I have created a new Visual Basic Windows Forms Application intending to use an existing SQL database for the data source. I continually run into the problems trying to attach the database file to the application. First I get errors declaring I am not the owner of the database so I can’t attach to it. I corrected this by obtaining ownership to the file and then, I get an error that the database is version 869 and the server supports version 852, which I don’t understand as I am running SQL Server Express 2017, v17.9.1.

“The database D:\Data Files 092015\DVD_List.mdf cannot be
opened because it is version 869. This server supports version
852 and earlier. A downgrade path is not supported.
Could not open new database D:\Data Files
092015\DVD_List.mdf. CREATE DATABASE is aborted
An attempt to attach an auto-named database for file D:\Data
Files 092015\DVD_List.mdf failed. A database with the same
Name exists or specified file cannot be opened, or it is
located on a UNC share.”

I opened the Advanced Properties option and changed the Data Source
from: (localDB)\MSSQLocalDB
to: .\SQLExpress
and then get the following error message.

“The attempt to attach to the database failed with the
Following information:
Failed to generate a user instance in SQL Server due to a
Failure in starting the process for the user instance. The
connection will be closed.”

I am running SQLExpress 2017, v 17.9.1 , and Visual Studio 2019 Community, v 16.1.6
The next option I tried was creating the database in Visual Studio and attaching the data source to my Visual Basic Windows Forms Application. Eureka, it worked, except for when I entered test data into the database. Everything worked fine, I entered 10 test records and played with them a bit before closing Visual Studio. When I reopened VS and opened the project the data was gone.

When I opened the file in SSMS there was no data in it, and when I went back to my application and tried to run it I got all the same errors that I had with the SQL datafile originally. I deleted the database and rebuilt it when I added the test data I got all the same results.

Apparently the database was saved, but it was written to the bin directory and when I re-opened the project it opens the original (empty) file in the projects directory.
Needless to say, I’M FRUSTRATED!!! What’s going on, and why is this so difficult?