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I have SQL Server 2008 running on my development machine that I wish to upgrade to the 2012 release.

In your experience, is it better to use the upgrade wizard or to remove the SQL Server 2008 and do a clean install?

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Yes certainly use the wizard. It will offer you a tidy upgrade, and can allow for side by side installation with server2008 - if that is something you want. I would suggest sticking to the wizard.

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+1 definitely use the wizard –  Jim B Jul 17 '12 at 16:15
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I went ahead with the wizard, but the upgrade failed leaving me with 2 separate corrupt installations of 2008 and 2012. After spending the half day wiping all traces of them from my machine I've done a clean install and it has been working fine since. I'll accept this as an answer once MS patch this up. –  Dr. Greenthumb Jul 24 '12 at 11:29
    
Same here. Upgrade failed, despite all checks indicating it should have succeeded. –  Triynko Mar 21 '13 at 6:37
    
Update: Uninstalling "SQL Server 2012 Native Client" and re-running the upgrade succeeded. When looking at the installation date of this component in Control Panel / Add/Remove Programs, I noticed it was installed months earlier independently (not sure why). I found this solution on another thread, so I wasn't the only person with this problem and solution. –  Triynko Mar 21 '13 at 17:10

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