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License File for Backup Exec 2012 Migration

Created: 24 Oct 2013 • Updated: 29 Oct 2013 | 8 comments
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I am currently running Backup Exec 2010 R3 SP2 on Server 2003 Enterprise SP2 x86.  I am in the process up updating BE on this server to 2012 SP2.  I then plan on installing BE 2012 SP2 on a virtual Server 2008 R2 Standard x64 system, and migrating the instance of BE on the 2003 server to the 2008 server.  During the installation on the 2008 server, I will, as always with BE 2012, be prompted to specify a serial number or to import a license (.SLF) file.  The installer will then attempt to verify the license file by connecting to Symantec over the Internet.  If I use the same serial number and/or .SLF file on the 2008 server as I used on the 2003 server, will the installer successfully verify the license, or will it reject it because it was used on the 2003 server?  If it will reject it, what is the best practice for installing BE 2012 on a new server for the purpose of migrating an existing instance of BE to it?

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pkh's picture

No. BE 2012 requires a whole new set of licence keys. It will not accept the BE 2010 licence keys

To migrate your BE 2010 to BE 2012 do an in-place upgrade of your BE 2010 then move it to the new server. Note that Symantec does not recommend the use of a VM as a media server

lmosla's picture


For license questions it is best to contact Symantec License dept at 1800-634-4747 and check  the Licensing Portal 

For install help here is a great video  

Hope this helps

brownr's picture

Hello.  Thank you for taking the time to respond. 

Unfortunately, you have misunderstood my question.  When I upgrade BE 2010 to 2012 on the Server 2003 R2 system (the in-place upgrade as you call it), I will use a serial number or license for 2012.  When I install BE 2012 on the Server 2008 R2 system, can I use the same BE 2012 serial number or license?  I think that I should be able to do this because this is part of a migration of BE from one server to another, but I am concerned that the online license verification that BE 2012 may prevent me from doing this because the license will have already been verified on the Server 2003 R2 system.  BE 2012 will be removed from the Server 2003 R2 system once the migration is complete.  I should not be required to buy another license just so that I can perform the migration, but I would like to check this before attempting the migration.

As far as the VM goes, the Server 2008 R2 system is being hosted on a Server 2012 system.  I am forced into this arrangement because Symantec still does not have a version of BE that can be installed on Server 2012.  Once that is available, I will need to again migrate BE, this time from the Server 2008 R2 VM to the physical Server 2012.  The Server 2008 R2 VM will then be decommissioned.

Innocent Bystander's picture

If you use the license number when installing 2012 licenses, it will contact Symantec to download the license file. There is a limit on how many times you can do this which is based on how many licenses the specific license number covers.

When using the license (.slf) file to add the license, the server does not contact Symantec, and in real life you can use it as many times as you need. We use the files on servers which are blocked from the internet (we have one license number which cover all our backup servers).

If you need to migrate the server after you are blocked from using the serial number, the files can be found on the server. Just search for slf files.

And while we are on the subject of licenses: With BE 2012 you no longer need to run the (terrible) License Assessment tool to check what licenses are in use. There is now a nice PowerShell cmdlet that does this for you. Just log in to the backup server (or connect using remote shell) and issue the commands:

import-module bemcli

Get-BELicenseInformation | Select-Object name, licenseusedcount | Format-Table

- or if you want to see only the options where licenses are used:

Get-BELicenseInformation | where {$_.licenseusedcount -gt 0}  | select name, licenseusedcount

pkh's picture

In the mean time you would be using alternate configuration. If you have a problem you might be asked to prove that the problem exists on a physical server before Symantec will take a look at it.

brownr's picture

Hello PKH.  Please do not focus on the fact that one of the servers is a VM.  Regardless of whether the server is virtual or physical, I’d like to know in advance if I can specify the same serial number or license file on both servers involved in the BE 2012 migration process.  If you have that information, please pass it on to me.  Thanks.

lmosla's picture

yes, you should be able to use the same license info that you have but I reccomend doing a fresh install if at all possible on the new 2008 server.  Since BE 2012 is quite a bit different than 2010 R3 you should install it on a test machine first if you can.

also take a look here for just released new on a Beta coming out for Windows media server 2012 support.

brownr's picture

Thank you for the confirmation about being able to use the same license during the migration.

As indicated in my previous postings, the installation on the Server 2008 R2 system will be a fresh install.  This is in accordance with Symantec’s documentation ( on to perform this type of migration.

The information about the beta version of BE is not helpful.  I do not use beta software.  Also, Symantec has not provided a reliable and meaningful indication on when the beta or the final product will be available.  This information does not change my course of action.