How to upgrade an expired installation of SQL Server 2008 Evaluation Edition to a retail version of SQL Server 2008


Note The SkipRules parameter for setup is not a documented feature. You should not use this parameter to skip any rules except the Engine_SqlEngineHealthCheck rule unless Microsoft CSS directs you to do this.

When the evaluation period for your SQL Server 2008 Evaluation edition expires, you will notice the following symptoms:

  • SQL Server service fails to start.
  • The following message is logged in the Windows Application log:
SQL Server evaluation period has expired

This article explains the procedure that you need to follow when you need to upgrade an expired installation of SQL Server 2008 Evaluation edition to a retail edition.

More Information

To upgrade the Evaluation Edition to an retail edition you can use the procedure documented in the following topic in Books Online:

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

If the procedure documented in the above topic fails on Engine_SqlEngineHealthCheck rule, then you can use the command line installation option to skip this specific rule to allow the upgrade process to complete successfully. To skip checking this rule, open a command prompt, change to the hard disk drive and to the folder that contains SQL Server Setup (Setup.exe). Then, type the following command: 

setup.exe /q /ACTION=editionupgrade /InstanceName=MSSQLSERVER /PID=<appropriatePid> /SkipRules= Engine_SqlEngineHealthCheck

Note: The above command line runs SQL Server setup in silent mode. For a complete list of options for running the setup from the command line, please refer to the following topic in SQL Server Books Online

For more information on the upgrade scenarios supported in SQL Server please refer to the following topic in SQL Server 2008 Books Online:

Additional References:

  • 971268 'Microsoft SQL Server management studio' and 'SQL Server Profiler' report 'Evaluation period has expired' message  even after upgrading to a licensed edition
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 2020443 - Last Review: 06/11/2015 19:02:00 - Revision: 8.0

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Developer, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Evaluation, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition for Small Business, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Web, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Workgroup

  • KB2020443