Gresford


The reason that I would like to install SQL Server Express on an external hard drive is for portability. I am developing a database that I will be working on in the office and at home. At the current time, I do not have a laptop at the office (and I don't want to use my personal laptop for this project). I need a way to develop and test the database both at home and at the office.

I was wondering if anyone knows if this crazy idea would work. I am also thinking of doing the same with Visual Studio Express. Since there are no licensing violations to speak of for these software packages, it would seem like this could work.

Any thoughts




Re: Install SQL Server Express on an external HD?

Mike Wachal - MSFT


Part 1: Whether it works or not, it is not supported.

Part 2: This would just be to hard to maintain. Software runs because of the combination of the registry and the files, if you remvoe the files to a different computer, then you're missing half the product, so they won't work. Doing this would just be asking for problems that no one is going to help you fix.

You would be better off installing your software, both SQL and VS onto both computers in the normal/supported way and then moving your project file back and forth. SQL Express supports a unique feature called User Instances that actually makes this pretty easy. Just create your database in your VS project using the VS tools. This cause SQL Express to use a special kind of SQL Instance called a User Instances that is specially started by VS when you work on your application. Once you close down you app, the database is disconnected from the instance and can be moved along with the rest of the project files.

When you put the project on your home computer and start it up there, SQL will use a User Instance on that machine to work with the file. You can move your files between any number of computers this way with no real issues.

Once you are done with development, you simply take a copy of your database file and attach it to the production server and then change the connection string property in your VS application to point to this final server and everything will continue to work.

Mike







Re: Install SQL Server Express on an external HD?

Vidhya Sagar

As said by Mike, you can't install to external HDD. Since some of the files will be resided @ C: drive an some entries in registry will be there.

If you need portable, then you can install Microsoft Virtual PC on all the pcs you access. To install OS In Virtual PC you need to setup virtual HDD, at that time you specify External HDD. A single file will be created, install OS to the virtual HDD and install SQL. Take the Virtual HDD(a single file) in external HDD to different PC's where Virtual PC is installed. Open the file from Virtual PC. You will all the info.






Re: Install SQL Server Express on an external HD?

Gresford

Thanks, Mike. This is the best answer that I have gotten thus far. You saved me the purchase of an external HD until I can convince my boss that I really do need a laptop.

This should work perfectly for me since my work computer will be my "production server". This is a smaller database that I am migrating from an Access 2000 backend to SQL Server Express. After the backend has been migrated I will start working on re-vamping the front end using Visual Studio.

Gresford Thomas

New SQL Server Express User





Re: Install SQL Server Express on an external HD?

Gresford

Vidhya,

I think I'm going to stick with the other suggestion but I am intrigued by the Virtual PC. Would I install this Virtual PC on the HDD or the PCs If on the PC, how would that help me Wouldn't the files on the C: still be an issue





Re: Install SQL Server Express on an external HD?

Vidhya Sagar

You need to Install this virtual PC in your System and other systems where you will work. While configuring Virtual Harddisk, point it to your External HDD.