I had done several backups of my site, but finally got around to trying a restore of the site on a different domain today. First, I tried restoring locally on my laptop, but couldn't do it.
Eventually, I was successful restoring to a new domain, but with a slight hiccup (read on). I was having problems with the db creation portion of the restore, and read in the manual (yeah, I read the documentation!), that "Akeeba Backup Installer doesn't have adequate permissions to create a new database on most commercial
hosts." Oh well, I thought I'd try it anyway.
I clicked next (on the "DB Restore" page), leaving the db settings as they were presented (taken from the archive) and wanted to see what would happen. Sure enough, I got the dreaded "Could not connect to Database message." Not exactly being an expert in db's, I went to my cpanel and created some new db's and re-entered the new values into the "DB Restore" page. No luck again.
Finally, I went back to my cpanel and deleted the new db settings, and tried the "DB Restore" again with the original, archive settings, and BAM! It worked! Not sure how or why, but it worked.
I logged in, checked out my site, and all is well. Of course, I am going to do several more restores until I understand it better, but it worked.
It'd be nice if the author could chime in on this. I tried registeing on their forum but never got an activation email.
cPanel has two quirks. The first is that it prefixes the database and user name. If your user account is foo and you create a database named bar you end up with the full database name foo_bar which is what you have to use for the restoration. The other is that after creating a database and a user you have to add the user to the database. We can't document that because cPanel, Plesk and a myriad of other control panels use different methods for creating databases. This should all be in your host's documentation. Why it worked the second time you tried? Most probably because you ended up doing it right and the "remembered" values were the ones you typed in and not the ones in the archive file (if you don't restart the installer from the first step it remembers your previous settings).
Regarding the activation email, check your junk folder. This is especially true if your mail host is using graylisting, as our site's email is set up to come from an unattended mailbox (we hate receiving spam).