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What you need to know to install Backup Exec 16

Level 6

Backup Exec 16 has been rebranded with the new official Veritas theme and we are proud of it! The colors are fresh and vibrant with few changes to the install workflow beyond that. Take a look for yourself!



With the release of Backup Exec 16 we bring back the vibrant red that existed before Symantec when we were Veritas Software. Now we are Veritas Technologies and loving it!

With this Backup Exec 16 release, the installer has made a few subtle changes which we know you will be interested in. In no particular order, here are some of the important changes you might find interesting as you plan your upgrade!

Version Number

Backup Exec 16 is internally called version 16. Some savvy partners and customers might say, hey! You skipped 15! We would say, How observant, Why Yes We Did! We wanted to avoid the confusion that some of our messages presented when we showed a string like “Backup Exec 15 version 14.2.1180.0”. It was confusing to see the external version say 15, but the internal version was 14.2. Since this was going to be a major release, we decided to sync up and jump to 16. Love us or hate us, it’s a done deal now! It should make for a good trivia question someday!

Windows 2003 (x64)

Moving on, Backup Exec 16 officially removes support for Windows 2003 (x64) with this release. In Backup Exec 15 Windows 2003 (x86) was dropped leaving only Windows 2003 (x64) support. Customers who install Backup Exec 16 will need to install on Windows 2008 and higher. We recommend Windows 2008 R2 or higher for agents and media servers as it has better support for our filter drivers and their updated signing certificates that are now required to support Windows Server 2016.

In addition, we purposely did not block the ability to install the agent on a Windows 2003 32/64 bit machine. However, be on notice that it’s not tested or supported any longer. We make no guarantees that it will work, or continue to work! The only reason was to help those customers continue to migrate off of it while they still can!

SQL Server Express 2014

The first change is that we have updated our SQL Express Instance from Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 R2 to Microsoft SQL Server Express 2014. You might ask, why we didn’t go directly to SQL Server 2016. Great question! The primary reason was upgrades and platform support. SQL Server Express 2016 has a minimum platform of Windows 2012 Server. We needed to maintain support for Windows 2008 systems and higher, so moving to SQL Express 2016 would not have allowed us that support. In addition, SQL Express 2014 allowed our install to upgrade customers from SQL Express 2005 SP4 (shipped with Backup Exec 2010 R3), and SQL Express 2008 R2 (shipped with Backup Exec 2012 and higher).

Backup Exec 2010 R3 Upgrades

The Backup Exec 16 installer has extended our upgrade support for this release to maintain support for those customers running on Backup Exec 2010 R3. We wanted to help those customers upgrade to our latest release. Typically our install supports 3 releases back. So, traditionally this would have offered customers support for upgrading from Backup Exec 2012, Backup Exec 2014, and BE 15. To help our install base, we decided to continue to support upgrading from Backup Exec 2010 R3 for one more release. If you are running Backup Exec 2010 R3, you should upgrade! We made it easy!

One note for anyone who has not patched their SQL 2005 SP3 instance installed by Backup Exec 2010 R3. You will need to upgrade the SQL Express instance to SP4 in order for SQL Express 2014 to upgrade your instance. When originally released, Backup Exec 2010 only installed SQL Express 2005 SP3. If you have been applying Windows Updates, then this should be a non-issue.

Windows Installer

We will no longer install Windows Installer as part of our install. Previously if a system did not already have it installed, we would install MSI 4.5 on the system. We evaluated the supported platforms and determined that the systems we currently support should already have it present. If it is not installed, the installer will show a message requesting the user to install it before we can continue. This should not be an issue for the vast majority of our install base (if at all).

Install Path

Customers who install Backup Exec 16 for the first time will see their installer default to an install path of “C:\Program Files\Veritas\Backup Exec”. Customers who are upgrading from previous versions will see their install path stay where it was originally. We do not try to move the install location during an upgrade. We will honor the original install path. If you uninstall and reinstall, you will see the path change. This is by design and was changed as part of our rebranding efforts.


If you had V-Ray (tier A) or V-Ray (tier B) licenses before, you will now only have a V-Ray edition license! We have simplified the licensing and now only charge per socket. We believe this was the right choice for the customer and hope you agree!

That’s it! Those are the highlights of our install changes in the Backup Exec 16 installer. If you see something we missed or you have questions on any of these items, feel free to reply or reach out!

Nick Elmer