Here i have explained how to download and install the Microsoft's Northwind and Pubs databases and then attach them to the SQL Server or SQL Server Express editions.

The Northwind and Pubs databases are available for free by Microsoft and can be downloaded and used in any SQL Server or SQL Server Express version namely 2005, 2008, 2008R2 or 2012.

Step 1: Download the Microsoft’s free sample Northwind database
In order to download the Microsoft’s free sample Northwind database, you will need to visit the following URL.

Download Northwind Database

On the page you will find the download button as shown in the following screenshot.

Step 2: Installing Microsoft’s free sample Northwind database
A Setup file (.MSI) will be downloaded. You can save it on your desktop as you’ll need to execute it once download is complete.
As soon as the file download is completed, you can start the installation by Double Clicking the Setup file or by doing Right Click and then clicking the Install Option from the Context Menu.

Once the installation is completed you can check the installed database files in the following location.
C:\SQL Server 2000 Sample Databases

Step 3: Attaching the Northwind MDF file to SQL Server Database using Management Studio
Now you need to start the SQL Server Management Studio and then Right Click the Databases folder from the Object Explorer. In the Context Menu click on the Attach option as shown below.

This option will open up a File Browser within SQL Server and you need to navigate and select the NORTHWIND.MDF file and press OK button.

That’s it you will see that the database is now available in your SQL Server along with the other databases.


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