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Backup Exec 2012 SP4 Woes

Created: 17 Jul 2014 • 2 comments
melview1's picture
+2 2 Votes
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I wanted to share my problems and solution regarding Backup Exec 2012 and the Service Pack 4 update in hopes it might help others.  I’ve seen several threads on this topic, but the official response from Symantec has always been, “there are no known bengine SP4 issues”, which I’m not convinced of.  My maintenance is not current for reasons I won’t get into, but because of that, I have not filed a tech support request on this topic, but rather figured it out on my own.  I’m evaluating my needs vs BE2014, which I’d reinstate my maintenance for.

My setup is fairly small and simple.  I have 6 servers being backed up, including the BE server.  1 is using an Agent for Applications and Database server and the rest are Agents for Windows.  Each server has its own job that is a backup to disk (external USB3.0).  There are 4 disks, 3 have unique jobs and 1 of them is shared amongst 4 jobs.  No jobs overlap and there is no deduplication used.  The BE server is Windows Server 2008 R2 and the rest are various other server class operating systems.  I’ve noticed other threads have some advanced features in them that often get blamed for the issue, so I think that’s where my situation is more unique and telling.

I’ll try to highlight the troubleshooting steps, rather than get into great detail.  If anyone has any questions about more detail, I’d be happy to provide what I can remember.

Everything was running fat, dumb and happy for months with SP3 and the latest hotfixes…until I installed the SP4 update and pushed it to the Agents.  After that, the Backup Exec Job Engine service (bengine.exe) began hanging sporadically and frequently, sometimes once a day, sometimes multiple times a day.  When the bengine was hung, jobs would begin to run and just sit there, jobs would pile up and the queue became a complete mess with no jobs completing.  Restarting the service, while bengine was hung, would usually fail unless I used Task Manager to kill bengine.exe first.  Once restarted, the queued jobs would start to kick in and it was a struggle to get back to a good state.

  1. Next, I thought that I could work-around the issue by scheduling a windows task to use the CLI in order to restart the services daily.  This didn’t help because if bengine was hung, it would not restart successfully.
  2. Next, I tried a repair of BE2012 and thought it helped, but after a day or so, the issues began again.
  3. After struggling with this for long enough, a hotfix came out that didn’t specifically address this issue, but I tried it anyway.  No help.
  4. I then backed up the Catalogs and Data folder, completely uninstalled BE2012, reinstalled and updated to SP4 plus hotfixes and reapplied the Catalogs and Data folders.  No help.
  5. I tried a complete uninstall and reinstall, but only to SP3 plus hotfixes.  I read forums that gave tips on how to repair the SP4 Catalogs and Data to work with SP3, but I wasn’t able to be successful with this.  I was getting tons of database errors and the jobs wouldn’t run.
  6. My Solution:  I uninstalled BE2012 and all Agents.  I reinstalled to SP3 plus Hotfix 213186, the only hotfix for SP3.  I did not restore the Catalogs and Data folders and rebuilt my jobs from scratch, along with pushing the Agents to the servers again.  In many cases, I rebooted the target servers after updates, even if BE didn’t tell me to do it.  This sounds like a disastrous solution for anyone with a larger, more complicated installation, but I decided to bite the bullet and spend a Sunday rebuilding things.

Since the last reinstall and some minor tweaking of selection options (which had been done once before on the database that I had to ditch), my jobs have been running perfectly for 3+ weeks.  The Backup Exec Job Engine has never hung and my jobs have never failed to run.  I am once again, a happy camper, but I refuse to install SP4.  It’s just not worth the potential hassle.  I am evaluating whether I want to jump to Backup Exec 2014, since it adds the Windows 2012 and Windows 8 Agent support, but I’ll be honest that it scares the hell outta me.  I don’t want to go through weeks’ worth of pain again.

I hope my saga might help someone.



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SpawnXX's picture

Hi, I didnt thave the issues you are mentionning in 2012 SP4 here, but with BE2014 I'm having similar problems. My jobs hangs, only way to get out of this mess is to kill the bengine and bremote processes.

I got a case open with Symantec and they are struggling to fix it. I had to reinstall from sratch ( uninstall everything , clear de catalog, SQL databse , delete all folders, registry and that didnt helped resolve .

I manage 22 sites with Backup Exec, 4 of them are running BE2014 and all have issues.

I'm thinking to stop to pay for my maintenance plan and switch to VMware VDP advanced with cloud duplication.

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melview1's picture

Your experience concerns me that if I upgrade to BE2014, my problems will return.  Not good.

Thank you for sharing and be sure to post back if you and/or Symantec ever find a solution or even if you pull the trigger on something else.

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