Video Screencast Help

Backup Exec 2012 Redesign

I want to thank the Connect user community for your clear feedback on the Backup Exec 2012 redesign. We were deeply impressed by your comments and we've taken action. Now that we've collected and implemented your suggestions, we've closed the comments on Bulbous' original thread but preserved them for the historical record.

You prompted the events detailed in this blog, this article and drove these changes into the next release. If you'd like to see them playing out in real life, sign up for the Beta program here.

The Connect forums remain a primary venue for users to interact with each other and with us, where we are committed to providing answers and receiving constructive and detailed feedback. Criticism without detail doesn't move the conversation forward so please be specific when you contribute. Come with questions, leave with answers, maybe help someone else out while you are here.

Contact the team with a direct message:
Matt Stephenson
Drew Meyer
Sean Regan

You've made Backup Exec the industry standard for physical, virtual and legacy system protection. We're driven by your participation. What do you think?

Drew Meyer

Impressions of BackupExec 2012

Created: 04 Apr 2012 • Updated: 12 Aug 2012 | 417 comments

Is it just me, or does anyone else absolutely HATE the redesign of Backup Exec? I have worked with BE since version 8, and I have become acutely familiar with the menus, where everything is, and how it works.

This redesign of the UI reminds me of the differences between Microsoft Office 2003 and Office 2007, only much worse. Menus are now hidden behind other menus, and everything has a completely counter-intuitive feel.

At first, I thought that the feeling would pass as I grew more familiar with the product, but in fact my dislike has grown as I have found more issues.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

Comments 417 CommentsJump to latest comment

StrongmanTech's picture

What is going on here!?! This is the worst product on the market today. What was Symantec thinking... and who Beta tested this?

So, I've ranted about the inability to excludes dats for certain jobs, so I will only minorly touch that subject on this new issue for me. I write this regarding only one of my many new jobs. In this case, backing up my Symantec EnterpriseVault.

For this, I have 4 jobs... one for my daily incrementals, one for the typical end of week, one for the end of month, and the last for the great end of year backup. The first two write to disk, the later two job write directly to tape (If someone chimes in and tells me to send all 4 jobs to disk, then you can purchase my client a new disk subsystem to hold all there backups).

Because I cannot exclude the dates in the calendar, my end of year job run will also include the end of month and end of week backup job, thank you Symantec. Each job takes 14 hour to perform just on this one particular job. 28 wasted hours that I can no longer perform any other server maintenance, or archive emails into EV.

Due to the above issue, I setup all end of year with highest job priority, end of month to high, etc.

Well, end of month kicked off last Friday. It did NOT run based on priority. And, seems my end of month backup wrote to the disk, and not to tape as specified in the job. In the end, it backed up in reverse order which caused my backup disk to run out of space, and no monthly backup jobs completed sucessfully.

I am done. I'd call Symantec Tech Support, but they cannot write me a brand new product. There are just too many issues. I'm not even going to waste my time and energy. In the same time frame, I can roll this back to BE 2010 and see if anything comes out of this Symantec event in two weeks.

I am going to the "Symantec Summit" at Florida. I am really hoping that the Product Development team takes what we have to say very seriously, as this could force us all back to Arcserve (please noooo)!

GregOfBE's picture

I think the backup scheme you describe is as follows - correct me please if I don't have it right:

* Daily incrementals to disk

* Weekly fulls to disk

* Monthly fulls to tape

* Yearly fulls to tape

To do this in Backup Exec 2012, you should have 1 backup for the protected server. That 1 backup would have 4 backup job tasks within it - one for each of the above (You can add additional fulls in the Schedule tab of the backup options). If you schedule the monthly full and yearly full to be at the same date and time as the weekly full - then only the least frequent one will actually run. Suppose your monthly full was set to the last friday of every month at 10pm and your weekly full was also set to every friday at 10pm.  On the last friday of the month, only the monthly backup will run "superceding" the weekly.

Also, as an alternative configuration, you could have only your daily incremental and weekly full as your backup job tasks. Then add 2 duplicate stages from that to duplicate to tape for your monthly and yearly duplicates. In each of those duplicates you could set it to pick up "the most recent full" as the backup to duplicate to tape. This would avoid having to touch the client machine twice and would still allow you to have your weekly full available on disk for restores.

Concerning the issue of your backup running to disk that was set to run to tape - this should not be happening and I have not heard of it. I'd like to hear more if you are seeing some situation where that is happening.

CraigV's picture

...I haven't upgraded to BE 2012 yet while this all plays out, but I feel your pain with regards to ARCserve wink

Good luck otherwise...

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

Elizabeth Teffner's picture


I'm a usability engineer for Backup Exec. Back on May 19th, Greg posted to this forum that we were working on "...improvements to more convieniently allow someone to create a sequence of backups on multiple servers to the same tape."

We are currently working on a new workflow to accomplish this.It's in the mock-up stage and we are looking for users to give us feedback.

If you are interested in participating in a usability session, please check out the sessions I have for next week. These are remote session via WebEx and about an hour long.

If you have any questions about this, feel free to leave a comment here - or send me an email directly.



ianSinclair's picture

I have already signed up, i am on holiday next week, but will sacrifice an hout to see this, it is so important to me that you fix this.


379603756's picture

Every blog that I have read on this site appears to be complaining about the same thing the HORRIBLE user interface in Backup Exec 2012.

I consider myself an expert with Backup Exec and have used it extensively for 8 years. From version 7.5 to 2012 with 2012 being the absolute worst!!!

The interface change is just exactly like others have stated... it is like the Office 2003 to Office 2007 upgrade. Everything changed so much that avid users couldn't work. Now Microsoft corrected many of the issues with Office 2010 by making it more like Office 2003. So hopefully Backup Exec will do the same!

My Complaints:

  • Backup Exec 2012 is cumbersome, requires many more clicks to perform the same tasks as before minus the many valuable features found in the other versions. 
  • Nothing is quick and easy!
  • Hell even the interface is slow...
  • Like being able to custom label your tapes to YOUR naming convention on the fly
  • or being able to easily edit the backup job itself not the 20 servers you are backing up with the job.
  • or being able to EASILY rename tapes that are not physically in the tape drive.
  • oh and not to leave out the many HOTFIXES that have been released to resolve or better yet work around the many issues that have surfaced since its release.
  • Enabling groups to manage your job is a fate worse than death for many of the BE 2012 administrators. You have either installed the Hotfix or gave up!
  • Oh and Media Management or lack there of is a joke in 2012!!!!

