How to manually reset your Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE database

Posted by Paul Braren on Mar 12 2016 (updated on Mar 15 2016) in
  • Backup
  • Storage
  • HomeLab
  • HomeServer
  • HowTo
  • If you just want to view the steps and see the video about the reset procedure, jump below.

    Backstory

    I've used Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE (VEB) on about 30 PCs and VMs since late 2014 beta days. We're up to a mature and polished version 1.1.2.119 now, and I still regularly use it on 6 key Windows PCs in my extended family, and some VMs. I plan to try their new Linux version too.

    I've only occasionally had the need to troubleshoot VEB a bit, and support for this free product has continued to be excellent. VEB continues to be far more robust and much faster than Window Home Server / Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials products ever were, for my automated daily PC backup needs. I even hacked those later WS2012E variants to avoid domain joins and got another 2 years out of it, but eventually gave up. I had been burned by the need to rebuild the PC backups from scratch after each "upgrade," and the occasional centralized PC backup database corruption where I'd have to start all over.

    VEB comes with a database too, but it's distributed and lives in each PC, only using the CPU when a backup job is invoked, throttling if the system is otherwise busy. It's bundled as three basic, low-CPU utilization SQL Server components, listed at Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE 1.1 System Requirements:

    • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Express LocalDB Edition
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Management Objects
    • Microsoft SQL Server System CLR Types

    If you're the curious sort, and really want to know where VEB's little database is kept on your PC, that's revealed here, sheltered in an administrator-access-only directory that you really shouldn't mess with directly:

    C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile
    mdb-path-revealed
    The SQL mdf database file, and the ldf log file. This screenshot taken right after the first full backup of 1.8TB of data was completed.

    DB reset scenario #1

    Can't cancel a VEB backup job

    I recently ran into an issue that seemed to match the situation described in this post:
    Veeam Community Forums - Board index ‹ Products ‹ Veeam Endpoint Backup

    Figured I'd take a moment to share a bit more about the resolution procedure with you, including video (below) since this sort of troubleshooting can be helpful in a number of different VEB usage scenarios.

    Disclaimer

    I would always recommend you use VEB's built-in request for support first. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a replacement for proper support. Proceed at your own risk, and know that each situation is unique.

    Veeam Endpoint Backup Technical Support Request

    VEB support tickets generally start with the basics of uninstall, then reinstall, of VEB itself. If that fails to resolve the issue, a more thorough approach may then be recommended by support:

    Step-by-step uninstall/reinstall of all 4 VEB components

    1. uninstall Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE
    2. right-click on Start, select Programs and Features
    3. type in the upper-right search dialogue sql, as pictured below
      Control-Panel-all-VEB-SQL-component-removal-circled-667
    4. uninstall all 3 components seen in the search results
    5. reboot Windows (optional)
    6. re-install Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE

    In my situation, where I had a backup that I couldn't cancel even after reboot, these basic uninstall/reinstall techniques didn't work. So it dawned on me that it might be time to try what a technician had suggested to me during beta testing, resetting database. It worked!

    Solution

    So last night, I had another backup where I wanted to start fresh:

    DB reset scenario #2

    Starting backups all over with a fresh first full backup to empty backup target (backup had died at 98%)

    I then spotted this similar circumstance:

    DB reset scenario #3

    Computer name has changed / Removing old computers:

    The computers have been renamed and put back on the network but the task still tries to backup the old computer name.

    You need to erase the existing backup history completely to let it use the new host name instead of the old one.

    Veeam forum superstar Dima P. is suggesting that the forum visitor perform these steps to remediate, the database reset, which I've modified slightly here, to make it just a little easier for intermediate to advanced PC users to follow along with.

    Step-by-step VEB database reset procedure

    by Dima P. of Veeam Software (minor refinements and screenshots by Paul Braren)

    Warning: The side effect of this approach is that all existing settings are going to be erased (backup session logs and job configuration), so I recommend to use this method only if its recommended by support team.

    After you complete the procedure described below the backup chain should be started from scratch. The previously created restore points are valid and can be used for recovery, however they won’t be erased automatically by retention logic, thus you have to clean them up manually.

    1. Stop the Veeam Endpoint Backup Service
      Press Ctrl+R to bring up the Run dialogue, type services.msc and press enter, this brings up the Services application, now locate the Veeam Endpoint Backup service, right-click, choose Stop, but leave the Services application open, you'll need it again for Steps 3, 4 and 6.

      Veeam-Endpoint-Service-Stop_667
    2. Create the RecreateDatabase registry entry (careful!)
      Run regedit.exe and locate the
      Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Endpoint Backup
      key, as also seen in the screenshot below.
      If RecreateDatabase is already there, just change the value to 1.
      If RecreateDatabase is not already there, create it.
      (this change takes effect immediately, but leave the registry editor open, you'll need for Step 5).

      • Name = RecreateDatabase
      • Type = DWORD (32 bit)
      • Value = 1
    3. Start the Veeam Endpoint Backup Service
      Because the database instance is being created from scratch (because of the registry change), it will take some time for the service to finish starting, as indicated by the progress bar. Be patient and wait for it to completely start before proceeding.

    4. Stop the Veeam Endpoint Backup Service
      This generally happens quite quickly, especially this time, since a fresh database was just created.

    5. Change the RecreateDatabase registry entry from 1 to 0

      Registry-editor-667
      Change the RecreateDatabase registry entry from 1 to 0.
    6. Start the Veeam Endpoint Backup Service
      This generally happens quite quickly, especially this time, since a fresh database was just created.

    7. Start Veeam Endpoint Backup UI
      Press the Windows key, type Endpoint, then press enter, VEB will appear as-new, waiting for you to configure your "first" backup.

    That's it! You may now close the Registry Editor and the Services applications.

    Need a little more deep dive action? Watch the full video, knowing that I try to always sneak a little extra education in.

    Video

    This 'fresh start' use case for database reset worked nicely for me, as demonstrated in the video.

    Drop a comment below if this post helped you, and tell us about your circumstances.

    Veeam Forum Feedback by Dima P. of Veeam

    Dima-P-feedback

    See also at TinkerTry


    See also


    paul-braren-veeam-vanguard-program
    Veeam Vanguard Program.

    Disclosure
    Veeam has been an advertiser on many virtualization sites for years now, and Veeam is currently running a BuySellAds-purchased advertisement along the top of TinkerTry as well. All TinkerTry advertisement goes through third party BuySellAds. None of my articles are sponsored posts, and note that there are currently no affiliate links for Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, or any of their other products. TinkerTry.com, LLC is not a Veeam Pro Partner, but I am a Veeam Vanguard Program member who receives no goods or services. There are no commissions for any Veeam products folks buy after reading one of my articles.

    I am glad that TinkerTry was featured on one of Anton's famous weekly newsletters, about my articles about Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, a product I regularly use to protect my extended family's Windows 10 PCs automatically. I "convinced" an earlier build of VEB to work with Windows 10 betas, which helped me learn much more about the software, as I developed the manual installation procedure.

    I reserve and exercise the right to freely write about topics that I choose, whenever I choose to, an essential part of what makes blogging about home virtualization labs, storage, and backup so much fun for me.