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Warning: BE 2012 maintenace renewal gone bad

Created: 03 Dec 2012 • Updated: 02 Jan 2013 | 2 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Dear all,

This entry is first of all a warning for users of Backup Exec 2012 to be careful when installing renewed maintenance contracts on their Backup Exec server. Further, this is a message to Symantec support:  please get your license activation wizard in order!  I just spent hours taking to support, rebooting and troubleshooting my server.  Entering a license should only take 2 minutes!  It should take care of automatically recognising all licenses and refrain from de-installing options and stop complaining about renewals that are already done.  We have better things to do than troubleshooting license issues on BE servers.


- BE 2012 displays a warning on the home screen about license maintenance contracts that are expiring.  I order the renewal through our local Symantec patner.  At the same time I order (for the first time) the Enterprise Option.

- When the license certificate arrives, I launch the licensing wizard using the option "3. Add new serial numbers and then remove expired serial numbers." on the BE 2012 home screen.

-  I add all new maintenance contracts using the serial numbers (as this is a more comfortable option than downloading license files).  Please note:  none of the existing maintenance agreements had already expired.  I was renewing earlier than their expiration dates!  I also install the enterprise option when asked in the installation wizard.

- After finalising the wizard I launch Backup Exec 2012 only to find that the whole server switched to 'Trial Version'.  The "License Information" screen shows that everything I need is licensed (in trial) and also that some agents (i.e. Agent for applications and databases) that I used previously for months are not installed (anymore)!   => BE apparantly removed agents without even asking me, despite the fact that these options were correctly ticked in the installation tree view!

- I call BE technical support but I get redirected to License Support.   I open a case and the support contact forwards me SLF files for the licenses and instructs me to install the SLF file for the BE server itself first.   I run the wizard again and import the SLF file.  The wizard complains that the serial number is invalid...  Without changing anything I try again using the exact same file and now the error reads "already installed".  Huh?  Is it invalid or installed?  BE, please make up your mind!   When clicking "next" not all installation options are selected for installation.  I manually re-tick all the ones I need and finish the wizard.  After a relaunch of the GUI the server is suddenly back in normal licensing mode, but it still complains about maintenance contracts that will expire (although the renewal is already installed).

- When mentioning this to the Support Contact I get transferred back to the technical support department where they create a new case

(And finally:  the support contacts (in India?) are barely understandable.  Not because of their lack of command of the English language, that was actually quite good compared to other vendors, but simply because the phone line quality was terrible.)

Total time spend: 2h30 minutes, including remaining on hold when calling support.

Symantec, please, this is not how a simple license renewal should work.  Give us serial numbers by email, let us enter them and from then onwards it should just work!

I will give this information to the technical contact as well when they call me back. Any other info will be added to this forum post when I learn more.

Best Regards,


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Orionex's picture

I think you have provided by the maintenance licences , in order to use the product not in trial mode you will have to put the serial number for the product (without the word Maintenance) 

wimbor's picture

@Orionex: thanks for the suggestion, but the product licenses were present on the system.

In the meantime I worked with Symantec technical support on this case. I understood from their comments that a problem in their licensing systems caused the license activation on my installation of BE to behave erratically. That issues should now be solved.

Thanks, case closed!