I have always been a fan of Backup Exec products. They have had their issues like most every application but overall have been very stable and worked without issue. Oh and you didn't have to watch a webinar to learn to get around in them.

I have installed BE 2012 on about 6 of my clients and everyone of them have been a pain in the @ss to configure, troubleshoot and of course little to no tech support was available for the product since it is so new. SInce I bill by the hour I have had to discount some of my hard work due to having to spend more time trying to perform the most simple tasks I have performed for years...

In my professional opinion unless you have a lot of time to train on 2012 you better stick with 2010 R3 and wait for the next release which I can only hope will be much better and return some of the features that were in previous versions!

This version... Backup Exec 2012 is just DUMB by design.!!!

I am afraid that the same kind of wisdom and cost cutting measures that produced the wonderful items like the iPhones short little charge cord (which was developed by iDumb and iDumber) was tapped to make major changes to Backup Exec, a product that WAS pretty solid and now is COSTLY GARBAGE!!!!

We are a Symantec Partner and most all of my fellow engineers are very disappointed in the new release!

To be fair the "Convert to Virtual Feature" in Backup Exec 2012 is the bomb and is VERY useful but other than that this release overall just plain sucks to work with!

rob le h's picture

Just discovered another bug if you exclude any file on the C drive.

IE a notepad txt file in a TEST directory call mytest.txt containing the word test doc.

Then SDR green light goes out and it claims the backup is on longer backing up all the required files for SDR to work !!.

Elias AbuGhazaleh's picture

This is outlined in the requirements and recommendations for running and creating and SDR.  Exclusion of anything on a critical system drive does in fact render the SDR light to turn "off".

Bulbous's picture

Yes, can someone please comment on why SDR cannot handle file exclusions?

NWRFCUNetAdmin's picture

For me the same issue remains - this change makes more work.  Time is not a luxury I have.  I'll wager nor does anyone else here.

Currently I have a handful of servers and ended up with multiple jobs.  At a past place of employment I had 52 servers.  Under this new model if I had 3 jobs per server (which is what happened when I upgraded) I'd have 156 jobs to manage!  Even if I only had one job per server 52 jobs is still not acceptable.  This increases the complexity and timing of backups.  Complexity breeds issues like rabbits.

As mentioned by others it takes backing up up my data from being a minor activity to a major time expenditure.  Neither something I can afford nor burden another resource with, I need them focused on strategic things that bring value to the organization.

Thus I will be forced to find another vendor when my support agreement is up.

David Willoughby's picture

Let us know if you find a good solution. I am also among the rapidly growing number of users who would love to send Symantec packing.

RakeshB's picture

While taking the backup there is no fool proof way of figuring out files that are important to the OS or the applications installed on it. Hence, excluding a file from the critical system drive is not allowed. The missing file can render the restored OS unusable or can corrupt applications on the restored system. 

Bulbous's picture

That is a major screwup. Many servers, especially Small Business Servers, have only a single drive/volume. Essentially, they are now prohibited from excluding any files or folders, no matter how trivial. I would say this needs to be fixed. It is not that hard to differentiate critical system files and folders from inconsequential ones.

TTT's picture

Just so I understand- SDR won't work at all on a restore if a non-important file is excluded?  Has anyone tried SDR after excluding a file?  Or will it still work but the "green light" for fully-selected turns off?

Personally I don't like seeing the repeated "blue icon" informational alerts for "SDR Full Backup Success".  I'd like to see an option to turn that off.  To me, an alert has to be responded to- whether it's critical or not- and if the server's been backed up successfully, and it's part of a daily schedule, why should I respond?

TTT's picture

I've also signed up for Elizabeth Teffner's sessions (on third page at ); I think it's great to see Symantec has heard us and is looking for our feedback.

Hopefully everyone here that uses tape (in any form, even duplication) will sign up too!  Looks like she still has some open sessions left.

Matt12345's picture

this is slightly off topic - but I think it fits within this thread... as it relates to Symantec changing the look and feel of a [formerly] functional solution.

Symantec is putting a new face on Verisign SSL certs... they are now going to have a "Norton Secured" secured badge

For the sake of e-commerce I hope they get this one right.

jerrys79's picture

I have been following this thread since the beginning but have yet to comment since the community has summed up how I feel.  I won't get into specifics since it's all been said throughout this post though I will say one of my biggest complaints like many others is the single job/multiple servers issue.

Luckily the site that is running 2012 is our smallest with only two servers doing full nightly backups to tape.  I now receive two emails instead of the usual one.  I can't imagine getting 25 emails if I upgraded my main site.  I will not upgrade any of our other sites to BE2012.

I was thinking about joining Elizabeth Teffner's session but don't really want to waste my time with something that should have been done during the beta stages by Symantec and not the customer.  Yes, you can argue that Symantec is listening to the customer and doing this but for me it's too late.  Even if that feature does get added, I don't think I will continue using this product.  At this point, a major development change could make the already unstable product even less stable as appears to be the case with BE2012 SP1.  It has been out for 4 days and the comments show nothing but problems which makes me believe it was rushed and not tested.  Another sign of deploying something and then having the customer test it.  On that note, the base product has only been out 3 months and already a service pack is needed??

I've truly enjoyed BE for years and don't mind change but only if it's for the better.  I have spent a lot of time on 2012 and do like some of the new features and at a first glance appears to be a good product, but from a professional business level it just doesn't cut it.  It's a shame the product went down this road. 

Our support ends next month and I too will be looking for another product.  Anyone have any good suggestions?

StrongmanTech's picture

jerrys79, you are right! SP1 is out. Read through the forums though, and you will probably want to wait for SP1a to be released. SP1 has caused major issues for some that have upgraded to it.

Recommendations from other users have been to contact tech support prior to upgrading. They should be able to verify whether it will fail in your environment. None of the other posts note which types of environments it is failing in, so just be aware.

Jimmy Mac's picture

Am I reading this correctly? The 2012 product is already a bad option due to the lack of traditional product functionality and now we hear that SP1 could possibly make it worse? Just what is going on over at Symantec? Don't they have any sort of quality control? Any 'real world' beta testing going on?


