Video Screencast Help

BE2012 SBE cannot install Agent for Applications and Databases

Created: 19 Jul 2012 | 10 comments


I am working on an issue that has become pretty frustrating.  We were using BE2010 on Small Business Server 2011 and had backups running pretty smoothly throughout.

Went to upgrade to BE2012 and ran into what sounds like a very specific problem that Symantec has addressed in a KB article.  The only problem is the KB article's solution does not seem to work.  I have spoken to support on the phone and they suggested the same KB article but when I went to follow those instructions after hours when I could reboot the server freely I found that those instructions did not solve the issue.

Here is what happened:
Went to upgrade BE2010 with BE2012 by running the BE2012 installer.  At the time I thought I was installing the proper serial numbers but in fact I was only installing the maintenance keys and not the actual product keys.  So the BE2012 install went fine but BE2012 was in TRIAL mode.  I didn't think much of it at the time.  I had some trouble getting the product keys but eventually I ended up tracking them down and getting them imported then running the options installer again and getting the product "properly licensed."

I ran my first backup after the upgrade and received the error:  "V-29-57344-4609 - For this operation, the Backup Exec Virtual File Filter (VFF) driver must be installed on the Backup Exec server.  The VFF driver is installed ..."

Went to look into that error and found a KB article that seemed to sum up my problem easily:

I was a little peeved that I might have to reinstall all of Backup Exec because I installed BE2012 originally in trial mode so I called support to see if they had any suggestions.  The technician had me run Live Update which brought my version up to SP1a.  I actually orginally thought I had run the installer with 1a already on it because the ISO specifically had the SP1a in the title but I digress...

He tells me to reboot and after the reboot to try and install the option again only this time the option should be "selectable" and not greyed out under the heading "Options NOT available for trial".  I complete the reboot go to run the install again and again the Agent for Applications and Databases option is greyed out and I cannot select it.  So the update didn't seem to fix it so I ran through all of Workaround option B in the KB article and found again that the option was greyed out under "Options NOT available for trial".

So me thinking the next step is that I really have to uninstall the entire product I do just that.  I first save my Data and catalog folders and then complete the entire Solution B again only this time I uninstalled after removing all of the licensing.  I even ran a registry cleaner and deleted the exisiting Symantec folder in Program Files between the uninstall and reinstall just to see if I could get rid of all the little bits and pieces of BE before the install so it looked like I was installing BE2012 for the first time.

Started the install up, no license keys listed, enter them in according to the instructions in the KB and still when I get to the options checklist the exact same problem occurs.  I cannot check the "Agent for Applications and Databases" as it is still under the heading "Options NOT available for trial" and greyed out.

So I gave up and just tried to install without the option and run a standard backup without selecting my SQL databases or my Exchange Info Store and just selecting the two disks and the System State.  That backup again failed.  So now I have had two nights with no good backup of my only server and I am starting to regret the decision to try and upgrade to 2012.

Can someone help me get the "Agent for Applications and Databases" option installed for BE2012 SBE installed on my SBS2011 server so I can use the agent to properly backup my Exchange and SQL?  This can only be done if the Virtual File Filter driver is installed and apparently the only way to install it is to install the "Agent for Applications and Databases".

If you need more details about the problem please let me know.  I figured I would post this problem on the forum to see if anyone has any better ideas than what I have already been given or tried to come up with on my own.


Comments 10 CommentsJump to latest comment

VJware's picture

BE 2012 SBS includes the following by default -

Exchange, AD, SQL, Sharepoint & Hyper-V

And 2012 SBS can be extended to add additional SBE remote agents, however no other agents & options can be installed...therefore, agent for applications and databases is grayed out, however the core 2012 SBS license allows you to backup Exchange & SQL...

Axion's picture

VJWare I appreciate the response.  Well that might explain why I can't install it.  :)

My original problem though was the VFF error that I got on my first backup after the upgrade.  That VFF error led me to the KB article that I listed in my original post.  That KB article explains exactly the process I went through while upgrading BE2010 on my SBS2011 server.  I did the upgrade but installed 2012 in TRIAL MODE because at the time I tried to use the wrong serial numbers to activate the product.  This, according to the KB was why VFF wasn't working.  The KB article made it seem like in order to get VFF installed I needed to install that option.  If however VFF is included in the base install then what would be the suggested solution to my problem if I am still getting that VFF error even after a full uninstall and reinstall of BE2012?


