I Hate Symantec Backup Exec.


I do. I hate it. It is the last fucking backup software I would ever recommend these days, and it’s still the fucking industry standard. 

Backup exec has been a pain in the fucking ass for years and years and years. Thank whatever god you believe in that backup tapes are on their fucking way out. Magnetic media… impacted by magnets. The earth is a giant god damned magnet…. Ok, I’m not getting into how stupid that is, that’s a post for a different day. 

Every fucking time I touch backup exec to upgrade to the next version it fucking blows up in my face. 

I started the upgrade for a client of mine from 2010 to 2012. You would think that a multi-billion dollar company like symantec would understand the importance of making one revision of software easily upgraded to the next. Clearly they do not. 

Backup Exec 2010 had an addon option called “Desktop Laptop Option” hence forth called DLO. That no longer exists in 2012, cause it is it’s own product now. With that installed for 2010, you cannot upgrade to 2012 unless you remove it. Seems simple enough. Open Backup Exec, go to options or something like that and uncheck it. Then of course, it asks for the 2010 installation disk.

Apparently when 2010 was installed, it was installed with a download from their website. Not a problem, we do this all the time. Someone at the client however, deleted the installation files. Fuck. 

To Google I go. The internet is littered with people in the same predicament. The solution is to go to the Backupexec.com downloads area and download the trial version of DLO2012. So I did. It’s not there. You have to fill out a request form to have a sales person contact you regarding it. Two days later, they email you and ask if you’re certain you want this. You have to convince them that yes, you want it, and then they email you the download link. 

Downloaded this 400MB software, and installed it on the server… almost. It wants a serial number. To me, this doesn’t exactly scream “trail version”. 

Instead of waiting another two days to hear back from symantec, I decided that their current backup job isn’t all that complicated, and recreating it wouldn’t be a big deal. So I removed the 2010 software all together. Reboot. 

Installed 2012, the report said it went fine. Reboot. However, the serivces do not start. Did a repair install. Reboot. Still no good.

Scoured the internet, for the error message: The Backup Exec Server Service did not start. An internal error (-1) occurred in object 51. The “Solution” is to remove the software again, reboot, then manually hack out ALL references to Symantec and Backup Exec from the registry. reboot. Then install again. reboot, and everything should be peachy. 

Are you kidding? Who is writing this code that an uninstall can’t fucking uninstall correctly? For the amount of money my client is spending on me to do this upgrade, on an installation that was running find I might add, they could have bought a whole redundant NAS device and backed up across the network with Robocopy, for Christ’s sake. I have submitted a ticket to Symantec, I’m sure I’ll hear back at some point in the next three to twelve years. 

Why can’t you make a software that just fucking installs or upgrades? How is someone who runs a small business supposed to handle things like this, if everyone thinks you buy a disk, put it in, and hit go. 

This is the worst god damned software on earth, bar none. I swear, if the installation doesn’t like the color of the paint on the walls, it fucking throws a bitch fit. 

I need to go listen to some really loud Tool for a while. Fuckers. 

52 thoughts on “I Hate Symantec Backup Exec.

  1. I’ve found Symantec support of Backup Exec to be very good. You’re right, though, it’s a PITA that upgrades aren’t as smooth as they obviously could be.

    On the bright side, at least it’s not Windows NT Backup. :O

    • You know what Beefy, as much as I hate to admit it, I definitely can’t complain about the support guy I had… I could understand almost everything he said, he was punctual with his call back, patient, and seemed to know his stuff…

      At least that’s improved.

  2. Is there any other way to resolve the “The Backup Exec Server Service did not start. An internal error (-2147024882) occurred in object 51. ” problem? I have a customer with the same problem and I don`t want to reinstall it. Then recreate all the jobs etc…

  3. Thank you…at least it’s not just me…..I manage backups for 8 European sites and it is the closest I have come to a plate-spinning contest. You finally fathom out the issue on one site, restart services, reinstall, reboot, re-create jobs, re-enter new credentials, re-invent the f***ing wheel…..then the next site goes down…backup failed due to..’unspecified error’. Or target does not have agent installed. Really…hang on let me check..oh yes…agent is installed and up-to-date so that’s that reason screwed! Anyway…eventually you get that site working..but now the original site has stopped again…get it working..now another has gone down…!!!! Managing backups is supposed to be one small component of a European administrative role and it takes up somewhere close to 60% of my time. I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it is! Oh…and their support guys are great…polite and knowledgeable…I guess they get to have a lot of practice at troubleshooting this awful, awful product.

  4. OK, after this blog, the following remark on recent Symantec’s blog post is quite funny to me:
    “To ensure that we meet these [quality] standards, we are adjusting the time frame for the availability of the Backup Exec 2010 R3 SP3 and Backup Exec 2012 SP2 beta software to May, 2013. We completely understand the urgency to provide the latest platform support to our customers and are diligently working to do so with the highest quality product possible.”