I guess I'll start returning some of the cold calls I'm getting from Acronis, CA and Retrospect.

BradleySCFO's picture

Yea Jimmy,

SP1 fixed something and broke others.. SP1a was released to fix those things and broke still more things.  This product is quickly becoming a nightmare for me.  I've spent the last 3 months of weekends at home babying our servers in fear that our backups would fail.. and they do.. constantly.

David Palmerston's picture

Did a bare metal reinstall of BE 2012 + SP1 on Dell Server last weekend - things are working in a more stable manner.  If you are forced to be using BE2012, I'd recommend biting the bullet and doing a complete bare metal reinstall to save time and effort AND to allow FOCUS on real problems moving forward.  (No, I'm not an apologist, I just want to secure my company's information with the tools I'm dealt).

Steve Kratz's picture

When I first tried 2012, I was pretty supportive of the changes... However, that was on a small network with two servers. Now, I've tried putting it on a network with 18 servers to back up, and it's a nightmare.

In the past, there have been those inexplicable situations where system state or exchange can't run in the same job due to compatibility issues with different parts of AOFO. Well, that seems to be the case again. The full backups for Exchange will run, but not incremental, so now I have to have one job that does full files + daily incremental files, and then a second job for the same server with a full exchange job.

The old way was SO much easier.

(And watch out if you back up virtual hosts with the BE VMWare agent. If the server happens to do a restart due to, say, Windows Updates or anything else, it leaves snapshots laying around taking up massive amounts of space on the VMHost.)

Zekester65's picture

Spent a nice Friday morning thinking I need to upgrade BE2010 R3 to 2012. Thought to myself, shoot, BE has always been seamless with the upgrade process, shouldn't take long and good to get on the most current version. Wow was I wrong. Jobs lost, backups missed, it was (and still is) a nightmare.  What was 3 jobs in the queue has now turned into 25, with each wanting to run at the exact same time. Serious? It is now Wednesday and I am still trying to sort out this mess with not much luck. It is quite easy to tell this new version is all about backup to disk with every job starting at once. Guess what? There is still a bunch of us out there who use tape for every backup and 2012 is worthless for us.

I have already advised our CEO that I will be inserting money into the budget for a new backup solution because after just 5 days (including my weekend) of wasting time, I am done with it.   

patters's picture

I still can't get a single day's worth of backup without the tape spoiling with End Marker Unreadable and refusing to append. I'm in week three now, with spoiled backups every day. I might as well give up. THREE WEEKS. The Quantum hardware diag wrote a whole 800GB tape with no read/write errors. The same tape hardware worked fine on BE 2010 R3.

Which replacement product should I buy? I mean Veam looks good but I need tape backup to use my existing investment. I have no money for an offsite SAN just for backup sets, let alone a high-speed link.

hazmat09's picture

I've been having similar issues with my TL2000 Tape Library. No errors on the physical unit, but BKUP Exec 2012 thinks otherwise. I'm working with a few engineers this friday to try and sort out the issues. My patience is wearing thin though.

patters's picture

Nothing in my inbox - are you sure you sent the message?

hazmat09's picture

That's bizarre. I wrote it twice. The first time I did a preview and it wiped out my email to you. The second time I wrote it I submitted send and it said "Message Was Sent"

Anyways, turns out the IBM LTO drive in TL2000 coincidentally started having issues around the time of the upgrade. Dell is replacing it in few days.

I was sending you an link to an alternate solution to check out -

Good luck! 

Bradl3y's picture

I've been getting the "end marker unreadable" issue also, but in my case it's related to other jobs failing, killing the beremote on the server which means it can't nicely mark the tapes as appendable for jobs that were in the middle of running.

At least that's what I think is happening - the times seem to line up in the job logs.

I thought I'd mention it in case you are having the same problems.

To alleviate I've moved around the backup schedules for the jobs that regularly die, and moved when my duplication jobs run, and I'm backing up to disk first then duplicating to tape.  That at least gives me a backup to disk, then I can dupe to tape.  I have a tape library with 2 drives also, so when this unappendable problem happens I'm duplicating backup sets to different tapes and scratching the ones that aren't appendable.  This fails sometimes too because the backup set on tape isn't readable, valid, corrupted etc (the error varies).

Fortunately I have nothing better to do with my mornings... (sigh).

patters's picture

In my case, the jobs which cause this aren't consistent, and I tried moving the ones I thought caused the issue and different ones started to do it. In my case these preceding jobs complete successfully and there is no service crashing evident in the logs.

I did find this last night that seems to implicate the byte count of the job being a factor (big jobs more likely to fail), though it's related to an older BE version:

But I mean come on. The Dell PV124T must be one of the most common libraries. I refuse to believe that something like Backup Exec isn't automatically QA'd on a selection of the most popular kit.

Or maybe it isn't. Maybe we're the QA team, testing the 'alpha' release. It certainly feels like it.

Elias AbuGhazaleh's picture

Patters - do yo have a case # I can reference from your interaction with our technical support department?

patters's picture

Sure it's 418-024-100. As of today it has been marked closed, even though I'm still without a resolution.

patters's picture

Well this just gets better and better. After attempting to run with SGMon enabled with the highest level of Device and Media debugging, I log in today to see that the whole system has become unresponsive, SGMon has crashed and a Duplicate-to-Tape task (from a local RAID array to my local SAS tape loader) has taken 18 hours to back up 120GB. Bravo. This really isn't fit for purpose. How can it even be on sale?

If you factor in the time I have wasted on this product over the years, purchasing a duplicate remotely hosted EqualLogic SAN with replication starts to look like good value.

As many have stated, backup is something that should occupy no more than 10 mins of my day. Not 95% of my working time, and countless unpaid hours in the evening and at weekends.

I'll be fishing around to see which competing vendors are offering rebates for people's existing Symantec maintenance contracts.

Symantec - you've had too many last chances.

David Palmerston's picture

Patters - I'm pretty sure I'm in your boat with TL2000 issues on BE2012 SP1 -

On Duplicate jobs I'm getting:

EventID 34113 "Data being read from the media is inconsistent"

EventID 57612 "Format inconsistency during a tape read operation" - from the disk device!

and on long-running jobs, I'm getting:

EventID 34113 "An Invalid Parameter was specified"


No hardware errors relate to these BE errors.

hazmat09's picture

I've been getting large data duplicate to tape jobs failing on me the past month. I was pretty convinced it was  the upgrade until today. I had to re-enable alerting on my TL2000. I ran a Hyper-V HA Cluster job last night, roughly 1.5TB of data. It failed 4 hours in and Backup Exec along with my TL2000 both sent error alerts.

