Upgrading to Veeam Backup&Replication 6.5

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With the new release 6.5 of Veeams Backup&Replication, it was time to update our installation.

We currently run v6.1 which was upgraded from version 6 some months ago. This is why we still run an an SQL Express 2005 database. This was not a problem with 6.1 since SQL 2005 was still supported. With v6.5 SQL2005 is not supported anymore.

The problem is, the installation wizard will not tell you this. The wizard runs fine and detects a previous version of Veeam. It will also ask you if you want to upgrade.

The problem arises when the installer tries to install MS SQL 2012 Management Objects. Since this package is not compatible with SQL 2005, the installer will be canceled and you are unable to update to version 6.5.

How to solve this problem? Sure, you can shutdown all Veeam services, export database, make a fresh, clean installation of SQL Express 2008 R2 and import your database but this is time consuming.

The much easier way to accomplish this is to download SQL Express 2008 R2 installation package from Microsoft, save it to your harddisk, open a CMD-Shell, goto the download directory, stop all Veeam services and type:

"SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe /action=upgrade"

Follow the wizard and your SQL 2005 database installation will be automatically upgraded to 2008 R2.

Your Veeam database will be upgraded too.

After this upgrade, the Veeam install wizard will complete successfully.


Update April 2013:

SQL Express 2005 is still supported with Veeam 6.5 but not the default database that comes with the installer. This is SQL Express 2008 R2.

It also seems that not every installation will face the problem mentioned above. After I wrote this article I successfully upgraded two nearly identical installations while still keeping SQL Express 2005 database. So this doesn't seem to be a general problem or incompatibility but if you are faced with the problems mentioned above, this solution can help you.

BTW, it is always recommended to upgrade your database to SQL Express 2008R2. Beside the newer code, 2008R2 has raised the limit on the maximum database size from 4 to 10GB. Probably you will never exceed the 4GB limit with a small or medium Veeam installation but you can never know....

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