back to article Hit upgrade on Symantec Backup Exec, and unleash Hell

Backup Exec 2012 users are screaming in frustration over the "improvements" pushed out this year. Users were chatting on the Symantec Connect forum about the redesign, saying that it's more like a trip to the dentist after all. Here are just a few of the 228 comments on the forum: Bulbous: "Menus are now hidden behind other …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What sort of idiot upgrades their backup software without evaluating the new software in pre prod first?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The sound of a shot....

      Ahhhhhhrrrggghhh, the sound of the bullet passing through the foot.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      er, windows admins?

      Ducks, runs.

      Ok, small companies who don't really run pre-prod and anyone who has been told that the software has been bought and they must go away and install it to replace some really old software.

      I'm not saying they should, just that it happens. Some admins are paid to deal with the grief.

      1. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        Your comment:

        `Some admins are paid to deal with the grief.`

        contains a 'typo'; it should read:

        `Some admins are NOT paid ENOUGH to deal with the grief.`

        There, fixed it for you!

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Charles 9 Silver badge

    I have to wonder if this was really a case of something that wasn't really broken. Or rather, just what about the old product did Symantec consider to be so broken that fixing it was only possible through a complete and untested (perhaps untestABLE) overhaul?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Has Symantec become the new CA? A place where good software goes to die?"

    Haha. Of course not. It's been the home of bloated crap for many years and they're just bringing their backup software in line with their other products.

    1. bpfh Silver badge

      Remember when Norton tools where the standard for systems tools?

      Come back Peter, all is forgiven!

    2. John O'Grady

      I concur

      I have very fond memories of Partition Magic - written by a bunch of geniuses and which could do things with disk partitions that no one else can do even today. Then Symantec bought out PowerQuest and killed it in 2003 - never even wrapping its functionality into any of their other products. And the reason they bought PowerQuest, if memory serves, was to take the other product - Drive Image, out of the stores because it was cutting into Symantec's Norton Ghost bottom line. 10 years later and Ghost still doesn't work as easily as Drive Image!

      1. Xeiran

        Re: I concur

        Try Tom Ehlert's Drive Snapshot, great little imaging program with an incredibly easy GUI, works natively over networks, reasonably cheap, and licensing terms that are either lenient or vague enough that you only need a license for every running instance, not every computer you ever use it on like Symantec - which makes it affordable for IT people to image new computers.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone mention that it complains about not being able to back up Dell utility partitions?

    You can't tell it to ignore the warning, and because of the warning every backup job reports as "failed" rather than a more useful graduated warning.

  6. bigfoot780


    Is it ribbon rage all over again?

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Ribbon

      Are you saying that ribbon-rage was unjustified???

  7. Chris Miller

    When I hear the words

    "In order to better meet the needs of our customers", I am immediately certain of two things:

    1. No customers whatsoever will have been consulted before making the change.

    2. In some undefined way, my life is about to become slightly worse.

    1. Fatman Silver badge

      Re: When I hear the words...`in order to better meet the needs of our customers`

      Is `doublespeak` for the bullshit from the marketing weasels.

      Hey Reg, can we get a bullshit icon?????

      This one comes to mind:

    2. Chika

      It's all for the greater good (Re: When I hear the words)

      Actually, it's corporate defence speak for "oh dear, we've really cocked it up but we don't want to spend the time and money it would take to correct the mistake we made so if we keep chanting 'it's all for the greater good', perhaps the punters will believe us".

      It's all for the greater good, the greater good, the greater good, the greater good...

  8. Tim99 Silver badge

    Serves them right

    Serves them right - They should have learnt rsp and tar and xcopy like wot we had to before they let us near a proper computer.

    In the snow, uphill both ways...

    1. The Brave Sir Robin

      Re: Serves them right

      tar ? xcopy ? Used to dream of using tar and xcopy. I had cpio to contend with.

      1. Chika

        Re: Serves them right

        Of course we had it tough. I was forced to use ufsdump scripts (or was it vxdump?). cpio? I'd have killed for cpio!

        And you tell the youngsters of today that, and they won't believe you!

        (...the greater good, the greater good, the greater good...)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dump that ancient nightmare

    BE has been post-pension age horrible for years (especially if you have the audacity to want to recover anything more complex than single files), If you're a mostly MS house, seriously, give DPM a whirl. Odd at first but it is a much much better product from this millenium, and especially good if you use HyperV.

    1. Alan Penzotti

      Re: Dump that ancient nightmare

      What is that DPM that you speak of?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dump that ancient nightmare

        Data Protection Manager apparently and not Damp-Proof Membrane as I initially thought.

      2. The Brave Sir Robin

        Disastrous Penile Manfunction perhaps ?

        or maybe not.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dump that ancient nightmare

      I am a backup specialist, working on all off-mainframe OSes. I've been working in storage/backup for about 14 years and have dealt with most major backup packages in very large companies. I have to say that DPM is an absolutely superb piece of software, I was really surprised when I evaluated it.