I had Tape Alert 31 come from the TL2000. I called Dell Ent Support today and had them analyze everything. It was determined my tape drive in the TL2000 was having hardware error that would kick in during long/large jobs. They are replacing the drive on Tuesday.

I'll chalk this up to upgrade/hardware failure coincidence. I'll run some large jobs after I get the drive replaced and update via Tapeinst.exe prior to the jobs being run. I'll post back with my results. My TL2000 is only 2.5 years old, so I didn't think it would be failing already.

I will give Symantec props, as I had two software and hardware engineers reach out to me through the forum and called me to discuss the issues I've had with the upgrade etc.and asked for vxgather files etc.

Dell Ent.Support has always been top notch in my experience and again my issue was resolved in about an hour and I'll have a replacment drive by Tuesday.

Elias AbuGhazaleh's picture

You are welcome hazmat09.  Please let me know if you have any further questions after you get your drive replaced.  And please let us know how things go.

hazmat09's picture


Received the replacement LTO drive Tuesday and re-ran my full backups last night. I'm happy to report no errors. I had one DFS job that was just under 1TB and it dup'd to tape without issue.

I applied SP1a yesterday....

I also had success with a test job of one of my MS Hyper-V HA VM's on my SAN Cluster.

I'll be running the 1.5TB HV HA VM job over the weekend over the weekend to tape and see how that fairs.

29 servers dedup'd then duplicate to tape ran last night without any errors.....Yippee!

For anyone interested about my setup:

Dell R710 with a TL2000 Autoloader - "1 IBM ULT3580-TD3 drive"

OS - Windows Server 2008 Ent x64 - SP2

Backup Exec 2012 SP1a

Bulbous's picture

I've been giving 2012 an honest relentless attempt for a client with a simple set up, but I am still struggling to get my first successful backup. I've gotten to the point where the media server backs up correctly, but the remote server fails with the following error:

Error category    : Resource Errors
Error             : e000fe1f - The device cannot be found.

For additional information regarding this error refer to link V-79-57344-65055

Nothing is being backed up on the remote server other than a data folder. The remote server is 2008 R2 Foundation.

CraigV's picture


No AV blocking your BE services on that remote server? No firewall in place that's causing a disruption in comms between the RAWS agent and the media server?  Is the RAWS agent publishing correctly to your media server? And finally...have you tried to recreate the backup job for the remote server?


Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

jerrys79's picture

I've had successful backups for about a month with BE2012 but for the past 3 days I keep getting:

Storage device "Tape drive 0001" reported an error on a request to write data to media.

Error reported:

This operation returned because the timeout period expired.

V-79-57344-34032 - The device timed out.

Completed status: Failed
Final error: 0xe00084f0 - The device timed out.

The drive is only a month old.  It is a HP StorageWorks Ultrium 920 SAS.  I'm dreading opening a case with Symantec.  I'm out next week and don't have time for hours of troubleshooting.  Guess i'll first start with HP Library and Tape Tools and see if there is anything wrong with the drive.  Ugh.  Never had an issue with BE2010.

Bulbous's picture

I had my first good backup last night. The remote server had an extra entry in the selections list - which I could only see in the text view. This must have come from the migration. When I removed this entry, I got a successful backup on the remote server. I now have BE 2012 working in a two-server environment. Single server and 2-3 server environments make up the bulk of my clientele. I'm not overly confident with 2012, but I can see being able to sell this product to new customers.

I still have no idea what to do for larger clients with 4 or more servers.

BE_KirkFreiheit's picture

Hi Bulbuous,

The extra selection is indeed a migration artifact, and the only way to remove it right now is what you did: via the text view.  

Very glad you've seen some green checkmarks light up in the new GUI.

dougz's picture

I've been using Backup Exec for 9 years.  Without re-hashing a lot of the same complaints that we've already seen by previous posters, let me just say that I'm extremely disappointed.  My company just paid Symantec a lot of money for licenses, and now I'm already searching for a plan to get away from Backup Exec as soon as possible.  This is not a threat.  It's just an unfortunate reality.  I am literally sick to my stomach over this.

zoobadger's picture

I have a 16 slot Quantum autoloader that is completely useless because every tape gets an end marker unreadable errors.  Backup to disk speed is significantly slower than BE2010.  Inability to run simple one-time backups with options like choosing a last modified file date.  Inability to create a recurring job that runs a differential every night - some of my servers simply don't need a full backup on a regular schedule.

I could live with the server centric nature of the product, but I can't live with the lost flexibility in terms of choosing custom backup options and I certainly can't live with a product that's obviously incompatible with my Quantum Superloader. 

It's flawed and to make matters worse should never have been released since it clearly isn't ready for production.

Edit: Since I can only back up to disk, and since I can't run simple differential backups I had to spring for an 8TB NAS just to get basic data protection.  There are probably free products out there that are better than this.  Does Spiceworks have a backup feature, lol?

patters's picture

Great, someone else with the same complete show-stopping issue as me (End Marker Unreadable). My 16 slot loader also has a Quantum drive. I've been away from work for 2 days and the robotics spent the full 48 hours loading and unloading the same tape which was not overwritable. HOW COULD THAT BE A GOOD IDEA? If I haven't inserted a new one and re-scanned the slots, then what is the point of loading and unloading ad infinitum?

Anyway, I have been asked to try disabling hardware encryption on all jobs to see if that's where the problem lies. I'll report back with my findings.

@zoobadger, are you using hardware encryption?

If this is the source of the problem, what I would like to know, is HOW did Symantec get through multiple alphas, RCs and even the damn beta test with no one enabling encryption? Seriously.

zoobadger's picture

No - I'm not using hardware encryption nor was the problem caused by other jobs failing or the BE Exec services crashing. 

patters's picture

oh dear :(

I wonder what the problem is then. With this broken, the product is literally useless to me.

zoobadger's picture

Seriously thinking about re-installing BE2010. 

patters's picture

What I really love is how this forum doesn't even hyperlink to the post IDs properly - you just get taken to page 1. Brilliant.

