6.1. Connecting to SQL Server Express

Data connections are easy on days when your biorhythms are running high. Fortunately, after you get a connection working, you can set it and forget it.

6.1.1. Checking whether SQLExpress is running

This section assumes that you installed SQL Server 2005 Express (SQLExpress) on your workstation. Installation is covered in Chapter 2.

Before you try connecting to SQL Server Express it helps to know whether the SQL software is running. Follow these steps to use a command line utility to check your system for a running instance of SQL Express:

  1. Open a command prompt:

    • If you're using Windows XP, choose StartRun; enter cmd and press Enter.

    • If you're using Windows Vista, choose Start, enter cmd in the search box, and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

  2. At the command prompt, type the following command:

    sqlcmd -S(local)\SQLExpress
  3. Press Enter.

    If SQLExpress is running, the program responds with a prompt that looks like


    If SQLExpress isn't running, the program reports a connection error and quits.

  4. Type exit and press Enter to exit the sqlcmd utility and then type exit and press Enter again to close the command line utility.

If SQLExpress shows no sign of life, rerun the VWD installer to repair it. If you know SQLExpress is installed but hasn't started, try the following command from the command prompt:

net start "SQL Server (SQLExpress)"

Microsoft's Web site has several ...

Get ASP.NET 3.5 For Dummies® now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.