SQL Server 2008 R2 Express - exe not a valid Win32 application


  • I'm downloading SQL Server 2008 R2 Express from the Microsoft website:

    Under Database with Advanced Services, I select 32-bit.

    Do you want to run or save this file?  I choose [Run].

    The publisher could not be verified.  Are you sure you want to run this software?  I choose [Run].

    This error pops up immediately:

    SQLEXPRADV_x86_ENU[1].exe is not a valid Win32 application

    I tried downloading it last night for the first time but got the same error.  SQL was never previously installed on this computer.

    System specs:

    WinXP Home Edition Version 2002 SP3 - 32-bit OS

    2.53 GHz Processor

    1.25 GB RAM

    28.4 GB Hard-Disk space available

    7200 RPM Hard-Disk Drive

    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c

    According to the Support page, WinXP (x86) SP 3, all editions except Starter Edition, are supported. 

    I also meet or exceed the hardware requirements:

    What am I missing?  Why won't it load? 

    Thanks for your help!

    Wednesday, February 09, 2011 5:11 AM


  • Verify the download size, and make sure that your download is not corrupted..
    Vishal Gajjar
    Wednesday, February 09, 2011 6:11 AM
  • Looks like a corrupted download.  Instead of [RUN], choose [Save] and then run from your local hard drive.  Verify the size of the download before running the executable.  If this doesn't work, clear the cache from your IE and download again.

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

    Wednesday, February 09, 2011 7:46 AM

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