Sep 21, 2009

Troubleshooting Backup Exec 12.5

I have really been slacking lately on the blog, and for that I want to just apologies right off the bat. I started a new job a couple of weeks ago and that has been keeping me busy as all hell. One of the things I have been working on was getting a new backup server running, and that is where a lot of my time has been spent.

If you have read some of my older posts, I mention using CA Arcserve. That was at my last company, and I am glad that I no longer have to use that sorry piece of crap software any more. At my new company I am using the industry standard, Backup Exec from Symantec. In fact, I am using Backup Exec 12.5 SP2. I thought this software would be all wine and roses, but I found out that it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Backup exec 12.5 If you ever have to setup a new Backup Exec server from scratch, here are a couple of things I noticed that may help you out.

My first issue was that Backup Exec could see the tape library, but couldn’t see the tapes in the slots. It just listed all slots as empty. To fix that I had to go into my tape library interface and set the Library Mode to random. I am using an HP Library, so that is what it is called in HP lingo. If you have a different library, check the users manual, or Google search for the proper configuration for your make/model. Once that is set, restart Backup Exec services, and you should see tapes in the slots.

My next issue was that the tape drive didn’t appear under the robotic library. It appeared separate! To fix that I had to manually select the Symantec drivers in device manager for the Tape Library. It turns out that when you select to use the Symantec Drivers during setup, Windows doesn’t automatically change them over. You should see something like this in Device Manager:

Device Manager

If you don’t see that, then you are still using your OEM driver. To change it:

  • Right click the device, and select Update Driver Software
  • Select Browse my Computer for driver software
  • Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
  • Select Unknown Medium Changer and select Next then Finish Unknown Medium Changer
  • Reboot if necessary

Finally, my last problem was that Backup Exec couldn’t manipulate the tapes correctly. In the library it showed all tapes as Unknown Media. Inventory failed. Disk Erase failed. Nothing worked. In fact, Backup Exec couldn’t even see media that was in the drive. I found out that Backup Exec doesn’t like to start up with a tape in the drive. I went into the library web interface, and manually ejected the tape. Then I restarted Backup Exec services and BAM! Now I can erase and write to media. Tapes no longer show up as Unknown Media, and I can see a tape in the drive!

Have you had any problems with Backup Exec? Care to share any tips/tricks/recommendations? Hit me up in the comments!

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