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In Windows 7 64 bit I installed Visual Studio 2008 (which installed SQL 2005 Express)

Then installed SQL Server 2008 Developer x64 edition. Did not receive any errors.

When I tried to connect to the 2008 database, SQL Server Management Studio finds the SQL Express but does not find the 2008 installation of MSSQLSERVER.

It simply does not see the installed instance. I am sure it is probably something simple but it is getting past me. Please help.

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I would first verify 100% which instances are installed and what they are named. Go in to Services and verify what they are called ie. "SQL Server (SQLEXPRESS)" or "SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER)". Ensure the services are started. Then like @BryanS. said ensure the SQL Browser service is running.

Lastly as you are running on Windows 7 you must ensure ensure that you install SQL Server 2008 SP1.

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In SSMS try conntecting using "" and if that does not work try "\MSSQLSERVER". Be sure you have SQL Browser running as well.

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This is what finally did it for me. I tried everything, including all of the TCP/IP configuration in SSMS. It's interesting to note that many blogs tell you that (local)\SQLEXPRESS should work, but that is not always the case. – Brian Reindel Jun 29 '11 at 1:32

Ensure you've configured:

  • Windows 7 to allow connections to SQL Server.
  • the SQL Server to allow TCP/IP connections.
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Just type (local) in Server name.

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