[KB6316] Upgrade process for MS SQL Server Express


Upgrade a MS SQL Server Express instance installed with ESET Remote Administrator Server


SQL Express is a free version of SQL from Microsoft, that comes with some limitations. It can utilize a maximum 1 GB of RAM per instance, the maximum database size is 10 GB, and there can be a maximum of 50 instances per server. SQL Express is limited to either 1 socket or 4 cores, so if you need a more powerful environment, you may consider upgrading to the higher SQL Server edition.

The following upgrade process is very similar for the SQL Server Express 2008 R2 and later versions. In order to upgrade, you must temporarily stop the ERA Server service and create a full database backup in case the upgrade process does not finish properly. To check the supported version and edition upgrade options, see the SQL Express vendor documentation.


  1. The ERA Server version 6.5 All-in-one installer uses SQL Express 2014 by default. To find out what version of SQL Server is in use, check the error log located by default at C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.n\MSSQL\Log\ERRORLOG and ERRORLOG.n files. The version of MS SQL Server is specified in the first rows of the log.

Figure 1-1

  1. Stop the ERA Server or ERA Proxy Service.
  2. Create a full database backup. We recommend that you specify a new backup set name. Otherwise if the backup set has already been used, the new backup will be appended to it, which will result in an unnecessarily large backup file.
  3. Depending on the type of media you will use for the upgrade, mount the SQL Server installation ISO or execute the installation package to launch the installation process.
  4. At the SQL Server Installation Center, select the Maintenance from the left menu and click Edition Upgrade to launch a wizard to change your edition of SQL Server.

Figure 1-2

  1. In the Upgrade the Edition window, enter the product key and click the Next button.

Figure 1-3

  1. If you agree with the license terms, select the check box next to I accept the license terms and click Next to continue the upgrade.

Figure 1-4

  1. After passing the Edition Upgrade Rules checkup, you must specify the instance of SQL Server you would like to upgrade. From the dropdown menu, select the desired instance of SQL Server (ERASQL if you have used the default ERA Server installation configuration) and check the list of installed instances below. Click Next to continue.

Figure 1-5

  1. The wizard is now ready to upgrade. Verify the features that will be changed and click Upgrade.

Figure 1-6

  1. Your SQL Server edition is now upgraded. You may check the new version in the summary log by clicking the hyperlink in the wizard window, or by repeating step 1 of this guide to check the newest error log file.

Figure 1-7

  1. Start the ERA Server or ERA Proxy Service.