i say this because i have some bad experience with SQL 2005, and to get your attention.
So, i have installed on my machine Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition, package include SQL Server Express. I can't connect to databases and can't create new one.
Now i have SQL Server Developer, i install it and guess what, it's not working: i can't install Analysis, Reporting, Notification and Integration Services, why's that? only SQL Native Client and some useless components. How to solve this problem? logs? does't
How are you trying to connect to SQL Express? If I recall the syntax is 'COMPUTERNAME\SQLExpress'. Also make sure you're using the correct username and password, honestly I'd reccoment just using 'sa' for now and whatever password you choose.
Try with a more positive attitude.
To connect to the express use "(local)\sqlexpress" and trusted connection.
As for the dev edition, what you are refering looks to be the prerequisits: press next and follow the wizard. Do it right the first time. I think you will have a hard time finding a database server that is easier to install.
There will soon be a new version of sql express with a gui and stuff (sp1).
hope this helps
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