Here is how to set up Microsofts MSDE for personal development.

Getting started

Download the MSDE from:

Select 'SQL2kdesksp3.exe' and save it to your computer.

Double-click on the SQL2kdesksp3.exe you downloaded.

Once you have run the self extracting exe (SQL2kdesksp3.exe), go to a command prompt.

Start > Run > cmd

Navigate to the directory you expanded the self extracting exe to and change to the MSDE subdirectory.

The default is C:\sql2ksp3

Type Setup SAPWD=(Some password) SecurityMode=SQL

c:\sql2ksp3> Setup SAPWD=password SecurityMode=SQL

After that gets done running, MSDE is installed.

Start services

To get the SQL Server running and the SQL Agent we need start the services.

right click My Computer > manage > services

Double click the following and set to Automatic.


Make sure both are on automatic.

Next get MSDE Manager free here: (Only free if used for personal use not corporate use.)

Make the folder:
C:\Program Files\MSDE Manager

Extract files to that folder.
Open the folder and Oppsite click the mouse and drag to the desktop and select create shortcut here.

Restart your computer.

You should now have MSDE running and ready to go to start using. Use the MSDE Manager to do your basic SQL Server things.

12 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by loquin

This one's real handy for new recruits at my place. Thanks. It would be useful if you could include examples for instance name and other commonly used options. There are a couple of kids in the place I work who always seeem to mess that up.


The white bear MSDE manager has great functionality for administering the SQL Server agent (jobs and scheduling) but is is definitely lacking when it comes to general database administration.

I would highly recommend dbaMgr2K. It's quite close in functionality to SQL Server's Enterprise Manager, but free for any use. The only place it truly has shortcomings is on job scheduling, where the white bear product excels.

In addition, a good general purpose query tool is beneficial. I can highly recomend Query Express. It can connect to Oracle and SQL Server databases (as well as others via ODBC.) It is also free of charge.

Finally, users may also wish to view Deploying MSDE (Microsoft.TechNet) Class

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