I’m having a lot of trouble getting Management Studio Express 2008 to recognize my local instance of SQL Server 2008 (SQLEXPRESS).

Background: I’ve installed SQL Server 2008 x64 a few times today; I have verified each time that I have installed the database engine.

The current situation: when I start SQL Server 2008, I cannot connect to SQLEXPRESS; in fact, Management Studio doesn’t seem to recognize any valid instances, as shown in the following screenshot:

Missing database engine

If I look at SQL Server Configuration Manager, this is my current setup:

Unstartable services

My best guess is that my problem is because neither SQL Server Agent (SQLEXPRESS) or SQL Server Browser are running – however, I am unable to stat them. I can’t change the Log On setting either; I’m stumped as to how to get this working.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I feel like I’m just missing something small here.


You need to connect to




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