BE_KirkFreiheit's picture

Hi Zoobadger,

I can't address the Quantum autoloader issues you're experiencing -- and I realize that's the biggest issue you're facing.

But, regarding the loss of backup flexibility you've mentioned, I wonder if you've found or tried a few things:

Backup using last modified date

- One-Time Backup using at last modified date: you'll find this option in the selections detail.  If you create a backup (either recurring or one-time), click "Edit" on the selection summary, and then click on the "Selection Details" tab.  You'll then be able to insert a file selection with all the options you've had in previous releases of Backup Exec:

Differential only (almost...just need one full to kick things off)

In the recurring backup dialog, on the "Schedule" page, you will find an option on the Full backup to "Run now with no recurring schedule".  If you use that option, and then schedule a Differential every day in the same Backup Definition, you're almost where you want to be.

In previous releases, we did allow Differential or Incremental-only standalone (recurring) backup jobs, but technically the first one had to be equivalent to a Full...we've made that fact explicit with 2012 (and the first backup sets are accurately marked as Full sets).

I'm curious: what is your recovery plan using a Differential-only backup scheme?

zoobadger's picture

I have two servers that rarely need full backups.  So in BE2010 I'd run a one-time manual full backup to tape when the backup window on the daily differential to disk became excesive.  This could be two months, or six months depending on circumstances.  Maybe this violates the purity of the best practices but it was a reasonable approach and worked for us.

But that's nothing compared to the fact that the Superloader just doesn't work with BE2012.  There's the end marker unreadable problem and also I'm getting about 700MB per minute throughput which is unacceptable.  And all kinds of read errors in spite of the fact that the device is brand new as are all the tapes.  Even erasing a tape generates all kinds of complex errors.  It's maddening.

BE_KirkFreiheit's picture

I don't have any criticism of your full/diff rotation strategy -- just wanted to understand it.  The scheduling options in 2012 should satisfy any requirements you have (except you'll have to run at least one full after upgrading).  I have heard stories of customers doing their full with one product and their diff/incremental backups with BE.  That seems like a recipe for trouble -- and it doesn't sound like you're doing that.

I'm trying to track down someone who could help with the autoloader issues you're seeing; that's beyond my scope of expertise.

Elizabeth Teffner's picture

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to give you an update on my request for user feedback. 

I had 9 participants who looked at the mock-ups of the new workflow. Everyone gave me a lot of great feedback which I’m taking back to the developers.

I wanted to thank everyone who participated!  I really appreciate everyone’s input!

Regards… Elizabeth

BankingIT316's picture

Thought I would post this here because this aggravating to me.  I recently downgraded from 2012 back to 2010.  Afterwards I thought I would write detailed instructions for other users who might want to do this.  I created an article and then as a precaution also made a new forum post (reply if they take down my post - I've already mirrored it elsewhere :) in case the article didnt get approved.

Today I got the following message from someone at Symantec.

The message states

Hope you are doing good. I've come across your recent article "How to downgrade from BE2012 to BE2010R3". I'd like to inform you that the article will not be published. Also, as a gentle request, please let us know if we can un-publish the forum posting too.

Just thought I would share :) 

Matt12345's picture

Wow... really... wow...

This is probably from the same product team that came up with the new BE interface...

I guess the users of BE 2010 will have to go underground for community based support. Maybe Veeam could sponser us.

Leozwei's picture

Never before we had to invest so much time to get all of our customers which we upgraded to 2012 back on the run and dealing with working backups. After now 5 weeks of bug and failure treating we've got tired and lost all confidence.
We hoped to get a straightforwared product and got a sick dinasaur. Slow, buggy and tricky.

I really hope the symantec reads all this from hereand other blogs such as spiceworks...

I'm trough with it.

Bulbous's picture

I started this thread because I, like many of you, was extremely dissatisfied with my initial impression of BackupExec 2012. My particular areas of concern were the new GUI and the "server-centric" paradigm shift.

This thread has gotten pretty large with most of you echoing my sentiments and adding many of your own.

Let me tell you, unequivocally, that Symantec has read these comments and has heard our pain loud and clear. They just flew some of us down to Orlando to meet with the team personally, to voice our greivances.

People, just hang in there. Some positive changes have taken place already with the release of Service Pack 1 earlier this week. Many, many more are in the works now - things like a return of the familiar "Job Monitor" page that we all rely on.

The server-centric concept is not going away. However, a system is being developed that lets you handle a sequence of backup jobs like a single entity - pretty much how we used to.

I came to Orlando fairly disgruntled, but I am leaving confident that Symantec is on the right track, and that new releases of BackupExec are once again going to be better than they were before.

For anyone that's still ticked off, if you get a chance, I would recommend that you participate in the upcoming beta for the next revision. I guarantee you will be much happier with it than with what you saw in the original release.

patters's picture

Who are you and what have you done with the real Bulbous?! What did they feed you in Orlando?

Just kidding! Couldn't resist. I guess BE 2012 R2 will be upon us fairly soon.

In other news, the intermittent End Marker Unreadable on tapes does now appear to be caused by a glitch with BE 2012's handling of hardware AES encryption support. By temporarily running the jobs with software encryption I haven't had a recurrence. Unfortunately pre-existing encrypted tapes written using BE 2010 R3 seem to be detected with unreadable end markers for the time being. Apparently an orphan fix is due out soon, with a proper hotfix to follow later once it's been through testing. How it took three whole weeks to get to this realisation is another matter...

EDIT - There's now a technote for this issue.

What I don't get though is that most decent tape drives do AES in hardware (i.e. there's no performance hit to having it enabled). Many customers will be sending their media for off-site storage with a 3rd party, and those tapes are often collected from relatively insecure reception desks or post rooms from which they could be stolen. So surely it follows that many customers will be encrypting their data. So why on earth is Symantec presumably running their QA testing with encryption disabled?

StrongmanTech's picture

I, too, attended the User Feedback Summit last week in Orlando, and have great hopes for the future of Backup Exec again. As Bulbous mentioned above, they are listening to this, and all forum posts, and are making great attempts to correct the functionality issues we've listed. With the latest release of SP1a, some of the items have already been corrected, and many more useability features that we've come to love, and sometimes hate, will be returning soon.

My biggest pain points were the server-centic mode we were forced to use, and the inability to exclude dates on a per job level.

