02/09/2009 22:55:59

This Readme document contains important information to read before you install Microsoft® SQL Server® 2005 Express Edition (SQL Server Express) Service Pack 3 (SP3) or SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services SP3. It describes how to obtain the latest version of Books Online, how to obtain SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (SQL Server Express) SP3, how to find installation assistance, and how to find supplemental product information in the Release Notes. This version of the document replaces the version that ships with SP3.

Updates to SQL Server Books Online

The November 2008 update of SQL Server Books Online is the primary documentation for SQL Server 2005 SP3. The November 2008 update of Books Online reflects product updates that are included in this service pack, and also includes other improvements to the documentation. We recommend that you install this update to keep the information in your local copy of the documentation current with SQL Server 2005 SP3. After installing Books Online, you can use the SQL Server Express filter in the Contents pane to hide the content that does not apply to your edition of SQL Server Express. For more information about SQL Server Express documentation, see "Using SQL Server Express Books Online" in SQL Server 2005 Books Online. You can obtain Books Online in the following ways:

For a list of new and updated topics in the November/December 2008 update, see New and Updated Books Online Topics (17 November 2008) on MSDN.

Obtaining SQL Server 2005 SP3

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP3 can be used to upgrade only SQL Server Express (or MSDE 2000) to SQL Server Express SP3. You must use SQL Server Express with Advanced Services SP3 to upgrade instances of SQL Server Express with Advanced Services to SP3. You must use SQL Server 2005 SP3 to upgrade all other editions of SQL Server 2005 to SP3. Service packs cannot be applied to any pre-release version of SQL Server Express.You should apply the version of SP3 that matches your current installation. SQL Server Express SP3 is available for download from the following download center pages.

Follow the instructions that are provided at the download site for downloading SP3.

Related Links

How to Determine the SQL Server Express Version Number

Every SQL Server product (including Service Packs) has its own version number. The version number of an instance of SQL Server Express can be viewed two ways:

  • In SQL Server Management Studio Express Object Explorer when connected to the instance.
  • By executing the query SELECT SERVERPROPERTY('ProductVersion') against the SQL Server Express instance.

The following table shows the version numbers that correspond to versions of SQL Server Express:

Version Number SQL Server Express Version


SQL Server Express (initial version)


SQL Server Express SP1 or SQL Server Express with Advanced Services


SQL Server Express SP2 or SQL Server Express with Advanced Services SP2


SQL Server Express SP3 or SQL Server Express with Advanced Services SP3

Your product version may be different from these values if you applied a hotfix.

Installing SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP3

We recommend that you review the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP3 Release Notes page for information about Setup issues and for uninstall considerations.

For information about installation requirements, see the "Hardware and Software Requirements (SQL Server Express)" topic in the Service Pack 3 Setup documentation.

For information about how to access the Setup documentation, see the following section.

Accessing SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP3 Setup Documentation

You can access Setup documentation for SQL Server 2005 SP3 in one of the following ways:

  • Click Help or press F1 from a Help-enabled screen in the Setup wizard.
  • Manually extract and open the Help file from the SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP3 download package.
    To access SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP3 Setup documentation from the SP3 download package
    1. Download and save the SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP3 download package.

    2. Extract the SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP3 download package by using either of the following methods:

      • Use Winzip or another third-party decompression utility.
      • At a command prompt, navigate to the folder where you saved the download package, and then type the following, where <file> is the name of the downloaded SP3 file:
        <file>.exe /x
        Press ENTER. Choose a folder to save the extracted files, and then click OK.
    3. In the folder where you saved the extracted files, open the setup\help\<locale ID> folder (for example, setup\help\1033 for U.S. English), and then double-click the setupSQL9.chm help file.

Sources of Information About Service Pack 3

The Release Notes provide supplemental information about product behavior that applies only to this release or that are not documented in this release of Books Online. The Release Notes are available from the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP3 Release Notes page.

For a list of items fixed in SP3, see Knowledge Base article 955706.