When I ran previous Visual Studio versions (2005 through 2010), I have always had problems installing Visual Studio (C# and Web). After hearing all the hype of installing Visual Studio 2012 and SQL Server 2012 Express versions on how easy they install, I had hoped these would install correctly.
After installing Visual Studio 2012 Express versions for C# and Web, for desktop, this put Windows 8 in a recovery mode where it had restarted the system numerous times. After trying to get Visual Studio 2012 Express installed where it would run, I had to install SQL Server 2012 Express. There are a few projects in C#/Web that I have that uses the SQL Server databases.
When I opened Visual Studio 2012 to open a project that I had worked on in Visual Studio 2010 while using Windows 7, I had to install the SQL stand-alone version. I downloaded the SQL Server 2012 stand-alone version. This did not install without any problems. The first time and subsequent times that I tried to install this small SQL Server 2012 Express version, the installer would stop in the middle of installing, stall there for a while, and then eventually close. Seconds later a windows will show that the installation successfully completed. Well, when I try to open the Visual Studio (VS) project, I kept getting the message that the stand-along SQL version is not installed. After uninstalling and re-installing, including attempting several repairs, I finally got SQL Server 2012 Express version to install in Windows 8 Pro. When I opened my project in VS 2012, it finally recognized that I had the stand-along SQL server installed. However, when I opened my other project that has a SQL database just like my other project, the SQL Server stand-along message came back.
When I looked at the Event Viewer - Application logs, I noticed a message that the SQL Server 2012 Express stand-alone version is NOT compatible with Windows 8. I find that message strange due to this is the version for Windows 8, according to Microsoft.
I finally downloaded the SQL Server Express 2012 version, the full version with Tools, and installed this in Windows 8 Pro. Now after installing the full version of SQL Server 2012 Express version, which took a few attempts to install, the VS 2012 projects finally recognize the SQL database server.
Seems like Microsoft's own software does not install correctly in its own operating system. How are they expecting other software vendors to get their software to install after once they spend countless hours upgrading or updating their software to Windows 8.