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Backup Exec Install Blog (Install Logs 101)

Created: 18 Oct 2012 • Updated: 28 May 2014 • 3 comments
Nick Elmer's picture
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Install failures happen, and when they do, you need to know the why and how to fix it. My esteemed co-worker Tom Svare has written another contribution to the Backup Exec Install Blog for your benefit. We hope you find it useful! Here is Tom's writeup:

The Backup Exec installation log contains a large amount of data that can overwhelm you if you are not familiar with the Backup Exec installation.  I can see from activity on the forums that the installation log file is reviewed and often times used to solve installation issues.  For the power users on the forums, this blog entry will be an overview, but it may also provide new information that can help in troubleshooting.

General Overview:

The Backup Exec installation log file uses colors to identify informational, warning and error messages.  The warning messages are yellow and errors messages are red. 

The installation log file receives logging information from the Backup Exec installation dialogs and a Microsoft Windows Installer call back function.  The entries you see at the beginning of the installation log file are your choices and navigational entries made prior to changing your system with an installation package.  When you reach the Backup Exec Installation “Progress” dialog the installation process starts.   If a 3rd party product install packages use native Windows installer packages the Backup Exec install log picks up any logging via the Windows Installer call back.  If the 3rd party installation package doesn’t use native Windows Installer packages or has a wrapper around Windows Installer packages, the Backup Exec install log file will indicate where to find product specific logging.

When the Backup Exec installation log reaches 5MB in size it’s backed up with a timestamp and a new install log is started.  Each installation instance writes a header which is tagged and contains an easy to follow link at the beginning of the log.

3rd Party Product Failures:

The Backup Exec installation installs supporting software that is necessary to run Backup Exec.  Any of the 3rd party installations can fail and some of them write their own installation log.  The Backup Exec install log file identifies the location of the 3rd party logs if there are failures.  When possible, we try to keep the logs in a common location.

SQL Express 2005 example:

10-15-2012,09:29:59 : "\\gertrude\products\BE\NICOBAR\5204r\Winx64.4\SQLExpress\SQLEXPR.exe" /wait /qn /norestart /lv "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Setup Bootstrap\LOG\Summary.txt" INSTANCENAME=BKUPEXEC INSTALLSQLDIR="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\" INSTALLSQLDATADIR="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\" INSTALLSQLSHAREDIR="C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\" SQLACCOUNT="NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM" SQLPASSWORD="" ADDLOCAL=SQL_Engine,SQL_Data_Files,SQL_Replication,Client_Components,Connectivity SAPWD=**** DISABLENETWORKPROTOCOLS=0
10-15-2012,09:30:50 : V-225-53: ERROR: Failed to install SQL Express BKUPEXEC instance with error 70031. ***To search for information about this error, click here
10-15-2012,09:30:50 : Please review C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Setup Bootstrap\LOG\Summary.txt for more details.

In the above example, the log specified at C:\Program  Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Setup Bootstrap\Log\Summary.txt contains debugging information to get to the bottom of the 70031 error.

Basic Troubleshooting:

When I look at a Backup Exec installation log file, I do a quick visual scan for errors (identified in red).  If there are error statements in the installation log file that’s the best place to start troubleshooting.  We try to provide Technotes that can be found with an internet search on the error message.  If a combination of an error message or Technote does not solve the issue, I move on to the end of the log and start back tracking.

Starting from the end of the installation log file I run a search for “Return value 3”.  This is the Windows Installer custom action failure code.  Reviewing four or five of the log statements proceeding the “Return value 3” statement will tell you which action failed and the reason it failed.  There are situations where you may encounter two references of “Return value 3” in the same installation session.  This is a case where the installation fails both on install and rollback.  The first instance by date time stamp of “Return value 3” will be the one you should concentrate on.  One thing to note is that “Return value 3” may be localized and you’ll have to adjust your searches accordingly.

That’s all for now, just a very brief introduction to the Backup Exec install log file.

Comments 3 CommentsJump to latest comment

moznz's picture

great post - we're having large issues with a clean install with dedup option with Backup Exec

We have logged a support job for this, but only getting support people calling us after hours from India instead of during work hours. We have been playing phone tag for a week now.

Do you have any other specialists at Symantec USA or Australia for Backup Exec 2012 that are in a more useful time zone for us in New Zealand?

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Nick Elmer's picture

Hi moznz,

We appreciate the compliment, we will keep the posts coming.

I am sorry to hear that you are having a failure with your dedup install. I have forwarded your comments to our support team. You should expect to be contacted shortly for more information (during your working hours :) ).


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moznz's picture

thanks - we got an email last night from Brock

our case number is 420 204 614

looking forward to getting this resolved

many thanks

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