Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I don't own a copy of MS SQL Server, but I've been given access to an instance on a remote machine. I need to log in, explore the database, and do some queries.

What admin client should I use? I'd rather not pay for anything. I downloaded MS SQL Server Management Studio Express, but it gives me a "can't connect to this version of SQL Server" error.


Here's the actual error message:

This version of Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express can only be used to connect to SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 servers.

share|improve this question
What version of SQL Server is the remote machine running? What version of SSMS did you download? SSMS is the right tool, but you apparently have a version conflict. – Chris S Mar 11 '13 at 17:02
I do not know what version the remote box is running. The ssms version is the most recent. I downloaded it today. I will paste the actual error message above. – Shef Mar 11 '13 at 17:46
Update: the remote box is 2008r2 – Shef Mar 11 '13 at 17:55
Get the correct version of SQL Server that you are connecting to from the administrator that gave you the access to the remote instance like @ChrisS was suggesting. – Nixphoe Mar 11 '13 at 17:59

There are numerous versions of SSMS available for download, you have one that's 8 YEARS old.

You should download an install the 2012 SQL Server Management Studio Express. You can find it on Microsoft's SQL 2012 Downloaeds Page, it's the last link in that pile of downloads.

share|improve this answer
I wish I could upvote this more. – Jason Cumberland Mar 12 '13 at 21:31
I guess when the OP commented: "The ssms version is the most recent. I downloaded it today.", he must have meant he downloaded the most recent version of SSMS 2005. – TTT Apr 8 '13 at 17:38

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.