SQL Server 2005 Express on Windows Vista 64-bit

At the very bottom of the SQL Server 2005 Express download page, Microsoft offers 64-bit versions of their installers. Unfortunately, this is not everything you need to run SQL Server Express on 64-bit versions of Vista.

Tags: database sql windows


As it turns out, the installer currently provided on the download page is bundled with the 32-bit version of the SQL Server Native Client, which causes the subsequent SQL Server installation to fail with the following symptoms:

  • The installer prompts for sqlncli_x64.msi

Restarting the whole installation or uninstalling the Native Client doesn’t help.


Prior to running the installer for SQL Server 2005 Express 64-bit, you have to manually install the 64-bit version of the Native Client. The following steps proved successful:

  1. Install the 32-bit version of the SQL Native Client if it is not already installed.
  2. Download and install the 64-bit Native Client
  3. Download and install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition 64-bit
  4. Download and install SQL Server Management Studio Express Edition 64-bit

You should now have a working installation of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition on Windows Vista 64-bit.

Related Resources

The problem was first discussed and solved on the MSDN Forums.