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Incremental job running as Full after failure

Our Incremental backup job that is scheduled to run every day at 10 p.m. failed on 3/31. I tried to restart the job, but it failed with an E00081D9 error code.  As far as I could tell, the BE Job Engine service and Management service were both stopped. I started them, and the job seems to have started and then failed again. I right-clicked and chose "Run Now," and it started normally. But it has been running for the past 24 hours, and as far as I can tell it's doing a Full backup, even though the Job Activity monitor says it's running as an Incremental. Our daily Incrementals usually run only a few hundred MB and the jobs finish in a few minutes. Another discussion here suggests running a Full backup on an Exchange server after an Incremental failure, but we're not running Exchange. I guess my question is if this is a software feature and not a bug. Is it running this way because it had to re-set the archive bits after the first job failure?

Edit: Continuing to research this, I came across this page at Veritas: https://www.veritas.com/support/en_US/article.100020511 (Backup using "Differential/Incremental - using modified time" option backs up all the data rather than just the changed data when no remote agent is present)

The main suggestion is that a failed Full job will not add the time of the backup to the Backup Exec database.full backup job completes successfully, and that as result, Incremental (or Diff) jobs will bakc up more data than expeced. In my case it wasn't a full job that failed, however. But reading farther, I come across this information: "The error during the 'Full - Back Up Files - Using modified time' is due to no remote agent detected or present on the remote server during the Backup. 

Solution
Differential and Incremental backup methods (by Modified Time or Archive Bit) are supported only if the Agent for Windows Systems (AWS) or Remote Agent for Linux/Unix Systems (RALUS) is installed.  For systems unable to have either agent installed, only the backup method FULL is supported."

And, yes, sure enough, we have an outdated agent on the server that's being backed up. But why has it worked for the past six months or whatever, and only now displays this behavior after a failed Incremental job? Has this behavior been addressed in BE 15? (The page is from 2014.) Or are all of the Incrementals that we do kind of shaky and not ultimately reliable? We've been able to restore from Incremental backups when we need to. 

Finally the even worse news is that the Incremental job (running as Full) that I started yesterday filled up the drive and asked me to make space before it would continue. I didn't want to delete anything in the BEData folder for fear of rendering unusable what backups we do have. I changed the storage location to 'Any disk storage," since there's space on another drive in the pool. But that was before I came across this info, and now I'm thinking that it would just run another pseudo-Incremental that's really a Full. Does that sound correct?

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Re: Incremental job running as Full after failure

Once you have a failure, you should always regard the backup chain as suspect and start a new chain with a full backup.  Do not attempt to continue with the failed chain.  You might not be able to restore from that chain.

The article that you referred to is talking about the situation when the data source is a NAS or some appliance on which you cannot install the BE agent.  In those cases, you can only do full backups.

When you upgrade the BE Server, you should always make sure that you update the BE agent on all other servers as soon as possible.  Without the most up-to-date agent, you may not get the updated functionalities of the latest update or you might experience unexplanable problems.

 

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Accepted Solution!

Re: Incremental job running as Full after failure

Once you have a failure, you should always regard the backup chain as suspect and start a new chain with a full backup.  Do not attempt to continue with the failed chain.  You might not be able to restore from that chain.

The article that you referred to is talking about the situation when the data source is a NAS or some appliance on which you cannot install the BE agent.  In those cases, you can only do full backups.

When you upgrade the BE Server, you should always make sure that you update the BE agent on all other servers as soon as possible.  Without the most up-to-date agent, you may not get the updated functionalities of the latest update or you might experience unexplanable problems.

 

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Re: Incremental job running as Full after failure

Many thanks, pkh, understood. Looks like we're going to re-do our backup jobs and schedule, and start with a full over the weekend. With any luck, maybe I can speed up the performance a bit.

So, my next question is how to go about making space on the drive containing BEData. Apart from an old virtual disk image and an empty Temp/Backup Exec folder, there's nothing in that folder except for BEData and the hidden BEControl. We have a 50 GB-limit on the BKF files, so we have quite a few of those files in there. Many backup sets have expired, but they're still kept by the system since they'd still be needed for a full restore. I can store this weekend's Full job on another drive, but I'm going to need to make some space before we resume daily incrementals next week. Thanks again. 

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Re: Incremental job running as Full after failure

Unfortunately, you know the answer as well as I do.  You would have to expire some backup chain in your disk storage to free up the necessary space for your new backup chain.

If you are very tight on disk space, I would suggest that after this, you look into getting more disk space.  It is not good to have to hunt for disk space in an emergency.

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Re: Incremental job running as Full after failure

Cool, thanks for the confirmation. Deleting an old chain makes me nervous, but I can see that it needs to be done. I was able to get some space back by "re-expiring" sets that were already listed as Expired. I had done some testing on a spare machine, and even though they were one-time backups and had expired, they still were taking up space. So, that helped, crisis averted - for now. Guess we'll start lining up some new storage space.