Unable to connect to the PostgreSQL database when starting FTK

Created by: Brendan Bone
Created date:
Last Updated date:

Symptom: You get the error "Unable to connect to database requested" or a similar error message when starting FTK using the PostgreSQL database.

Cause: The causes can vary, so this will walk you through the usual troubleshooting process for PostgreSQL connection issues.

Possible Solutions:

  • Make sure the database drive isn't write-protected.  If it is, unblock it and reboot.  Also check the drive permissions to make sure you have full access.
  • Open the Services snap-in (services.msc) to see if the PostgreSQL service is "started".  The service may have one of the following names:
    • postgresql-x86-9.0
    • postgresql-x64-9.0
    • postgresql-x86-9.1
    • postgresql-x64-9.1
    • postgresql-x86-9.3
    • postgresql-x64-9.3
  • Make sure that the drives being used are formatted NTFS
  • If the PostgreSQL service isn't started, double-click on it, make sure the "Startup type" is set to Automatic, then click "Start".

If the PostgreSQL service will not start, do the following:

1) Open "regedit".

2) Navigate to "HKey_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\postgresql-x**-*.*".

3) Check the "ImagePath" value.  It should look similar to the following:

C:\Program Files\AccessData\PostgreSQL\bin\pg_ctl.exe runservice -N "postgresql-x64-9.1" -D "D:\pgdata" -w

Note: The first underlined path is the location of PostgreSQL binaries.  The second underlined path is the location of PostgreSQL data.

4) If either of the underlined paths are pointing to an incorrect location, double-click "ImagePath" to edit the value, then modify it appropriately.

Note: An edit to the registry key value may not be warranted if, for example, the drive letter has simply changed. If the drive letter assignment can be changed back to the original, without causing interference to another drive mapping, then it would be best to change the drive letter, instead of editing the registry key value.

5) Go back to "services.msc".

6) Double-click the PostgreSQL service to open the service properties.

7) Under the "Log On" tab, make sure it's either set to run under the Local System account (for one-box setups) or another account with Administrator rights (for multi-box setups or DPE).

8) Start the service.

If everything is listed correctly in regedit and the log on properties, open task manager and check to see if any postgres processes are running. If they are, right click and choose "end task" until all postgres processes are gone, then go back to Services and try to start the service again.

  • If the PostgreSQL service will still not start, there may be minor corruption, requiring the transaction logs be reset.
  • If the PostgreSQL service starts, but FTK doesn't connect or list any cases and/or all options are greyed out, you may need to repair the PostgreSQL junction links.
  • If the PostgreSQL starts then stops immediately, reboot the machine and see if it will start.
Was this article helpful?
1 out of 3 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    nicole solander

    What if it is started and FTK still doesnt find the database? Then what??

  • Avatar
    Matt Smith

    I'm having a similar issue...even after resetting transaction logs.

  • Avatar
    Chris Jensen

    Have you checked the firewall or AV, these items often block communication to and from the database.

  • Avatar
    Troy Dolyniuk

    I am having the same error and have followed the instructions. My image path is similar to the one shown above in step 3 but mine looks slightly different as follows:
    "C\ProgramFiles|AccessData\Postgresql\9.1\bin\pg_ctl.exe" runservice -N "postgresql-9.1" -w -D "D:\pgData91\"
    Does the path need to be reconfigured as relation to the path strings and the -w and -D?

Powered by Zendesk