This blog is about upgrading SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition to the Enterprise Edition. This issue has been written about a couple of times, but one more blog about this subject with a couple of screen shots will not hurt.
First, verify which edition of SQL Server you are running is by running “SELECT @@VERSION” in a SSMS query window.
Start the SQL Server 2012 Enterprise (DVD/ISO). When the SQL Server Installation Center app appears, click on the “Maintenance” link on the top left panel of the app.
Then at the top of the right panel of the SQL Server Installation Center app, click on the “Edition Upgrade” link.
A new app box will appear. This app will do a scan for “Setup Support Rules”. If this scan succeeds, then click the OK button in the bottom right corner of the app.
The app will disappear, the there may appear a couple of pop up boxes that will disappear each on its own.
The “Upgrade the Edition for SQL Server 2012” app will appear. This will perform a scan for the “Setup Support Rules”. A different scan then the one performed before. Click the NEXT button when the scan has completed.
The next screen is the Product Key screen. Enter your product key, if it does not auto fill the “Enter the product key:” text box. Then click the NEXT button.
The next screen is the License Term screen. Click the “I accept the license terms” check box. Then click on the NEXT button.
The next is the Select Instance screen. Drop the combo box down to select the instance that you wish to upgrade. A list of recognized instances will be list in the Installed instances grid box. Then click on the NEXT button. A please wait box may appear for a couple of seconds.
The Edition Upgrade Rules screen appears next. A scan will run to validate the edition upgrade process. Once the scan is completed, click the NEXT button.
The Ready to upgrade edition screen appears next. In the text box will appear a list of item that are going to be upgraded. After reviewing this list, click on the UPGRADE button.
Once the UPGRADE button has been clicked, it will grey out. Then nothing will happen for maybe a minute. Then the Complete screen if the upgrade has succeed. Click the CLOSE button.
Close the “SQL Server Installation Center” app, by click the X box in the top right hand corner.
Verify that SQL Server has upgraded by running the “SELECT @@VERSION” in a SSMS query window.
Final Note: To the best of my knowledge, no reboot is required after the upgrade is finished. I have ran a test on each SQL 2008R2 & SQL 2012. Both did not require a reboot. This was on a Server 2008R2 operating system. Please test before attempting this in a production environment.