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5 common Backup Exec error codes and how to resolve them

Backup Exec, which is now under the Veritas brand, is one of the top names in data protection. If a Backup Exec error occurs, it may be one of the codes analyzed below.

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 in the Veritas product, and organizations need Backup Exec support.

This tip discusses five of the most common Backup Exec error codes and how to resolve them.

Backup Exec error 1068: The dependency group failed to start

Error 1068 occurs when one or more Backup Exec services fail to start. You can pinpoint the problem service by opening Service Control Manager and checking to see which services have failed. The easiest way to do this is to open PowerShell and enter this command:

Get-Service | Where-Object {$_.StartType -eq 'Automatic' -and $_.Status -eq 'Stopped'}

This command will return a list of any services that are configured to run automatically but are not currently running.

You may be able to force a service to start by opening Service Control Manager, right-clicking on the service and choosing the Start command from the shortcut menu. If that doesn't work, check the Application and System logs in 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 related to the service account's password being changed. Veritas provides additional information.

Backup Exec error 1603

Error 1603 is related to the Backup Exec installation process or the agent update process rather than the backup process. You may see one of these Backup Exec error codes:

  • Backup Exec agent install failed with error code 1603;
  • Backup Exec remote agent failed 1603; or
  • Error connecting to the remote server. Ensure the server is available, has WMI enabled and is not blocked by a firewall. 1603.

The cause of this particular error can vary depending on which version of Backup Exec is being used. If you have a reasonably current version, then you can generally solve this problem by making sure that the Remote Registry service is enabled within Service Control Manager. Veritas provides detailed instructions.

For older versions of Backup Exec running on older versions of Windows, the problem was usually connected to a DLL file conflict related to one of these files:

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

This error can usually be corrected by making a modification to 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 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.

Backup Exec error E000FED1: A failure occurred querying the writer status

This error message is related to the Volume Shadow Copy Service (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.


Veritas outlines a version of Backup Exec released
in 2018.

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 OS, 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 E000E020

Error E000E020 is one of the most common Backup Exec code errors. The error pertains to a scheduled job that was unable to run. When this happens, you might see one of the following Backup Exec error codes:

  • e000e020: The job was scheduled to run, but the availability window closed before the job could start. There may not have been any destination devices available during the window, or the job may have been submitted to run when the window was closed.
  • Error: e000e020: The duration that this job is allowed to remain scheduled has passed. It will be rescheduled. Verify that storage is available, and check the job's schedule settings. Ensure that there is enough time for it to begin running before it is considered missed.

Most of the time, this error occurs because the job schedule prevents a backup from completing within its backup window. It can also occur when the clocks are changed because of daylight saving time, because this shortens the backup window -- at least for that one night.

According to Veritas, the unavailability of the backup medium can also trigger this error.

Veritas provides more information.

Backup Exec error E00084EC: A backup storage read/write error has occurred

This is one of the Backup Exec error codes that can be somewhat difficult to troubleshoot, as it corresponds to a read or write failure with the backup media. Early on, the error was commonly accompanied by a message indicating the tape drive needs to be cleaned. However, cleaning the tape drive rarely corrected the problem.

Today, the error tends to be more generic and can apply to any I/O error, regardless of the backup medium. It is important to note that an E00084EC error does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem with the backup medium itself. The error can also be caused by a communication problem between the backup server and the backup target. Furthermore, you can receive this error if the backup agent loses its ability to communicate with the data deduplication service running on the Backup Exec server. Veritas provides more details.

Next Steps

Veritas Backup Exec upgrade includes more cloud support

Acquired Aptare analytics to complement Backup Exec

Dig Deeper on Backup and recovery software

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These cannot be the most common problems. There is little to nothing that talks about agent failures or agent connections. Installation problems should be the least of someones worries.
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What Backup Exec errors have you encountered and how did you resolve them?
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What's the most challenging Backup Exec error to fix, and why?
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Article didn't say it was the most common, just common.
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I'm wondering about the unreported backup error that almost brought my company to its knees. No error messages, all's well, backups are fine.... Until the system crashed and we tried to reinstall. Symantec reports that there is no backup files, despite the fact that I'm staring at the file.... Took more than a bit of non-Symantec efforts (and more than a few words my mother never taught me) to restore my files. 
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I didn't get any errors but when the process finished there are so many files and folders missing from it, that I'm 100% sure was created before the backup point.
Any solution?
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Multiple back up failures....suggests the following was failure: FINIS_IT.TXT

From details suggests all individual files were successfully backed up, but back up overall showas as failed with message above.
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looking to correct error (Status_Wait_2  (0X80070002))
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