Axion's picture

Again, I appreciate the response.  I see that this KB only applies to BE 2010 and below.  Also, this isn't really a different solution than what is already proposed in the first KB I posted.  Basically it is asking you to remove all the licensing and then re-add it.  I have already done that, first according to the instructions in the orignal KB and then a full uninstall and removal of licenses and then reinstall with the same results.

I did run FLTMC from the command prompt and it shows no instances of VirtFile.

So although I appreciate the link to the new KB, the KB you linked to really has almost the same instructions but adds-in a way to check to see if the VirtFile driver is present and then walks through the uninstall and reinstall of licenses for versions prior to 2012.  I have already done all of that - the fltmc command which I just did and confirms there is no VirtFile present.

Any other suggestions?


VJware's picture

Actually, I was hoping if you have followed solutions 2 and 3...(infact the entire body is not present in the other article and is considerably different)...let me check if there is anything else which can be done now..


After reinstalling BE 2012 SP1, were the remote agents updated as well ?

Axion's picture

There are no agents that are "remote" per say since I am only backing up this one server.  That being said, I had thought that the Windows Small Business Agent was being installed during the re-install process that I went through previously.  However, I do not know how to confirm that the agent is actually installed on the server and functioning properly.  If it is not installed, how can I go about installing that?

I do remember from my last install attempt that once I put both my Server serial key in and my Agent serial key that the next screen had the product checkboxes for both the server and the agent and I had both of those checked before I continued.  The next screen however was the options screen and I could only click on options that were not included in the "Options NOT available for trial" heading.

If you can point out how to confirm the agent is installed on the server and if it isn't how to re-install it I can confirm the agent is there.


VJware's picture

Just a quick trial mode, is the virtfile entry shown when running the FLTMC command ?

Copy the .slf files to a different location & delete them and then run the above command and check pls..

Axion's picture

I should be able to check that and get back to you shortly.


Axion's picture

Ok so I removed all the licensing and went to Control Panel->Programs and Features->Symantec Backup Exec 2012, clicked on Change and choose "Additional Options".  In the next screen I confirmed that there were no licenses listed and when clicking next I get the following prompt.  The trial copy of Symantec Backup Exec has enabled many options that must be purchased as seperate items and are NOT included as part of the Symantec Backup Exec.  When I click "OK" which is my only option, the next screen that appears is the screen I have been waiting to see this whole time. Instead of the "Options not available for Trial" I get the proper select features option that shows the Backup Exec Agents including the Agent for Applications and Databases.  So when I am in "TRIAL MODE" I get the screen I want but when I have the licenses applied I get a different options screen that has the section "Options NOT available for trial."  It makes absolutley no sense.

I went ahead and selected the Agent for Applications and Databases while installing in trial mode and let that complete and then checked to see if an instance of VirtFile was present.  It was not.  So even when I can select in trial mode it does't seem to install.

Any thoughts.  I am still waiting for the technician to call me to troubleshoot this over the phone but I haven't heard a thing from Symantec phone support yet.

Backup_Exec's picture


Going through all comments it seems something is missing here, I had same issue few days before and things which I can suggest to check will be,

1 The link described above in your initial thread is the right one and once you install sp1a ,then issue is resolved and you should be able to see virt file but then you are not.
2 In my case, I had grabbed the copy of my data and catalogs and symantec shared folder. Once done, I had uninstaled BE2012 completely.
3 Then I grabbed the ISO for BE2012 SP1a, and while installing it this time,when I entered the SBS license key from saved sharedsymantec folder, and when I click on next I found application database license as greyed out which is right ,which indicates you don't have to now select it seperately,As it is part of your single SbS license key.
4 so eventually when you complete install and then check using fltmc in command prompt this should show virtfile

I personally can say, if you have not tried this, please try this ,if you have tried the above steps then best is to get further comments from symantec as you have opened a case.



Don't forget to give a "Thumbs Up" or Mark as "Solution" if someones advice has helped you.