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..

"Iain marries technical ability with an understanding of the project's bigger picture and the needs of its stakeholders”

Laurence Hughes
Technical Director 2FluidCreative

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