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Backup Exec 12.5 Installation fails - crippling my Server

I have another open question in regards to the re-installation of Server 2003 / Active Directory directly related to this issue. The only reason I'm even considering a wipe of my current set up is because of the complications this install has caused for me. I would like to see if anyone has experienced anything similar or has any advice as to where I could go from here before I make the plunge of formatting the DC.

The server is running Server 2003 Standard Edition w/ Service Pack 2. The notable applications it runs include SQL Server 2005, Symantec System Center, and Symantec Antivirus.

I installed the hardware successfully, verified it was working properly via HP LT&T etc. Upon attempting to install the BE software, the installation appeared almost done when the server hung at "Starting Backup Exec Services". It hard locked and the only apparent recourse was a power cycle. When the server came back up, it hung for a very long period of time on Applying Computer Settings... before it restarted itself. This time it hit me with Windows\System32\Config is missing or corrupt. I had to restore the \config\ folder from the \repair\ folder. The server came back up but some settings had been rolled back. The Event Logs were wiped. Backup Exec was not properly installed.

After this, I spent hours going through the Add/Remove Programs and was forced to use the .NET Framework cleanup tool to remove and allow me to reinstall .NET 1.0/2.0/3.0. I also had to use the Windows Install Cleanup utility to remove several other programs that would not function properly, including MSXML 6.0, SQL Native Client, SQL VSS Writer.

After discovering and reinstalling all of the misconfigured applications, I attempted the BE Exec install again. This time installing the BE DB to a new local DB via SQL Express rather than the existing instance of SQL 2005. The installation got to the same point but this time it did not hard lock, it simply self-rebooted after sitting at "Starting Backup Exec Services" for approx. 10 minutes. When it came back up it again hung at Applying Computer Settings... it self-reboot, automatically ran a chkdsk of C:, fixed some errors, booted into Windows where I was hit with a lsass.exe error 0xc00002e1: Active Directory corruption. I had to restart in Directory Services Restore mode and spent the next couple hours troubleshooting the NTDS.dit corruption before being forced to run a lossy repair via esentutl /p. The server booted up and once again hung at Applying Computer Settings... until it self-rebooted. Once again I was hit with \Config\ missing or corrupt. Restored yet again from \Repair\ and server booted and this is where I have left it.

The server is functioning, but the extent of the damages is not apparent. I know that the environment is no longer supported by MS because of the lossy repair. I know that leaving the server in this state is not something I want to do. I know that I do need Backup Exec to install properly. Does anybody happen to have any insight? I can provide more info upon request. This has been nothing but a headache. I have never had issues like this with the installation of BE.

Thanks for reading.
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1 Solution

I cant say ive seen such a problematic install with backuepxec before, but if backup exec is locking up the server at the point where it starts it services, im just curious what you were using prior to backupexec and whether its a new tape drive / controller as well. The point where you are getting the applying computer settings for an extremely long time for me in the past has been when the networking fails to start correctly either because of driver issues or connectivity problems most times. Its a bit hard to troubleshoot though if your event logs have been lost though. A quick way to isolate if it is new backup hardware is to take out the controller and tape drive if possible and do the backupexec install to see if it starts the services ok (This way you could hopefully rule out hardware incompatibility). Based on all the issues you have mentioned with restores and crashes though I would probably be leaning towards the fresh install for stability if possible. Hope this helps
alrightAuthor Commented:
Prior to Backup Exec there were simply scripts running which called xxcopy to create clones of the C: E: and T: drives onto an external HDD. The tape drive was new and installed without a hitch. It was verified as functioning via HP's LT&T and is listed as supported on Symantec's HCL. It was installed on the open SAS port on the existing controller card which also hosts the RAID.

I did instruct the installation to install Symantec's drivers for the tape drive.

I could uninstall the tape drive, disconnect it, and attempt the installation of BE again prior to reinstalling the OS, but it may be more trouble than it's worth considering I will likely need to go through the Windows Installer Cleanup of all those programs again before the BE install will allow itself to continue (it sees the required 3rd party programs as installed when they are not, which causes the install to fail).

I think I will close this question as I've continued trying to diagnose this issue without any further luck and am currently preparing for the OS reinstall. Thank you for your input, though!
Thanks for the points, the only other thing I would mention with the tape drive from a performance point from past experiences is that they run far quicker on their own controller card. It shouldnt cause the lockups but you may find you are getting slow transfer speeds using your raid card over a dedicated controller
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