As Bulbous explained above, they are still moving forward with the server-centric mode, but will be giving us a way to senquence the jobs for ease of monitoring and setup. This will allow us to manage our jobs, near the way we used too, but allow for enhanced features that only a sever-centic mode can provide.

The Exclude Date per Job functionality is back!

And, there a many more changes coming that will enhance the UI's and job performance.

I would also encourage you to keep a look out for the next beta release. It should resolve 99% of everything that has been mentioned in this forum post that has not yet been corrected, while also forging the next-generation backup and disaster recovery application.

Thank you to everyone at Symantec for bringing us down and taking the time to listen to us.

David Willoughby's picture

All the supposed efforts they are making now to fix the issues don't change the fact that they released this steaming pile to begin with. Are we supposed to just grin and bear it until they get their act together?

In my case, the latest "upgrade" to Backup Exec is more the straw that broke the camel's back rather than 1 big misstep on their part. I've been having issues with Symantec in general for years.

1) There are issues in Backup Exec that have existed for many versions that never get fixed.

2) Their licensing portal is a joke. It is far too tedious to get information there.

3) Support leaves a LOT to be desired. I'm tired of getting someone every single time who can't speak English. I'm also tired of always having my tickets assigned to someone who doesn't even work close to the same hours I do.

I could go on but I think you see the point.

I agree with one of the other posters on here. Some competing company could probably make a fortune offering to buy out existing Symantec maintenance contracts as a competitive upgrade. I for one would certainly consider it.

CRM250's picture

I agree with David's post.

I too agree that some versions of BE have not been fixed and just replaced which IMO is just not right. i still have clients out there with 12.5 and because they purchased it are left without fix's to certain issues. 

Granted if they had taken out support they could have upgraded to a less flawed version (like version 9 perhaps) but they didnt and often in a SBS enviroment they wont.

I also totaly agree the licensing portal is terrible. i have an enterprise vault to upgrade from V8 to current i have been putting off because i dont have half a day spare to play battle of the wills with symantec support to get my keys. 

Same with the support hours, however being in the UK i guess we are a minority now. 

I am still looking at alternatives and will not be forced down the route symantec assumes all customers should be working. The time i and others have wasted on this for what is essentially a seriously flawed product and in my opinion again, not fit for purpose is just disgusting. 

Symantec - in the windows world this is an epic fail even bigger than Microsoft and the release of Windows ME.

Dave OKeefe's picture

Wahoo. SP1a has fixed a couple of 'nice to have features'. I'm soo happy.

Now how about the fix the core product so that I can inventory my tape drives, clear alerts without having to restart or even give me errors that aren't "Unknown reason {0}" so could have something to search on.

Now I can't even cancel jobs since SP1a went in to fix the services hanging problem.

Have just contacted my reseller about changing to another supplier. At the very least we are going back to 2010 R3.

Biker_Dude's picture

I am glad SP1a has worked out for you.

There are plenty of reasons why an Inventory won't work.  Please be specific about why Inventory is not working for you.

What do you have to restart in order to clear alerts?  Please elaborate on the steps you take in order to clear alerts and what needs to be restarted.

When are you getting the "Unknown reason {0}" error?  During a backup, restore, utility job?  Please be specific when this occurs.

Thank you.

Dave OKeefe's picture

BE 2012 was working ok until the services started hanging. SP1a was released to fix this.

Clearing alerts.. I click on the relative icon on the Backup and Restore screen. This works for the 1st and sometimes second alert after that it hangs and eventually errors with "Unknown reason {0}" error, a timeout or asks me if I want to disconnect. The only way to get back into the CAS screen is to reboot. Previously refered to as restart.

I have been unable to do a manual backup since I installed SP1a. If I do try the job just sits there either snapshot processing or queued. I cannot cancel the job and to get rid of it I need to reboot. I have not attempted to restore

LukeFileWalker's picture

I feel your pain, I too have suffered many of the issues you have all outlined here

I also had that WTF moment when I first set eyes on BE 2012, especially after thinking well 2012 has got to be better than 2010 R3, I mean it couldn't be worse, could it??? So I went ahead and upgraded...

Well after a number of months which have included, deleting all my jobs that were "upgraded" from 2010 R3 and starting from scratch, to having my servers and jobs disappear at random from the BE 2012 ui, and so on... I have learned to live with it to a degree.

For those of you that want to set the order in which your resources are backed up, have a look at the below link, this also works with standard file backups

Bradl3y's picture

Thanks for posting the technote - I'd found this by trial and error.

The note says "If later edits are needed to the order then it is easier to remove all the existing selections and select again from a blank set of selections.", but it doesn't make it clear that you can change the order of a selection list for existing jobs - if you deselect a VM and then reselect it, it is moved to the bottom of the list. 

I do this for VMs that fail regularly, because the VM job will stop completely and won't process the rest of the list if the error is bad enough - so the VMs that back up more reliably are backed up first.

The VM jobs should have a "continue on to the next VM if a failure occurs" option.

LukeFileWalker's picture

Another thing I've used to sequence my jobs is the Priority.

So if I have 10 jobs to run every night to run to the same tape drive and I don't want to go working out the times for each job to start but I want them to run in some sort of sequence, I just block them off into sets and run them like this;

3 jobs at 19:00 with a priority of Highest (I know these jobs will need approx 3 hours to run)

3 jobs at 19:10 with a priority of High

2 jobs at 19:20 with a priority of Medium


2 jobs at 19:30 with a priority of Low

this way all the jobs will be running by 19:30 so I have no dead time in my backup window and the priority of the job will dictate which job will get the tape drive next.

Bradl3y - Re your VM's failing, If it's the same VM's failing all the time I would split the VM backups and use the job priority to manage the order they are backed up. So at least have 2 jobs one with a priority of highest for the good VM's and one with a priority of High or Medium for the bad ones. That way you will have a stable backup of the good VM's and if the 2nd job works that's a bonus.

BradleySCFO's picture

All of our VMs run in different jobs.. period.. have since i first started having issues with 2010 R3.  

David Palmerston's picture

Luke -

I don't know if maybe we should take this thread on its own, but..

In prior lives of BE, when using priorities, they would only come into effect if multiple jobs started on EXACTLY the same time (which I found problematic anyway since seconds pass very quickly).

With your description of your sets of 3 jobs scheduled 10 minutes apart, have you been seeing that the jobs scheduled later (let's say the 2 at 19:30) actually wait until all of the Highest, High, and Medium jobs start first in 2012?  I'd certainly like this.

