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BEWS won't start in Directory Services Restore Mode

Created: 13 Sep 2006 • Updated: 23 May 2010 | 6 comments
JRV's picture

Need to restore AD on a DC. BEWS & tape drive are installed on the DC.

In normal mode, BEWS works normally. When I boot Directory Services Restore Mode and set all BEWS logons to local Administrator account (per "Restoring System State" in BEWS Help file), then launched BEWS services, Device and Media service would not start. Error said "1065: The database specified does not exist." Verified that BKUPEXEC MSDE instance was running.

In hindsight, suspect the problem is that I used BEUTILITY to set an 'sa' password on the BKUPEXEC database. I'm guessing that password is stored in Windows Secure Storage for the BEWS service account, or somewhere else not accessible to local Administrator account. If so, I'd assume solution is to use BEUTILITY to set the 'sa' password while logged on in DS Restore Mode, after changing the BEWS service account.

I do not see that this is documented anywhere; is it correct? Do I also need to run Account Logon Wizard? Need to know before scheduling down time for the server and trying again.


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Joshua Small's picture

If you run "services.msc" and have a look at the relevant services, you will often find that some BE services are set to run as\Administrator.

You will need to edit this logon account to just "Administrator" and start these services.

JRV's picture

I already did that.

Quoting my original post, "When I boot Directory Services Restore Mode and set all BEWS logons to local Administrator account (per "Restoring System State" in BEWS Help file)..."

The problem wasn't that they failed to start due to logon errors, it was that ONE service, the Device & Media service, didn't start because it claimed the database didn't exist, and that prevented dependant services from starting.

Among anything else I'm missing, would appreciate specific response about the 'sa' password on the MSDE database and whether I need to run the BEWS logon wizard after changing service credentials and (if applicable) sa password via BEUTILITY. If it's documented somewhere in the KB or help file that would be helpful, too.

Joshua Small's picture

Hi Jeff,

All I can tell you is I have never seen such an issue.
I have never been required to do anything involving changing the 'sa' password, through multiple sever rebuilds and restores.

I have on occassion seen "timing" issues. By this, I mean, MSDE starts up, and it hasn't really "started", so I get the error you mention. This can happen regardless of being in DSRM mode. My fix has typically been to cycle the BE services, several minutes after the MSSQLServer service has started. Or in other cases, boot up the server, with all services on automatic, then a minute later, cycle all BE services.

I realise it's not what you're hoping for, but as I said, I haven't found any official error.

JRV's picture

> I have never been required to do anything involving
> changing the 'sa' password, through multiple sever
> rebuilds and restores.

Ahhh, but do you specifically set the 'sa' password (using BEUTILITY.EXE) when you set up a Backup Exec installation, or just leave it to Backup Exec's default: a null (or "blank") password? If you leave it null, BEWS wouldn't need a password to connect in either normal or DS Restore mode. And I have a strong suspicion that will be my workaround. Or else use BEUTILITY to set the sa password while logged on as the local administrator in DS restore mode.

Regarding the timing issue, yes, there is a known problem with SQL/MSDE 2000 where it reports to Windows that it's loaded before it's ready to accept connections, and Windows then starts dependant services too early. I have implemented a simple workaround for that. But regardless, MSDE was *definitely* loaded long before BEWS, because I had to change all the BEWS logon credentials before it would load at all!

Amruta Bhide's picture

Hello jeff,

Could you Update us on the issue?


Just for extra Information:

- BE does not change the default SA password which Microsoft sets for MSDE.
The Option to change the SA password in beutility is given only for customer convienience in case one needs / wants to change the password to something else or back to null.

Let us know if you have further Querries!



JRV's picture

I used Enterprise Manager to look at the security properties of the BEWS database; they have Owner permissions by virtue of the BEWS service account being a member of Administrators. So the sa password clearly was not the problem.

The database had to be detached and re-attached. Veritas phone support walked me through that. For benefit of lurkers, I entered these commands at a CMD.EXE prompt, where is the NetBIOS name of the server (without "\\"):

osql ?E ?S \bkupexec
exec sp_detach_db bedb
exec sp_attach_db bedb,
N?C:\Program Files\VERITAS\Backup Exec\NT\Data\bedb_dat.mdf?,
N?C:\Program Files\VERITAS\Backup Exec\NT\Data\bedb_log.ldf?

Regarding the 'sa' password, it would be possible--and desireable--for BEWS Setup to prompt for an sa password. Setup can then pass that password to MSDE setup. To the best of my recollection--and it's been a while since I ran BEWS Setup, and I've never run BEWS 10 Setup--it does not do that. Therefore the password is null unless the user takes subsequent action to change it.