  5. Hey Anton, we actually are making changes. Glad you guys at Veeam are reading our stuff.

    Grumpy, based in the age of this thread it looks like you are taken care of. Please let us know if you are continuing to have any other support problems. Try us on Twitter for the quickest support responses @js3012, @lmossla, @donaldeady.

  6. I did a search for “I hate Symantec” and this came up. Glad I found it so I can say how much I hate Symantec. The problems I now face from an upgrade of 2010 R2 to R3 are such a pain in the a** that I cant begin to tell you how many failed jobs I got as a result. It was a pain to work with before and its worse now. Tech support sucks…they have no damn clue. Every issue I have had to resolve myself from hours of research. Im done with them, they suck and they always will. We are moving to Veeam soon once we dump a couple physical servers. Cant wait to go to bed at night not having to worry whether my jobs will fail by morning.

  7. ROTFL… this is certainly me experience as well. This is what happens when you companies get to big to manage. I’m looking at rolling over to NetVault instead. It’s like what Backup Exec use to be like when it was still a Veritas product. Simple, easy to use, has support in San Francisco. Good stuff. A little pricier, but you get what you pay for.

  8. Made a HUGE mistake last fall and ‘upgraded’ to BE 2012. We use IdealStor external, removable disks. Every time we change disks, 2012 marks them as off line. Restart the services. Inventory and IF, IF! you are lucky… the disk stays on line. Otherwise, restart the services and try again.
    Also, good luck on setting an age on the files. I have a scheduled task set to delete the files a few hours after changing disks and restarting services… then I pray it worked. Can’t wait till I go on site next week. I want to rip that *($%^ off of the server in person, myself. Called the very nice and knowledgeable tech support person. Worked on it for weeks. Got escalated twice. Finally Tier 3 Support suggested I just go back to the 2010 version because they will never work with our hardware we have used for many years on several versions of Backup Exec.
    When 2010 is no longer support, I will investigate a RELIABLE backup solution.
    2012 is junk. Cheaper and easier to just make an entire disk image every day than cope with this trash.

  9. Wow, I never really expected this to get shared around so much, but I’m more than happy I could contribute to the over all stress relief by blowing completely up, and ranting like it was the end of the world.

    Gotta say, it was fun to write in my blind rage, and it’s nice to get some folks to commiserate.

    As far as the software, I’m hoping they someday redesign it, cause it wasn’t always a terrible product.

    For me, I’ve been using an on-line solution that we resell to our users. It’s been pretty solid, and support is fantastic.

  10. is there any chance uploading somewhere the Beta version of Backup exec 2010 R3 SP3? I need it so bad and I wasn’t approved yet! :(

  11. “…cause it wasn’t always a terrible product.”

    That change seemed to coincide with the takeover by certain infamous purveyor of buggy bloatware. Seriously, I’d be embarrassed to admit it if I were a Symantec developer. That’s like saying, “I snarl sand-burrs into shoe laces for a living. Yer welcome.”

    I had no say in the decision to upgrade, now I’m stuck supporting 2012. It’s a disaster. The same jobs–unedited–will run fine one day, croak the next with completely vague error messages. Run the SGMON and fill a drive with logs waiting for it to crash again, then search a million rows for “error” or “failed” only to get another worthlessly vague error message.

    I’m building my case to drop this crap. Thanks to all for the suggested alternatives.

  12. Interesting story I found it by looking for reviews about Backup Exec, is there some other software that you could recommend for a small business ?
    Thanks

  13. Made mistake upgrading to 2012 last year. Had to downgrade back to 2010 R3
    2012 is junk as original release. Waiting for SP2.

  14. Pingback: I Fucking Hate Acronis Just as Much as Backup Exec! | Grumpy IT Guy

  15. I am having the exact same headache! I had to upgrade to use the new license I purchased. Seriously.. This DLO issue is bad, and they just keep passing me around. Hello I pay for your service.. The static in the line and the foreign accents do not help either. I think i’m done with Symantec. You can compare their support to AT&T, but worse you have to include their very bad phone connections and foreign accents.

  16. I totally agree with your post, backup exec went from being a good program to being a waste of money the day Symantec bought out Veritas. Symantec couldn’t program to save their lives. Norton AV is the worst AV software I’ve ever seen and I don’t understand why so many people pimp it out in shops and even worse manufacturers install it by default on new hardware.

  17. Sadly, one of the funniest IT reads that I’ve come across in quite some time. Sadly because I found myself in the same Symantec BE boat on more than one metric dozen occasions. I always wondered if Backup Exec has had the same single set of programmers since its inception.

