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HOW TO FIX: SQL Server Express Evaluation Edition Expired and Property Owner is not available

In my last post, I talked about an issue where we had a rogue SharePoint 2010 server that had an issue with the file size of the Database. As noted in that post, I stated that I would do another article as follow-up to reflect the other 2 challenges that I ran into as well.

1. Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio is expired?? WTF!

Below is the text of the actual error message:

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio:
Evaluation period has expired. For information on how to upgrade your evaluation software please go to

Take a closer look at this error Yup, this is for SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and that this is the problem with Management Studio only. If you go inside of Management Studio, navigate to Help > About… you will still see the expiration countdown. It turns out that this has been identified as a known issue, where SSMS is not upgraded as a component and it acts like when you did the edition upgrade for SQL Server 2008 that it never happened.

To workaround the problem you can hack registry keys. Set CommonFiles registry value to 3 in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\100\ConfigurationState Registry Hive. You will then need to reinstall (if the tools are not installed currently) or run Edition Upgrade wizard. (Please note in my screenshot that it is listed as 1 so you would need to change it!)

This has already been fixed in SP1 and here is the KB article.

2. Property Owner is not available for Database… hmm.. did it go on vacation or something?

This was a cool looking error that did not scare me when I right clicked a database:

This happened on a key logging database that we monitor a lot. I was very surprised to see this error for production and I also checked on the offline version of this database. The offline database worked and I could see the properties of the database. At first, I thought maybe I did not have permissions on that server so I did a quick check:


As you can see I had the proper admin rights and that was not the issue. However, that did not give me comfort since I could not see the database at all. I checked the error logs and I saw an error like this one:


TITLE: Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
Cannot show requested dialog.

Cannot show requested dialog. (SqlMgmt)

Property Owner is not available for Database '[MyDB]'. This property may not exist for this object, or may not be retrievable due to insufficient access rights. (Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo)
For help, click:



It turns out that if someone created the database (like a developer) and then they leave your team or company, then there is no owner of the database. To check the current owner:

EXEC sp_helpdb [MyDBName]

To solve this problem, you will need to modify the owner of the database with this command:

USE [MyDBName]
EXEC sp_changedbowner ‘sa’

Sample code:

USE AdventureWorks
EXEC sp_changedbowner 'sa'

As usual folks, I hope this information was helpful to you!


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One Response to “HOW TO FIX: SQL Server Express Evaluation Edition Expired and Property Owner is not available”

  1. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

    April 9, 2013 at 8:45 PM
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