SQL Server 2005 Express with the Full-Text option greyed out

I’ve just been struggling to enable full-text search on my installation of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, and so want to share the solution.

If, like me, the ‘Use full-text indexing’ checkbox was greyed out under Database > Properties > Files, you first need to test whether Full-Text Indexing is installed or not. To do this, execute the query.

use [dbname]
select fulltextserviceproperty(‘isfulltextinstalled’)

If this returns 0, you need to install Full-Text Search.

Firstly, did you install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Advanced Series? Only the Advanced Series contains full-text. If not, you may need to reinstall.

However if so, then you just need to change the installation to include Full-Text Indexing. But if you originally installed from a download from the above link (most of you) then you’ll find that when you try to modify the installation via Control Panel > Applications / Programs, Windows prompts you for the installation file ‘sqlrun_sql.msi’. This is because the download unpacked the installation files to a temporary folder which can no longer be found.

To resolve this issue, you need to download the file again from the link above, move it to a folder, and unzip (I used WinRAR). Then point Windows to the sqlrun_sql.msi file (under /setup, wherever you unzipped the download) when it prompts you for the installation file.

For additional info, see here.

For additional support setting up Full-Text Search once installed, watch this video on the topic from Micosoft, BUT I think you’ll find my new tutorial on seting up Full-Text Search in SQL Server 2005 Express much quicker and more intuitive to be honest..

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