Cannot restore database


I am trying to restore a BioNumerics database backup (*.bnbk file), but the error message “Cannot restore database: local SQL server express engine not found.” pops up and the restore action fails. What could be the reason?


The database that you are trying to restore was originally created with the BioNumerics database engine (an instance of SQL Server Express). First thing to check is the location of the BioNumerics home directory in which the database should be restored: is it defined on your computer's hard disk or on a network drive?

The BioNumerics database engine doesn't work well with the home directory specified on a network drive because it requires an extra service (i.e., MS SQL Server Express) that cannot run on the same drive. This is why we disabled the MS SQL Server Express option for network drives. The only way to have the database available in this home directory is to migrate it to another relational database platform.

If the home directory is located on a local hard disk, there might be two reasons for the error:

  1. The Database engine feature was not checked during installation of BioNumerics and hence MS SQL Server Express was not installed.
  2. The BioNumerics SQL Server database service is not running.

To check, go to Windows Services (Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services) on your computer. If the BioNumerics database engine was installed correctly, there should be a service called “SQL Server (BIONUMERICS)” in the list of services. If this is not the case, you will need to install BioNumerics 7.5 with the Database engine feature included. If the service is listed, highlight it to check if its running. Click on the "Start" link in the top left of the window in case the service is halted. With the service running it should be possible to restore the backup and the option Use default (MS SQL server express based) option becomes available again when creating a new database.


Applicable for: 
Version 7.0 - 7.6
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