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Symantec Backup Exec has been around in one form or another since the early 1990s and has a reputation as one of the more reliable backup products on the market. Even so, errors do occur. This tip discusses five of the most common Backup Exec errors and how to resolve them.
Backup Exec Error 1068: The dependency group failed to start
This is probably the most common of all the Backup Exec error codes. It occurs when one or more Backup Exec services will not start. You can pinpoint the problem service by opening the Service Control Manager and checking to see which service failed to start. The following services need to be running:
- SQL (Bkupexec)
- BE Remote Agent
- BE Device and Media
- BE Server Service
- BE Job Engine Service
- BE Agent Browser
Additional services may be required depending on how Backup Exec was installed. Oftentimes, you can force a service to start by right-clicking on it and choosing the Start command from the shortcut menu. If that doesn't work, check the Application and System logs in the Event Viewer. The log entries should give you a hint as to the cause of the problem. In most of the cases I have seen, the problem is connected to a permissions issue related to the account being used to run the service.
Backup Exec Error 1603: Fatal error during installation
Error 1603 is related to the Backup Exec installation process rather than the backup process. You may see this error reported as:
- Backup Exec agent install failed with error code 1603
- Backup Exec remote agent failed 1603
This is one of the Backup Exec errors that occurs because another application on the system is sharing one of the following DLL files:
This error can usually be corrected by making a modification to the Windows Registry. Keep in mind that editing the Registry is dangerous; a mistake can cripple Windows and/or your applications. You should therefore make a full system backup before attempting a registry modification.
After backing up the system, open the Registry Editor and navigate through the registry tree to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib. Right click on the TypeLib container and choose the Permissions command from the resulting shortcut menu. Give the Administrators group and SYSTEM Full Control.
This should correct the problem. If not, you may have to manually associate the DLL file with Backup Exec. The instructions for doing so are beyond the scope of this article, but can be found here.
Backup Exec Error E000FED1: A failure occurred querying the writer status
This error message is related to the VSS writer for a particular application. Specifically, one of the VSS writers used to back up an application running on the server reported a status of failed, which caused Backup Exec to produce error E000FED1.
To troubleshoot this error, enter the command VSSADMIN LIST WRITERS in a Command Prompt window.
Windows will display a list of each VSS writer and note if it is in an error state. You can usually clear a VSS writer error by rebooting the machine. However, VSS writer errors are tied to applications or the operating system, rather than to Backup Exec. If a reboot does not clear the error, you will have to troubleshoot the VSS writer itself (and the underlying application) rather than Backup Exec.
The VSSADMIN command can be used to determine which VSS writer is causing your problem.
Backup Exec Error 1053: The service did not respond to the Start or Control Request in a timely fashion
This is one of the Backup Exec errors that can be caused by a variety of conditions. In some cases, it can be related to a problem with the Microsoft .NET Framework. The easiest way to correct this error is to remove and then reinstall the .NET Framework.
The exact method to remove and reinstall the .NET Framework will vary depending on the operating system used. In Windows Server 2008/2008 R2, you can use the Server Manager to remove and reinstall the .NET Framework. However, other applications often depend on the .NET Framework and removing the framework can cause those applications to break. It is a good idea to initially check for updates to the .NET Framework. Applying an update often has the same effect as reinstalling the .NET Framework, but without the potential for breaking other applications.
Not all occurrences of Symantec Backup Exec error 1053 are related to the .NET framework. Error 1053 often points to a failure of the Backup Exec Management Services or a situation in which Backup Exec Services do not start. You may for example, see an error message stating: "Backup Exec Management Services could not be started. Backup Exec database is offline, turn it on and then restart the Backup Exec Services."
Correcting this error can sometimes be as simple as entering Services.msc at the server's Run prompt and then checking to see if the SQL (BKUPEXEC) service is running. If the service is not running, you may be able to manually start the service by right clicking on it and selecting the Start command from the shortcut menu.
Sometimes Error 1053 is related to a permissions problem that keeps the database or one of the Backup Exec Services from starting. You can check the permissions by entering Services.msc at the server's Run prompt. This causes Windows to launch the Service Control Manager, which can be used to view the properties for the various services. Any Backup Exec Services should be configured to start under the Local System Account. After making any changes, it is a good idea to reboot the server. You should also launch the Backup Exec Console and click on Tools | Backup Exec Services | Service Credentials | Change Service Account Information to ensure Backup Exec is configured to use an account that has been granted Domain Admin permissions (the actual location of this option may vary from one version of Backup Exec to the next). Again, restart the services after making any changes.
Backup Exec Error E00084EC: Error reading/writing data from/to the media
This is one of the Backup Exec errors that can be somewhat difficult to troubleshoot, as it corresponds to a read or write failure with the backup media. In many cases, the error is accompanied by a message indicating the tape drive needs to be cleaned. However, cleaning the tape drive rarely corrects the problem.
You should also try a new tape, in case the current tape is defective. If replacing the tape doesn't work, the problem is most likely related to device drivers or the tape drive itself. I recommend downloading and installing the latest device drivers for your tape drive. This includes any available firmware updates. If you still have trouble after the device driver update, run a backup from Windows Server Backup. This will help you to determine whether or not a hardware problem exists.
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Brien Posey asks:
What Backup Exec errors have you encountered and how did you resolve them?
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