I installed stand alone instance of SharePoint 2013 on Widows Server 2012 datacenter – server. Install went fine with no issues. This install automatically installs SQL server 2008 R2 express with Service pack 1.

Hard limit of 10 GB

Next task was to restore a DB from another server which was 18 GB in size. SQL server reported message saying that the 10GB limit is hit at the time of restore:

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The limitations of SQL Server Express are:
– Maximum 10 GB per database.
– Uses no more than 1 processor.
– Uses no more than 1 GB of internal memory.

Now, I had no choice but to upgrade to SQL server 2008 R2.

Upgrade failed

When I tried to upgrade from SQL server 2008 R2 express with Service pack 1 to SQL server 2008 R2 enterprise, first message I received was “This product has compatibility issues with current windows version.” and gave me an option to “Continue”. I did some digging to check the compatibility and found below information on Microsoft site before clicking “Continue”:

SQL Server 2008 R2 Express  SQL Server 2008 R2 Express with Tools
                            SQL Server 2008 R2 Express with Advanced Services
                            SQL Server 2008 R2 Workgroup
                            SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard
                            SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer
                            SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 
                            SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
Note: This SQL Server edition can be upgraded to SQL Server 2008 R2 on the 32-bit subsystem (WOW64) of a 64-bit server. Failover Clusters are not supported in the WOW mode. If you currently have SQL Server 2000, or SQL Server 2005 failover clusters on the 32-bit subsystem (WOW64) upgrade of the failover cluster to SQL Server 2008 R2 is not supported.

I continued and was expecting to reach to below step in the upgrade process which lists your current SQL server R2 express instance. However, the upgrade skipped this section/step all together and got stuck at next step (Select Features). I had to cancel the upgrade. I retried after reboot but same result.

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Finally decided to give SQL server 2012 enterprise a shot and it worked fine right from the beginning, No errors and no unexpected prompts.

Hope it helps! If you have any questions please contact us.