If you are convinced that this is working for you with 2012, I'll add it back into our bag of tricks, otherwise I'll put it on our list to check for functionality.


LukeFileWalker's picture

Hi David

Priority does work for me even when all the jobs are running and waiting for the tape drive they wait their turn based on the priority I've assigned. Meaning that jobs with the Highest priority get the drive first, then High, then Medium and so on down to Lowest priority.

You just need to ensure that you

  1. set the “Keep the job scheduled for xxx hours before it is rescheduled” (on the schedule settings of the job or job defaults) to something long enough so the job doesn’t get cancelled and rescheduled automatically
  1. ensure your Media Set overwrite and append timeframes, and your media options on the backup job/job defaults are sufficient to ensure the later jobs actually append to the tape and don’t overwrite the data earlier jobs have created.

I’ve run it this way for a number of months without a single glitch

From my setup it seems to actually set the jobs to run in order based on the order you change the for example if I have say Job01, Job02, Job03 and Job04 all with an original priority of medium and I then set Job04 to Higest, then set Job02 to Higest, then set Job01 to Highest and set Job003 to Highest it will runs the jobs in a sequence of Job04, Job02, Job01 and then Job03.

The below is from the BE 2012 Help file

Changing the priority for a scheduled job
The priority determines the order that jobs run. If two jobs are scheduled to run at the same time, the priority you set determines which job runs first. The priority is changed for all occurrences of the scheduled job.

The priority of the job is displayed in the Priority column in the Jobs list.

To change the priority for a scheduled job

On the Backup and Restore tab or the Storage tab, double-click the server or the storage device where the job is scheduled to run.

In the left pane, click Jobs.

Right-click the scheduled job, and then click Change Priority.

Select the new priority.

zoobadger's picture

I upgraded to BE2012 because my BE2010 server was stuck in a "paused" state and the solution, based on user feedback, was a clean install with a new database (then import and catalog existing media).  So it seemed like a good time to install BE2012 since I had a license under my support contract.

For all the reasons cited here I was disappointed and frustrated.  But the bottom line is that it just wouldn't work properly.  The throughput on B2D jobs was poor, it wouldn't function at all with my Superloader 3 (LTO4), and that's to say nothing of the fact that it tripled the number of daily backup jobs and added a mountain of complexity to what was previously fairly simple.

So, since it was a clean install with an empty database, I was able to fall back to BE2010 easily enough.  Wow.  After a week and a half wrestling with BE2012 it was a delight to have the old system back. 

And the really puzzling thing is that there's no reason you can't create a totally server centric backup model in BE2010.  So the one major change in 2012 isn't even a new feature.  In fact, most of my daily backup jobs ARE single server, but I do need the option of combining servers in some instances.

And, notably, BE2010 works perfectly with my Superloader.  Go figure.  I would also note that it's probably a good idea with BE2010 perform a clean install periodically.  A lot of nagging issues magically disappeared when I brought up the clean database.  Importing and cataloging the existing backup jobs was a nuisance, but I immediately ran a one-off full backup of everything, and then created daily jobs which somewhat obviated my need for the historical backup sets.

LukeFileWalker's picture

Instead of doing a clean install you can use


which is in the BE install directory, e.g "C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\" and use that to resolve any database/view issues in BE 2012

zoobadger's picture

BEutility revealed the fact that the server was stuck on pause, but doesn't include any mechanism to rectify the problem. Had I simply done a clean install right away, instead of wasting several days trying to un-pause the server, I'd have been back up and running within a day or so.  So that's my point: in an SMB environment like mine, a clean install really isn't all that disruptive.  Especially since my BE system is primarily intended for DR rather than archiving.

And while the server was stuck on pause I was unable to run reliable backups creating a risk of data loss.  Getting back up and running quickly, and restoring my backup routine was the imperative and it was a mistake not to do a clean install promptly.

hazmat09's picture

Going on two months and still show stopping issues. 

This says it all, name of my backup job "Critical VM's" Backup Exec treats it as this:

BEDBG - Incorrect function, Backup Exec Job Engine failed....followed by Backup Exec has exceeded too many dumps....I'm not even going to go there.

Had a demo last week of Appasure and was quite impressed. I'm strongly thinking of going that route after maintenance expires.

I've wasted far too much time on this over the last two months.

Joshua Kane's picture


I will be reaching out to you about this issue, and helping to drive it to a conclusion.



Joshua Kane

Escalations Manager
ECRT (Engineering Customer Response Team)
Backup Exec Engineering
Symantec Corporation

jerrys79's picture

Some earlier comments from Bulbous and PCTeamAdmin who both went to Symantec last week said that Symantec will make many new changes and to stick with the product.  I'm in a situation where my maintenance ends next month so I have to decide soon. If I pass up on renewing maintenance and later decide to keep the product, I will have to pay thousands to essentially purchase it again.  If I renew and it continues to suck, I will continue wasting hours trying to get successful backups and get crap from upper management.

Of course the other side is that trying to find a new product, learning it, testing it, verifying backup/restores, getting pricing, updating documentation, etc, etc, etc.. will take an insane amount of time. Whatever I change to we will be stuck with so I also can't take changing vendors lightly either. This is the only product I follow so other products could be plagued with worse issues that i'm not aware of.  Backups are too critical which makes this decision so hard.

I did read the Gartner report released on June 11: The Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software. It shows Symantec, CommVault, EMC and IBM as leaders.

For now, i'm going to take a look briefly at some of these other vendors but don't have the time to fully trial/test them which is the main reason I won't jump ship yet.

Anyone have an idea of when Symantec is releasing the next beta?  I doubt anyone can answer this but Symantec employees please feel free to chime in. I'm interested to see how fast Symantec can essentially rewrite this garbage and if it will truly be any better.

Also, anyone know if there will be an update to BE 2010 R3 that will allow the agent to run/backup Windows Server 2012 RTM when it's released? Probably too early to be asking this but like I said my maintenance is coming up.  If the answer is yes, that would make my decision a lot easier. This is also probably a question for Symantec employees.


Larry Fine's picture

re: Anyone have an idea of when Symantec is releasing the next beta?

I think it is soon

If you find this is a solution for the thread, please mark it as such.

