Five common Backup Exec errors and how to resolve them

This tip discusses five common Symantec Backup Exec errors and their solutions.

Symantec’s Backup Exec has been around in one form or another since the early 1990s. As such, it has a reputation as one of the more reliable backup products on the market. Even so, errors do occur. This article discusses five of the most common Backup Exec errors and their solutions.

1. Error 1068

Error 1068 is probably the most common of all the Backup Exec error codes. The actual error message is “Error 1068: The Dependency Group Failed to 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

There may also be additional services required depending on how Backup Exec was installed. Often times 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 the System logs in the Event Viewer. The log entries should be able to give you a hint as to the cause of the problem. In most of the cases that I have seen, the problem is related to a permissions issue related to the account that is being used to run the service.

2. Error 1603

Although error 1603 is another common Backup Exec error, it is related to the Backup Exec installation process rather than to the backup process. The problem occurs as result of another application on the system sharing one of the following DLL files:

  • Eportmodeller.dll
  • Schedu.dll
  • Schedngrur.dll

This problem can usually be corrected by making a modification to the Windows Registry. Keep in mind that editing the Registry is dangerous and making 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 at:

3. E00FED1

A third error which commonly occurs with Backup Exec is E00FED1 – A Failure Occurred Querying the Writer Status During Backup and Restore. 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 causes Backup Exec in turn to produce error E00FED1.

A Failure Occurred Querying the Writer Status During Backup and Restore
Figure A

To troubleshoot this error, enter the command VSSADMIN LIST WRITERS in a Command Prompt window.

As you can see in Figure A, Windows displays a list of each VSS writer and whether or not each writer is in an error state. You can usually clear a VSS writer error by rebooting the machine. It is worth noting however, that VSS writer errors are tied to applications or to the operating system, rather than to Backup Exec. As such, if a reboot does not clear the error then 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.

4. Error 1053

Backup Exec Error 1053: Could Not Start the Backup Exec Server Service on Local Computer, which is shown in Figure B, is very common and is almost always 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.

Could Not Start the Backup Exec Server Service on Local Computer
Figure B

The exact method that you would use for removing and reinstalling the .NET Framework will vary depending on the operating system that you are using. In Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2, you can use the Server Manager to remove and reinstall the .NET Framework. The problem is that there are often other applications that depend on the .NET Framework and removing the Framework can cause those applications to break. As such, 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.

5. Error E00084EC – Error Reading / Writing Data From / to the Media

Error E00084EC is common, but can be somewhat difficult to troubleshoot. The error corresponds to a read or write failure with the backup media. In many cases, the error is accompanied by a message indicating that the tape drive needs to be cleaned. However, cleaning the tape drive rarely corrects the problem. 

You should also try a new tape, just in case the tape that you were using is defective. If that doesn’t work then the problem is most likely related either to device drivers or to 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 are still having trouble after updating your device drivers then try running a backup from Windows Server Backup. This will help you to determine whether or not a hardware problem exists.

About the author: Brien M. Posey, MCSE, has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Exchange Server, Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and has been responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. You can visit Brien's personal website at

This was first published in May 2012

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