SQL Server Express 2008 R2 - Connect to Server Error


  • I have recently downloaded and installed SQL Server 2008 R2 on a new laptop (Windows 7).  The install completed successfully and I encountered no issues.  However, when I start SQL Server Management Studio, I am unable to connect to my server instance.  I receive the following error:

    "Cannot connect to DWHS (my server name)"  "A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server.  The server was not found or was not accessible.  Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections.

    Did I incorrectly setup some of the settings regarding how the instance is configured when I installed?  Any help would be appreciated.

    Saturday, February 19, 2011 5:31 PM


All replies

  • I might add that I am not a database administrator, rather than I am a business analyst looking to learn work on my skills writing transact-SQL and also to start to learn some of the administrative side of SQL Server.  So if this seems like a really silly question, please excuse my inexperience in setting up a database instance.
    Saturday, February 19, 2011 5:56 PM
  • are you giving the right server name ?check wether sql services are running and make sure that you are giving correct name . I hope you have installed sql server database engine .

    How to find server name:

     If the instance of SQL Server is a default instance (the instance name is MSSQLSERVER), the server name is Computer. Or if it is a named instance, the server name is ComputerName\InstanceName. You can find the instance name via SQL Server Configuration Manager: Open SQL Server Configuration Manager from Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 -> Configuration Tools, click SQL Server Services in the SQL Server Configuration Manager, in the right pane, you can find SQL Server (InstanceName). CompterName and InstanceName are placeholders which represent the your computer name and the instance name of the SQL Server instance.


    Thanks,Suhas V

    Saturday, February 19, 2011 6:49 PM
  • By default, SQL-Server Express would be installed as a named instance with the name SQLEXPRESS; so you should try connecting to it using something like:





    Of course, if you have installed it under a different name or as a default instance than the previous examples won't work at all.

    Sylvain Lafontaine, ing.
    MVP - Access
    Blog/web site:
    Independent consultant and remote programming for Access and SQL-Server (French)

    Saturday, February 19, 2011 8:54 PM
  • Saturday, February 19, 2011 9:00 PM
  • Also, here's a video that walks you through finding your installed instances (nothing different from the textual descriptions above, but you might find it more useful to see it if you're still having problems):

    Jason Roth

    Saturday, February 19, 2011 9:42 PM
  • Great answer Sylvain solves my problem in no time, my 2005 version connected through pcname\sqlexpress. Been different versions of that and then from all the other answers for last twenty minutes until tried you .\sqlexpress.
    • Proposed as answer by duc14s Saturday, January 28, 2012 8:12 AM
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 11:08 PM
  • Thank you!!!, You have saved my time.
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 8:38 AM
  • Many Thanks Suhas !!! 

    Anupam soni

    Thursday, September 13, 2012 1:30 PM
  • Hi All,

    I too installed "SQL Server 2008 R2 Express"

    I tried with localhost\SQLExpress and It got connected.

    Thanks Shiven:) If Answer is Helpful, Please Vote

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014 6:42 AM