SQL is shown with no databases listed


When adding a SQL Server client, the appliance may detect the presence of a SQL instance but not be able to list active databases. 


The Unitrends UI lists a SQL instance present on a windows client containing an agent for backup, but when expand, the server, it shows no databases.


There are 3 identified causes Unitrends has encountered that could cause this, but potentially could be more.  

A) the SQL Server VSS Writer is not healthy.  

B) SQL default permissions or other restricted permissions are in place for a 2012+ SQL engine preventing the NT Authority/System account from talking to SQL and they will require modification to allow Unitrends to talk to SQL.  

C) a permissions issue on a SQL API directory may exist, preventing the SQL Browser service from itemizing databases properly.  


Check VSS Issues

A most common issue is the Microsoft SQL VSS service is not running on the windows machine, and the resolution is to start it.  You may find the Microsoft Service management page to start the SQL VSS Writer and set to Automatic.

1) Start the Services Microsoft Management Console (services.msc)
2) Click on SQL Server VSS Writer.

User-added image

3) Click Start to start the writer. Ensure the Startup Type has changed to Automatic.
4) On the Unitrends system click on the User-added image symbol (top right) and select INVENTORY SYNC.

User-added image.

5) Proceed with creating the Job. When you select the SQL option, you will see the database are now listed.

Check SQL Permissions

Starting with SQL 2008, and later with 2012, Microsoft default permissions for SQL installations deny the OS itself access to talk to SQL for BCDR and inventory functions.   Any backup provider will require rights to talk to SQL. Unitrends agent runs as NT/Authority in order to have access to critical service areas of the OS necessary to support BareMetal Recovery, however, this is denied SQL access by default.  Follow the linked KB to resolve.   This process is required on SQL 2008+ instances and only needs to be done once.  


Check for ESENT errors

In Event viewer, check the Windows Application logs and look for ESENT errors, specifically 455, 489, or  490.  

These errors will indicate inability to read/write to certain log files  with text like the following:

To resolve this issue, complete the following steps:

1) browse to the folder C:\Windows\System32\LogFiles

2) locate the folder "Sum"

3) Check properties on this folder and thech access the Security tab.  

4) Ensure the "Network Service" has read/write access to this folder.  This will not be the default and may need to be added.  

5) Restart the SQL Browser service from services.msc.  

6) On the Unitrends system click on the User-added image symbol (top right) and select INVENTORY SYNC.

User-added image.

7) Proceed with creating the Job. When you select the SQL option, you will see the database are now listed.



During identification of resources in your server, Unitrends is able to locate the presence of a SQL installation using WMI, but also needs to be able to query VSS information for SQL as well as collect a list of databases within each instance via SQL Browser API calls.  Numerous issues in windows prevent these common functions from working resulting in no return of protectable databases.  Some of these obstacles are there by default from Microsoft to prevent internal or external scans from revealing information about your SQL instance if no applications normally would require this access.  Backup appliances always require this access 

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