      I wouldn't advise anyone to actually use it - save for 100% MS shops, who will never go non-MS - but it is really good. MS have nailed both the UI and the CLI, Symantec should be very worried as it's targeted squarely at BEX. Still it can only backup Windows so, BEX is pretty much the only backup package that it will take on, I know that BEX can backup non-Windows systems, but it doesn't really, not very often.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dump that ancient nightmare

        Ironically, the DPM UI uses a server centric view which is the cause of so much frustration in BE 2012.

        1. RonWheeler

          Re: Dump that ancient nightmare

          "Ironically, the DPM UI uses a server centric view which is the cause of so much frustration in BE 2012.:

          Err, no it hasn't. It has a Protection Group centric UI. Protection groups are logically based around backup schedules and targets, not the servers being backed up.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google the keywords...

    Symantec Sucks

  11. Dire Criti¢

    If it's good enough for Windows 8...

    ...then it's obviously good enough for Backup Exec 2012

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What! People still use Symantec? I thought it had evolved into something like AOL, a piece of software which is immediately unistalled.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Symantec is a piece of sfotware? Way to show your Enterprise credentials there...

  13. zen1

    Twisted Irony...

    I wonder if it's intentnional? I mean given that Symantec Enterprise Protection (SEPA) product's transition from v11 to v12 actually did more damage than most of the viruses it was to supposedly protect you from? Or the fact that it would randomly lock remote users out of VPN sessions. My personal favorite is when we were able to consistently replicate these problems to their technical support, only to be told "It's not our upgrade that's the problem, it's because Cisco hasn't updated their code to reflect our changes".

    Here's where it gets funny, after months of denying any problems, they quietly release a patch that magically fixes all of our problems. Wonder if that's how they're going to address all the bitching and anger from the Backup Exec customer community?

    But, to the individual who commented on the similarities between CA and Symantec: Brilliant, however at this point it's down to arguing which is worse, a kick to the balls from the front or from behind, by someone wearing steel toed boots.

  14. Zombieman

    The warning signs were there...

    The bulk of the UI and management really had not changed that much all the way from my first experiences as Seagate Backup Exec, through to Veritas Backup Exec, and right up to Symantec's 12.5 version... Little bits and pieces changed but with each new implementation of the UI, the basic layout was retained...

    The 2010 version suddenly gained a new "dashboard" like view, whilst keeping the old views around. In hindsight (wonderful thing) this was a hint of changes to come.

    During the 2012 installation/upgrade, the messages on screen (if you don't just go Next Next Next Next) do clearly talk about a new user experience and a new backup paradigm, AND though I didn't try it, it did offer a "rollback" option as well.

    Yes the UI is radically different, and yes it is odd having distinct backup jobs for each server, and yes sometimes the migration sometimes does "odd" things if you have backup jobs that have been endlessly tweaked or have "bizarre" configurations (might have explained some long standing oddness), in my case ending up with one backup job called "Incremental Incremental Full", but in the long term I think I will grow to like the UI... Right now I'm still adjusting, having performed my upgrade yesterday and got my first test backup running about the time this article was posted.

    Beware the warnings! They are there for your benefit!

    1. Fatman Silver badge

      Re: The warning signs were there...(if you don't just go Next Next Next Next)

      Do you mean like the typical WindblowZE 'click monkey'?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I did. It was symantec support that said i had to upgrade to the latest version to get over some errors I was having. I just blindly followed their support.

    Now im having even more problems. And even though I pay for enterprise support I really struggle to understand their indian support.

    So if anyone here can answer this simple question I would be grateful:

    In 2010 if i had a job that was erroring that "The requested source duplicate backup sets catalog record could not be found. Perhaps the media containing the source backup sets was previously deleted. " I would just delete the backup jobs, and recreate them from policy and it would work next run. I have no idea how to fix this in the new one and have had a backup duplicate to tape job thats not run in months :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @eh?:

      "...I just blindly followed their support..."

      Nuff said.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I read the Symantec statement as we are focusing on high margin customer with disk array backup solutions and you tape using scum can bugger off as you cost more than you are worth.

  17. Scott Mckenzie


    Surely the best "upgrade" the BE is the uninstall command????

    They've made it progressively more complex as the years have gone by... so glad i jumped ship to Veeam last year (admittedly not much use if you don't have a Virtual Environment)

  18. Joe User
    Thumb Up

    Dump Backup Exec

    Try Yosemite Server Backup -- . It works better and is much easier to manage. You even get a 20% discount for upgrading from Backup Exec.

  19. G0ldie

    I agree almost completely with the forum posts

    This article posts some great feedback from users on Symantec’s own forum. I have to say, from what I’ve seen of the product so far I have to agree with every word except the one that claims there was no warning that 2012 was a major overhaul of the entire program.

    I thought that was actually pretty clear in the documentation that I read. I just didn’t realize quite how far into the depths of the program it extended. As it turns out, changes extend into pretty much every facet of the program.

    To hear the actual horror stories of people who had backup jobs that encompassed 35 servers get split into 35 individual jobs, it brings a certain reality to the whole thing. Here we would have the same problem but because I have tested it we’re now evaluating other options. Sticking with Symantec may still be the best course but we may need to upgrade to Net Backup, which I think is Symantec’s intention. I think they’re trying to push larger organizations away from Backup Exec and towards their more expensive enterprise product, Net Backup.

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