Veeam v7 configuration data is corrupt during setup

Two days ago I started a new installation of Veeam B&R. The cause for this is one of my favourites: the customer wanted to replace a combination of Symantec BackupExec and vRanger. Both tools definetly do some kind of backup but I like the easiness of VBR and if you can replace two backup solutions with a single one, do it!

So I had a server in front of me where the two backup tools mentioned before were installed. As the customer wanted to reuse this server and keeping access to the backup data at the same time I decided to do a parallel installation of VBR beside the two other tools. Such an installation will definetly cause problems and that's where I ran into. To make things worse, this system acts as vCenter instance too.

First keep in mind, all mentioned tools install different versions of MS SQL Express database. BackupExec uses a SQL Express 2005 (BE was version 12.5, very outdated), vRanger used 2008 and Veeam brings 2008 R2 with some additional 2012 components and vCenter uses whatever version was bundled with it.

So I started with copying the installation data to the server. There was an existing installation folder named D:\#installation. Not thinking about I extracted all data of the install ISO to a subfolder of this install-folder. First surprise, if starting the master installer normally there is a splash screen where you can choose between install of VBR of Enterprise Manager. Interestingly, the splash screen appeared but was completely grey. No way to choose one of the install options. To cut a long story short, NEVER start the installer from a folder or subfolder of a directory that contains special characters like a #. The installer can't handle that (definetly not on a Windows Server 2008 R2 german installation).

Spent 30min to find that out.....

After getting the splash screen I started VBR installation but it failed too. The installer started but after a few seconds I got an error message telling me the installation data is corrupt (exact error message is "Exception occured. Info: System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception (0x80004005):The configuration data for this product is corrupt. Contact your support personnel".

It made no difference if I started the installer from the splash screen or from within the "Suite" subfolder of the installation package. Running as administrator or not, no difference.

After some time of googling I found a single Veeam forum thread dealing with this error. There is no 100% solution provided, but it pointed me into the right direction.

If you ever encounter such an error do the following:

  1. manually install SQLSysClrTypes.msi and SharedManagementObjects.msi. Both can be found in the redistr folder of your Veeam installation CD
  2. if you have to use a server with several database versions already running on the system then do no install another SQL express instance, especially not a 2012 as recommended in the forum thread. The SQL Express 2012 installer will try to deinstall VSS writer and other components of the previous database instances to replace them with new versions. This will corrupt your <2012 Express database instances thus rendering your products relying on these databases inoperable. Simply leave the databases untouched and proceed to step 4.
  3. if your system is freshly installed you can install any SQL Express edition as long as it is at least 2008 R2. Just use the database version bundled with your Veeam version. You can find it in the redistr directory called SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe. Use the defaults, use Windows authentication and give the instance a meaningful name like "Veeam".
  4. If you need to install the other packages you can find in the redistr\x64 folder like .Net Framework or VC++ runtime. 
  5. Start the first setup executable found at \Backup\BU_x64.msi. Follow the wizard until it asks you for a database to use. If you click on the "Browse" button it will show you all available SQL instances on all systems in your network. Choose the local instance and give the new database a meaningful name too. Click "Yes" if the installer asks you to create the database.
    Note: if you haven't installed a new SQL instance you have to use one of the existing instances provided by BE, vRanger or vCnter in my case. BE and vRanger are bad decisions as you will probably deinstall these instances with the product within the next days but the vCenter instance is a good decision. Later you can move the Veeam databases to a new instance or SQL server. Nevertheless you have to check the used SQL version to match one of the supported versions by Veeam.
  6. Now the main application is installed but the master installer would install some additional components very important for Veeam B&R to work correctly. We have to do these steps manually too.
  7. Install the enterprise manager application. To be able to do so you first have to add the "Webserver" role to your Server OS. Choose "IIS6 Metacompatibility" and "Windows Authentication" as additional features and wait until the role installer has finished. If you miss these features the EM installer will tell you.
  8. Starting the EM installer this time, it will tell you that the Veeam SDK is not available. Ooops, forgot that one. So as next step install the SDK with the \Backup\BPS_x64.msi. This is straight-forward.
  9. Now we can install Enterprise Manager. Start the installer from \EnterpriseManager\BackupWeb_x64.msi. Again, choose the the right database instance and let the wizard create an additional database for you. One note here: if you have a system with other software already installed (as I had), check if the ports used by VBR and EM are free. If you decide to install EM on the same system as vCenter then port 9080 and 9443 that EM uses by default are already blocked by vCenter. Sometimes the installer will allow configuring these ports just to find yourself unable to start vCenter after the next system reboot because EM starts faster and blocks these ports.
  10. Now with VBR and EM installed one could think taht's all we need. Nope, it's not. Though you are able to use both tools you won't be satisfied with this installation. Your setup lacks the Veeam catalog instalaltion where guest file indexes are stored. So one more component to install.
  11. Use the installer found at \Catalog\VeeamBackupCatalog64.msi and follow the wizard. In my case the installer didn't ask me where to put the VBRCatalog folder so it was located on C:. If you want to move this folder after the installation, follow the Veeam KB article found here.
  12. After VBRCatalog installation, you're done as long as you don't want to use the AIR wizards or Explorers. To be able to use them, start the corresponding installers.
  13. Finally download patch 4 for VBR7 and patch your installation.

Normally a VBR installation is done within 30min. This time it took me almost 4h just because I had to reuse an already productive server.

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