Photo Gallery can't start because Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition is missing. SQL Server download link dead and windows 10 not compatible with SQL Server 2005


I'm trying to install Photo Gallery but SQL Server 2005 was missing.

I ran

sfc /scannow

but it detected no errors.

I tried another uninstallation of Windows Essential 2012 (all parts of it removed).

After uninstalling I deleted the Windows Live folders from

C:\Program Files\Windows Live  and
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Windows Live

Then I restarted the computer, and downloaded the offline installer (English) from this page:

I ran the downloaded file (I right clicked the exe installation file and selected to run as Administrator) and I chose to install Windows Essentials 2012, with Movie Maker and Photo Gallery selected.

Starting Photo Gallery I got the same error as before:

The "Go to Download Center" button in the dialogue box above was not working. I got to a dead page.

The message above was followed by this error:

So I searched for SQL Server 2005 Express, found it and downloaded it from here:

There was a note about the program not being compaible with Windows 10 when I started the installation, but I let it install anyway.

This page however – – clearly states that

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (the release version and service packs) and earlier versions of SQL Server are not supported on Windows 10.

Does Photo Gallery work with any newer version of SQL Server?


I finally got Photo Gallery from Windows Essentials 12 to work on Windows 10!

Asking the same question on the Swedish version of these pages, the support immediately led me to a solution:

The program was (by default?) set to Compatibility mode: "Windows XP (Service Pack 3)". On the Compatibility tab of the shortcut properties for Photo Gallery, I let Windows look for a better Compatibility mode, and Windows then changed the compatibility setting to "Windows 8". And what do you know... then it worked!

Here is a link to the Swedish page. Even if you don't know Swedish you will probably be able to "read" the pictures.

Just change compatibility to Windows 8 – perhaps compatibility mode isn't even needed, but obviously the Windows XP setting made it halt and fail to load.

It is a problem that SQL Server 2005 CE is not installed when you installed Photo Gallery. I had to download SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition manually and accept to install it despite warnings about it not being supported. But once it was installed I've seen no problems with it. The Swedish support wrote that they would forward my complaints and that there hopefully will be better windows 10 support for Photo Gallery later on.

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Question Info

Last updated June 23, 2020 Views 5,156 Applies to: