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Cannot add db with VS2008 and SQL2008 on 64bit
Posted on 4/16/2009 3:09:47 PM

jeh: Revised 2009 May 13 to add April 2009 ASP.NET hotfix to install list

So I'm happily sitting there working along thru Guthrie/Hanselman/Haack/Conery's NerdDinner chapter from their upcoming wrox book. I hit the part to add a database. No big deal, I've done this a zillion times before. Except not on this box (Dell E6500 refurb - 64-bit).

New Vista-64 bit box, with SQL 2008 64bit, and Visual Studio 2008 SP1. Seems straightup, right?

Except when I try and add the database, I receive the following piece of joy:

"Connection to sql server files (*.mdf) require sql server express 2005 to function properly. please verify the installation of the component or download from the URL: "

Okay, so I remembered something about changing machine.config to hookup SQL 2008 as the default sql express provider. But, surprise, the machine.config fix doesn't work.  Burn 20mins of my life.

After some research (go kumo) turns out when you connect to a 64-bit instance of Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 by using Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1), you get the above nasty message. The problem does not occur when you connect to a 32-bit instance of SQL Server Express 2008 from a 64-bit computer. End game is this problem occurs because Visual Studio 2008 SP1 incorrectly detects some registry keys for a 64-bit installation of SQL Server Express 2008.

To fix this you need to install the hotfix as documented in kb957944 - .  Once I installed the hotfix, the problem went away.

So here is the line of installs for one to get Visual Studio 2008 up from scratch right now on 64bit (that I know about)...

Install SQL Express 2008
Install Visual Studio
Install Visual Studio SP1
Install Visual Studio SP1 patches
Install jquery javascript intellisense hotfix
Install 64-bit SQL Express patch with 64-bit Visual Studio patch
Evaluate whether you need the April 2009 ASP.NET 2.0 hotfix (jeh: added this bit 5/13/2009)
Install updated MSDN Lib for Visual Studio SP1
Then you can also go install all the silverlight stuff or MVC stuff too

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