  18. Just wanted to say that I finally got a tech in the states that knew what he was talking about, and was of great help. If you get stuck ask for a Tech from the United States. It may delay your line in the call QUE but you might get a little better help. He did a great job. We got it working. I’m still not to thrilled with this new version, but we will see.. We ended up uninstalling DLO with the old 2010 cd in the drive.. then reinstalled it with the 2010 cd in the drive and removed it again. Really it just wants the original install files just like he said in the blog.. but it never offically tells you that it just pops up with an error. My gut feeling was that is what it was, and I tried that with no luck. The trick was I had to reinstall dlo then remove it again. crazy.. The Tech also agreed that there were several struggles on this upgrade! He also told me that a update is comming out here in July 2013.

    I love this Blog! You know those things you keep thinking in your head.. well he hit the nail on the head.

    • Ugh, god… What a work around that is. Glad you got it working though. When you get the update, let us know how it goes, I’m curious to see if it breaks more things than it fixes.

      And thanks! I do too. I put it together as a place to vent and SAY the things one keeps thinking in one’s head. I’m accepting guest blogs, if you’re interested. :)

  19. Even though he continuously hammers my product and my company (and often deservedly so) I do enjoy the GrumpyITGuy.

    That being said, this is a reply to everyone. If you are having issues with support, there are a lot of different ways to connect directly to Tech Support Engineers. This blog lists several of them: https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alternative-ways-access-official-backup-exec-technical-support It also has many of my direct contacts. I am happy to help or get you connected to folks in Product Mgmt & Engineering to discuss any issues you are having.

    I’ll take the abuse…but I am here to help

    • I rarely blame the tech’s. It’s the management and their poor product development, testing, and listening to feedback that makes our life a living hell.

  20. I just spent 1 hour and 52 minutes on the phone with Symantec trying to correct a virus. During the conversation I provided my credit card and they made a fraudulent charge of $179. My credit card company’s fraud division thankfully caught the card and froze my card.

    I have had Norton nearly 20 years on multiple computers. Today was the first time I have ever contacted them. They told me it would cost $99.99 to receive assistance.

    I spoke to the following employees:

    Jenny
    Sam
    Alice
    Roman
    Tony (California)
    All of the others are in the Philippines.

    This company does not permit customers to speak to anyone stateside. I was advised to send a fax to the corporate office, and they may address my concerns.

  21. Backup Exec 2012 is the worst product to date. They took a decent product and made it worst. I am not going to list all the problems with this new version since so many people have already done it.

    To add insult to injury this year they fucking raised Backup Exec price by 20%. Since it is the industry leading product maker we are stuck with shitty product and now we have to pay more for it. Who else are you going to use, Acronis backup? Hah Good luck with that one.

    Symantec is such a badly managed company. It is all about fucking corporate profit for them. One idiot CEO leaves and another fucking idiot take over while getting paid millions. The fucking products remains shitty.

    Don’t even get me started on their fucked up website and so called cloud spam filtering/anti virus protection shit.

  22. Hey Grumpy…

    Not sure if you saw but the service packs for BE 2012 & 2010 were released. You can find them at http://buex.ec/10n12SP Hope they help.

    Also, I’d love it if you could join our G+ Hangout today. We’re talking about the new SPs with engineering & product management. This is a chance for you to speak directly with the folks who write the code and steer the product. Wheels up at 2.00 PM EDT: http://buex.ec/10n12SP

  23. Is it true that someone has to rant online to get one of the Symantec people to respond?? I guess so.

    I already had the chat with Symantec tech support people. They collected all the log files and there solution was a fix which Symantec had not even tested. Basically they told me I was on my own until next service pack comes out with no date provided. So I have the new SP2 for BE 2012 and plan of updating the server and agents this Evening. There goes my fucking Friday night. If rollback is required, then there goes my fucking weekend.

    All the too big to fail tech companies these days puts out product just for sake of putting out something. It is like they all get together and say, “How can we generate more revenue by using the same old shit we have?” “I know, let’s change the interface. That seems to work with Microsoft over the years.” All these fucking companies should be subject to class action lawsuit but who is going to make the money?? The Fucking Leech Lawyer…So nobody does it.

    When the product is out, they all go, “Hey all IT people, we have a new GREAT product out which really doesn’t do much more than before, except the user interface has changed. You are all fucking screwed until you figure that out first. It is not like you have anything to do during the day or weekend so read this 500 page manual for this new version first. Also give us more money for making it worse and to figure out how else we are going to make this junk in the future version.”

    Case in point with fucking Microsoft people with Windows 2012 and the fucked up Windows 8 & Office 2013 with the shitty colors. Seriously!! Was this designed for corporate environment?? Whoever fucking approved that should be shot, butchered up and fed to the dogs. Did Microsoft fucking people realize that most the people who use Windows and Office products are a big dummy, who can’t even fucking figure out there DVR remote?? If a single icon is changed they come whining like a little bitch to IT department?? Of course with new version I have to spend hours trying to figure out where is the new location for this thing or that thing.