Bulbous's picture

I just got a beta invite. The actual software isn't posted yet, but should be by the end of the week. Looking forward to seeing some of the changed we specifically asked for.

Also, very much looking forward to having the Job Monitor back!

fowljewl's picture

I was in the exact same boat as you.  My renewal was coming up and I wanted to check out the new product before I decided whether or not to renew.  After working with it for almost a month, my decision was easy.  I am moving to something else.  Too many errors, too long waiting for tech support to respond to me after 5:30 when I have already left for the day.  First line of tech of tech support always says to run live update, which in my case only works some of the time.  Yearly maintenance is simply too costly for the level of tech support received.  There are much better and cheaper products out there.  I hate to give such a bad review of software but I really believe this version is simply broken, even with Service Pack 1a.

IT Chap's picture

I hope the upcoming R2 lives up to expectations, and actually works.  I'll hang on that long before deciding to renew the account, because as was pointed out here earlier, it is a lot of effort to switch product, and so far BExec has been making that choice easy.

I really hope we don't have any major requests for restores for anything archived over the past few months, as I have little confidence that I could comply. 

I recently went to the BE2012 Roadshow, and it could have been any product, just slip the brand name into the powerpoint at the appropriate place, and its all RA RA wonderful product, boost your RTO on the CEO by the XYZ yaddyyaya.  Wasted time, I left after 2 hours.  Not once did I hear, in a very loud voice, THIS IS NOT LIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE SEE BEFORE.  DO NOT INSTALL IT IN PRODUCTION UNTIL YOU HAVE THOROUGHLY TESTED IT'.  

They should have, as there has been 15 years of incremental changes, colours go to yellow, bits of this, bits of that, so why would the next version be different??  Pressure was on, Exchange2010 failing under BE2010, so I installed BE2012.  Nothing apart from meaningless sales blah to warn of the impending storm I and so many others sailed into.

You guys at BE must get it right this time, and skip the sales crap.

JiJoJaJuJe's picture

Years ago when Symantec acquired Backup Exec (or Veritas) I predicted it would take 3 versions for Symantec to fuck it over badly.

Unfortunately I was right in this regard.

Symantec is a manager driven bunch of idiots, that rather have UIs that make managers (well some types of them) get a boner than produce something that is actually functional. This has always been the reason we preferred VERITAS!! Backup Exec over ARCServe as they are the same way.

Not a whole lot of proper alternatives unfortunately.

But you have to grant it to Symantec. Screwing over so many things and still getting business is quite amazing. In the same respects I don't get what they did with Dell ITA either (now Dell Management Console). It installs over 70 pieces of crap (just have it screw up your vcenter server and have to remove it manually - you'll see) and requires 4GB of memory - whilst most users only want to get an e-mail when something is wrong with the hardware. Basic monitoring tools used to do this with much less. And they worked (can't get it working...).

One can only think they signed deals with every hardware vendor as they can sell much more to people that run bloatware - I mean Symantec software.

/me goes evaluating other products.

CraigV's picture

...language? Vent all you want, but keep it clean!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

JiJoJaJuJe's picture

With all due respect, this already is a seriously revamped trying to keep it social post.

If I would have said what I wanted to say....

ldunham1's picture

We are in 2012. New amazing technologies are just in the corner: Project Glass, “autonomous vehicles” and much more. The new concept of Backup Exec and this new interface can be considered one of those innovations.

We need to be aware about what we are dealing with before to say that the product is this or that.

Sometimes we can be judging our lack of knowledge, and covering ourselves pointing fingers to something new, just because we don’t know what we should know to be able to “control” the innovation. Human being don’t like to lose control of the environment.

We should give time to ourselves, study, ask with intention to learn, research, and in the end try to help the improvement of any new technology for our own benefit.

fowljewl's picture

There's a reason Service Pack 1a is already out.  It seems like I really can't getting anything done without some type of error popping up.  I then run through the 8 or 9 possible causes and still can't get anything to work.  Suggestions from tech support have been to recreate all partitions, recreate all jobs, recreate deduplication.  I even went so far as to uninstall and reinstall the program but I am still running into errors everywhere.  This software is simply not stable enough for a production environment.  I'm switching to something else. 

mike_r55600's picture

I agree with everyone here.  I have used Backup Exec for years, I am affraid to think how long.  So when I saw the upgrade from 2010 to 2012 I thought great, a better way to store data offsite or somthing.

Well the user interface is the worst thing I have ever experienced.  And the program just doesn't work. The jobs fail, I can't append, it is just frustrating. The capacity displays for my DLT tapes never change, I can't tell how much space is left on a tape after a job, though the DAT tapes display properly. I use to backup multiple servers on the same job, forget that, and I can't figure out how to make a "COPY" job.  I run a few tape drives every night, one just to hold an off site copy.  But if I run a full backup it resets all the archive bits and my differential backups are worthless after that.

I can't screw around with this any more, I need to revert back to 2010.

Or find a better product.

MMF's picture
Gentlemen, do not waste time. Symantec does not want to improve Backupexec. They have a better product, Netbackup.
Look for another solution. I recommend Arcserve.
tchgroup's picture

I would now have to say this was the worst investment to renew all our license agreements and plans for 2012. I just cant believe how cumbersome and crappy the job setup is and how it operates servers first and jobs second. I mean seriously what happened. As a software engineer did Symantec not even talk to any end users about conceiting or showing the software prior to release.

I have hours upon hours into this new version now. Only to be welcomed to jobs not making the time frame, insert media, failed jobs... It operates now with 4 times the amount of management needed to have good backups than before.

Unsatisfied is an understatement.

Epoch failure on your part. and now I find myself abandoning Symantec who we have used for 10+ years.

Kiran Bandi's picture

Interface and the way of configuring is very much changed from earlier verisons of BE. People might have spent months in learning in and out. Agreed.

But for admins, who really know (not who just feel they know) and spent time on learning how BE (earlier versions) works, it is not so difficult to understand and work with the cahnges made to the interface/software. By nature we think, what we don't know is not good and never work. 

Thing to understand is no software will come out in it's first release without any negatives in it. It will take some time for any sofwtare to be stabilized. So, a humble request is to go through the software, keep visiting forums, Known Issues section, Ideas Section, provide GENUINE feedback and help Symantec improving the software. It might take some time for symantec to fix all these issues, be patient. I hope R2 would fix a lot of them.