I had some fun trying to install SQL Management Studio on my home computer over the weekend. I was successful in the end, but it was a rough journey.

These seem to be the things that can lead you into my scenario:

  • Windows 7
  • Visual Web Developer 2010 Express (which installs SQL Server 2008 Express)

These are the things I ran into trying to install SQL Management Studio (both from an SQL 2008 standard disk, and a download of the express version from the Microsoft web site):

  • A warning that the installer was not compatible with Windows 7. The warning leads you to the SQL 2008 SP1 installer, but that can’t install management studio.
  • The installer fails to load with this error: “Invoke or BeginInvoke cannot be called on a control until the window handle has been created.”(If you keep retrying you can eventually get past this error, but it seems to be possible at three different stage of the install process.)
  • A reboot is required before proceeding, even when running the installer immediately after a reboot.
  • When given a list of modules to add, SQL Management Studio isn’t an option on the list.

What a frustrating evening!

The thing that finally worked turned out to be pretty simple though:

  1. Launch the Microsoft Web Platform Installer (which you need to install to have Visual Web Developer 2010 Express, as far as I know).
  2. Go to the Web Platform tab, and click “Customize” on the Database option.
  3. Check “SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Studio Express”, and click Install.
  4. Stand back and let the web platform installer do it’s thing.

I wish I’d tried that the first time.