    Worst of all IT department has become the SHIT bucket in all the companies. It is the dumping ground for the entire jack ass people who don’t want to or can’t figure out how to do there fucking jobs. If the dumb fucks in accounting, sales, shipping and etc. department can’t figure out anything they give the shit to IT department to figure out. Mean while companies like Symantec and Microsoft never sits down and try to figure out what is best for the It department. Instead of making products which just works so I don’t have to worry about it, they figure out how they can make it more difficult to implement, use and troubleshoot. In the end I have no option but to fork over $$$ per case.

    Thanks for nothing assholes!!

    Oh I forgot that meantime this fuckign Backup Exec shit is happening I still have to take care of Users administration, Server administration, SQL administration, Exchange administration, Mail Archiving, 3rd party software, Custom software, Firewall, VPN, Telephone system, Security, ERP, Financial GP, Desktop, Backup (server/desktop), testing. Physical and virtual enviornment, Mobile devices and all the shit other department dummies can’t understand. Meanwhile the tech person at Backup Exec only has to know one software and when they get on the phone they all want you to know there software as well as they do so they can close the case fast….

  24. I’m currently struggling to get the morons at Symantec to follow their own licensing info and provide the DLO 10-user license for my Backup Exec 2012 maintenance upgrade. I’ve used their products for years, but if a company wanted to be sure that their current customers never bought another thing from them, they couldn’t do a better job than what Symantec is doing. I seriously doubt this company will be around in a few years.

  25. So Backup Exec 2012 still doesn’t support windows 2012!!!!!! 18 months since W2012 release and Symantec still hasn’t managed to update software.
    Yes i know i need to install 2008 server so i can backup 2012 with an agent! genius idea. Worst of all they don’t have any idea when BE2012 will be possible to use as Media server (Maybe sometimes in 2015). It makes me wonder what Management has been thinking in the last 2 years since Server 2012 was announced. I can see Blackberry written all over this company.

    Looks like its time to scrap all BE’s in use and start moving to something else!!!!!!!

  26. Grumpy, u r hilarious!
    Never thought that software review could be that funny
    Totally loved it, but let me ask you: did u stick with Backup Exec or u switched to smth else?
    If u did switch, then what to?
    I will definitely put a link to your post in my blog, u rock!
    I thought my review of BE was harsh, but that was BEFORE I read yours 8)))))))))))))

    here is mine, BTW
    Symantec Backup Exec 2012 bug report: ‘BE2012 was the horror’

    http://vbscs.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/symantec-backup-exec-2012-bug-report/

  27. Pingback: What do Symantec and the F-word have in common? Anatomy of a failure | VBSCS

  28. Would like to hear from those that have jumped ship or bit the 2010 R3 SP3 bullet.
    Note: I’m not interested in hearing from those using BE 2012 but, thanks anyway.

    I’m not sure I want to pollute by shiny new 2012 servers with Symantec agents.
    I’m not even sure I want to install Veeam software (agents) to them yet either.

    I continue to replicate to a 2008 R2 server and then backup with BE 2010 R3 SP2.
    I have tested Veeam install on 2012 in one of my labs and it seems OK.

  29. VEEAM is the way to go..
    but I have a client who is using Citrix XenServer .. no veeam support there….yeah I know…
    Anyone got a solution like Veeam for XenServer?

  30. Hey folks, I haven’t read all of the comments here, but I’m so happy to see I’m not the only one… I am, AGAIN, looking for troubleshooting hints for our BE “infrastructure” which is causing me headaches again. Seriously, BE is the worst piece of sh… sorry, “code” I have ever seen. Seems like every line is buggy, and I’m not kidding. I’m sure they spend more time at growing hemp than programming at Symantec. Even Windows Millenium was a masterpiece compared to Backup Exec :-) I remember the support was awful too, they even told me I can check options that are not implemented at all. No joke!

  31. I Hate Symantec 2. They did not backup their own server!! They already wrote that they can not provide me all of my data …. this case its data stored between 2010 and 2013.. They can provide me the data of sets that are still actif in the account. But can not provide the sets that are stored in the account and are not actif in the backupaccount…. USA, can not help, Ireland not… now it will be a legal case legal department UK. Wish me luck! I will need it…. something went… very wrong there…. You almost have to believe that the data was only on 1 server…. when something went wrong.

  32. When you Want to enjoy fullfunny unfunctionallity of backupexec try using Backup exec 2014…: Remote agent push not working with alien error code… Symantec workaround is install by Han… Nice 160 servers later in done…. Then 4 weeks of errors later my backup to disk device ~14 TB are full many sets marked for deletion but nothing happens… Symantec says: DLM is fucked up please backup to tape instead…fuck them.

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