Unable to connect to a remote SQL Express installation for use with the Backup Exec for Windows Server database (BEDB).

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Unable to connect to a remote SQL Express installation for use with the Backup Exec for Windows Server database (BEDB).

Error Message

Cannot connect to Microsoft SQL Server 'SERVERNAME'.


Details :

Backup Exec Version 10.x uses the Microsoft Desktop Engine (MSDE) to connect to BEDB database.

Backup Exec 11.x and above uses Microsoft SQL Express to connect to BEDB database, and supports use of  SQL Express instance installed on a Local as well as remote server .

When opting to use a current SQL Express installation be aware that a default installation of SQL Express is not properly configured for use with a remote installation of Backup Exec 11.d for Windows Servers. This is because a default installation of SQL Express does not enable the ability to communicate with database applications on remote systems; the networking components must still be enabled.

When attempting to connect to a remote SQL Express instance, if remote connections are not allowed the error in Figure 1 will be displayed.

Figure 1

To enable networking components in SQL Express

1. Go to Start > Programs > Microsoft SQL Server 2005 > Configuration Tools > Microsoft SQL Surface Area Configuration > Surface Area Configuration for Services and Connections.  

2. Select Remote Connections under the Instance and select "Local and Remote Connections.

3. Select TCP/IP if using Backup Exec, select Named Pipes for the Desktop and Laptop Option (DLO) or select TCP/IP and Named Pipes if using Backup Exec and DLO.( figure 2)

Figure 2


4. Click OK at the prompt as seen below. (Figure 3)

Figure 3

For SQL Server 2008 Express, you can follow below given steps to enable Named Pipes and TCP/IP Protocols (this method can be used for SQL 2005 Express also):
  • Click Start Run and type cliconfg  and click OK
  • Under General tab from Disabled protocols, select Named Pipes and TCP/IP and click Enable>> and click OK.  (Figure 4)

Figure 4

5. Stop and Start the SQL Server (SQLEXPRESS) service.

6. Start the SQL Server Browser service and set it's Startup Type to Automatic; this is necessary for the SQL Express client connection from Backup Exec to BEDB.

Figure 4


The SQL Express installation is now ready to accept Backup Exec for Windows Servers 11d during installation on a server remote to the SQL Express server.

Selecting the remote SQL Express instance during Backup Exec installation

  • During installation, when given the opportunity to select the remote server running SQL Express, the server name only may be displayed in the selection list.
Example: SERVER_A.

  • If the server running SQL Express is rebooted after enabling remote TCPIP connections, and the SQL Server Browser service is set to start automatically, then the installation routine will display the format of SERVER_A\SQLEXPRESS.

  • In most cases, a reboot is not necessary. The server name can be appended manually by adding the (\) backslash followed by the instance name (SQLEXPRESS).



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