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Excluding 2 files excludes ALL files in folder

Created: 04 Dec 2013 • Updated: 05 Dec 2013 | 6 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I've been googling this for some time, and cannot seem to find anything on the subject. Am I really the first to experience this?

I have a folder with 9 files. I would like to back up 7 of those. I INCLUDE the folder and EXCLUDE the 2 files I don't want to back up. Result: NONE of the files get backed up!

I've seen this before, the first time I tried Backup Exec 2012 (at another clients site). I couldn't really understand why the backups had so little data on them, until I dug deeper. That time, that problem - and Backup Exec 2012 beeing a gigantic disappointment - made me switch back to 2010. However, this is not an option in this case.

I have now changed the backup job to only INCLUDE the 7 files I do want to back up, and will have the result of that in 24 hours.

I've (finally) been able to submit a support case (after battling with a form and shaking my head when the Platform list only went up to Windows 2008), but I still would like to put this out there in public. If anyone else can confirm the behaviour, please let the world know.

I've used and trusted Backup Exec for many years, that trust is almost gone now, sad to say.

I do wish you luck Symantec, but you've lost me...

Operating Systems:

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lmosla's picture


How did you Exclude the files?  Were you able to see in Selection Details that it was excluded?

Are you referring to Windows 2012 not being supported as a media server?  This will soon be possible and you can sign up for the Beta here:

PrevIT's picture

Hello Imosla,

I excluded them by clicking the check mark in front of the file name until a red X appeared in the box. Yes, here is a snapshot of the Selection Details:


And here is a snapshot of the result:


No. I was referring to the fact that the support case submission form did not give me a choice of Windows 2008R2.


I checked, it's not "hidden" under 2008 either:


Same here on the forums, but since the choice here is Windows 2003/2008, that's OK.

BTW, I already know that 2012 isn't supported as a media server, and that's the reason that this customers brand new server runs Windows 2008R2...IMHO, the fact that 2012 isn't supported is also a gigantic disappointment - but there is no need to revisit that discussion here.

Colin Weaver's picture

As Hyper-V disks might be subject to "active file exclusion" because they should be backed up using the Hyper-V agent are you sure it is your exclusion that caused this or are you misunderstanding how to backup Hyper-V virtual machines?

PrevIT's picture

Hi Colin,

I might be misunderstanding, I learn something new every day. But what I do know is that when the whole folder was selected, all the files got backed up. At that time, the Hyper-V agent wasn't installed though.

If what you are saying is correct, that VHD's are subject to "active file exclusion", I'd expect there to be a comment about that in the Job History!?!

I would love to back up the virtual machines the "right" way, but that isn't really possible in this case. There is no network connectivity between the host and (most of) the virtual machines, as they are on a secure network. Adding even an internal network to them would be breaking the rules.

I tried to back them up as virtual machines, but because of the above, I'm getting several warnings. In addition, the virtual servers appear in the servers list, and I don't really like that (but that's just a detail).

However, I've seen this behavior before, when I first tried to use Backup Exec 2012 at another client's site. There, I needed to exclude a few files in a folder, and the whole folder was excluded too. And those were not Hyper-V files. I'm going to place some text files in a test folder, to see whether I can reproduce the behaviour with "normal" files.

PrevIT's picture

Hi again, and thank you for the words "active file exclusion"

Those lead me to, where the answer to my problem is in the second last post;

On the Backup Exec server open the Registry Editor. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Symantec\Backup Exec For Windows\Backup Exec\Engine\Misc
Add the DWORD value "Exclude Active Files" and give value "0".

The first days (when I didn't have the Hyper-V agent installed), all the VHD's got backed up... So: Backup Exec (2012) without the Agent for Hyper-V installed takes backups of VHD's. When the agent is installed, VHD's are silently excluded without warning (as far as I can remember, I didn't get any warning at least ;-)).

I have hade the problem described in this thread once before, but I don't have any documentation of it anymore. It is possible that it was a VHD thet got excluded then as well. I'll close this thread. Alle the test runs I've done seem to work as they should with regards to exclusions.

Colin Weaver's picture

OK just be aware that by not having access to the actual VMs themselves and by not using the Hyper-V Agent you are in effect not able to restore at a granular (individual file or e-mail) level within the VMs and also may be performing a crash consistent backup where the content of the VM is not fully quiesced before the backup starts.