, and then double-click Setup.exe.

  2. The Installation Wizard starts the SQL Server Installation Center. To upgrade an existing instance of SQL Server, click Installation in the left-hand navigation area, and then click Upgrade from SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, or SQL Server 2008 R2.

  3. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

  4. On the Product key page, click an option 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 2012 and Supported Version and Edition Upgrades.

  5. On the License Terms page, review the license agreement and, if you agree, select the I accept the license terms check box, and then click Next. To help improve SQL Server, you can also enable the feature usage option and send reports to Microsoft. 

  6. On the Product Updates page, the latest available SQL Server product updates are displayed. If you don't want to include the updates, clear the Include SQL Server product updates check box. If no product updates are discovered, SQL Server Setup does not display this page and auto advances to the Install Setup Files page. For more information on Product Updates, see Product Updates in SQL Server 2012 Installation.

  7. On the Install Setup Files page, Setup provides the progress of downloading, extracting, and installing the Setup files. If an update for SQL Server Setup is found, and is specified to be included, that update will also be installed.

  8. On the Setup Support Rules page, the System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click Next. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

  9. On the Select Instance page, specify the instance of SQL Server to upgrade. To upgrade Management tools and shared features, select Upgrade shared features only.

  10. On the Feature Selection page, the features to upgrade will be preselected. A description for each component group appears in the right pane after you select the feature name.

    The prerequisites for the selected features are displayed on the right-hand pane. SQL Server Setup will install the prerequisite that are not already installed during the installation step described later in this procedure.


    If you have opted to upgrade the shared features by selecting <Upgrade shared features only> on the Select Instance page, all the shared features are preselected on the Feature Selection page. All the shared components are upgraded at the same time.

  11. On the Instance Configuration page, specify the Instance ID for the instance of SQL Server 2012.

    Instance ID — By default, the instance name is used as the Instance ID. This is used to identify installation directories and registry keys for your instance of SQL Server. This is the case for default instances and named instances. For a default instance, the instance name and instance ID would be MSSQLSERVER. To use a non-default instance ID, provide a value for the Instance ID textbox.

    All SQL Server service packs and upgrades will apply to every component of an instance of SQL Server.

    Detected instances and features — The grid will show instances of SQL Server that are on the computer where Setup is running. If a default instance is already installed on the computer, you must install a named instance of SQL Server 2012. Click Next to continue.

  12. The Disk Space Requirements page calculates the required disk space for the features that you specify, and compares requirements to the available disk space on the computer where Setup is running. For more information, see Disk Space Requirements.

  13. Work flow for the rest of this topic depends on the features that you have specified for your installation. You might not see all the pages, depending on your selections.

  14. On the Server Configuration — Service Accounts page, the default service accounts are displayed for SQL Server services. The actual services that are configured on this page depend on the features that you are upgrading.

    Authentication and login information will be carried forward from the previous instance of SQL Server. You can assign the same login account to all SQL Server services, or you can configure each service account individually. You can also specify whether services start automatically, are started manually, or are disabled. Microsoft recommends that you configure service accounts individually so that SQL Server services are granted the minimum permissions they have to have to complete their tasks. For more information, see Configure Windows Service Accounts and Permissions.

    To specify the same login account for all service accounts in this instance of SQL Server, provide credentials in the fields at the bottom of the page.

    Security Note Do not use a blank password. Use a strong password.

    When you are finished specifying login information for SQL Server services, click Next.

  15. On the Full-Text Search Upgrade Options page, specify the upgrade options for the databases being upgraded. For more information, see Full-Text Search Upgrade Options.

  16. On the Error Reporting page, specify whether you would like to send the information to Microsoft to will help improve SQL Server. By default, option for error reporting is enabled. For more information, see Error Reporting.

  17. The System Configuration Checker will run one more set of rules to validate your computer configuration with the SQL Server features that you have specified before the upgrade operation begins.

  18. The Ready to Upgrade page displays a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Install. SQL Server Setup will first install the required prerequisites for the selected features followed by the feature installation.

  19. During installation, the progress page provides status so that you can monitor installation progress as Setup continues.

  20. 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.

  21. If you are instructed to restart the computer, do so now. It is important to read the message from the Installation Wizard when you have finished with Setup. For more information about Setup log files, see View and Read SQL Server Setup Log Files.

Next Steps

After you upgrade to SQL Server, complete the following tasks:

  • Register your servers — Upgrade removes registry settings for the previous instance of SQL Server. After you upgrade, you must reregister your servers.

  • Update statistics — To help optimize query performance, we recommend that you update statistics on all databases following upgrade. Use the sp_updatestats stored procedure to update statistics in user-defined tables in SQL Server databases.

  • Configure your new SQL Server installation — To reduce the attackable surface area of a system, SQL Server selectively installs and enables key services and features. For more information about surface area configuration, see the readme file for this release.

See Also


Upgrade to SQL Server 2012

Backward Compatibility

Other Resources

Features Supported by the Editions of SQL Server 2012