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Backup Exec 9.1 How to Remove old backups

Posted on 2010-09-13
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hello All,

I am running Backup Exec 9.1. I seem to have an ever growing list of old backups in my restore window that I'm not sure how to get rid of. I run a full Backup on the weekend and differential backups during the week. But I've noticed that there are a few that just don't seem to overwrite.

I'm not sure how to expunge the offending jobs. I'm wondering if I just do a Catalog on my tape drive, it will clear it up for me. Or is there a way I can just go in and remove them.

I've included a capture of the restore windows. As you can see there are some very old jobs in there that for some reason aren't getting overwritten.


Thanks
Eric
old-backup-exec-jobs.JPG
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Question by:bwask
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12 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:oztrodamus
ID: 33668201
I believe you need to use the Maintenance Wizard to set a maintenance cycle. The maintenance cycle will purge expired data from the B/E database.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:LaserSpot
ID: 33668303
This is from the manual. There are some settings in Database Maintenance to delete old job data.

To configure database maintenance:
1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
2. On the Properties pane, under Settings, click Database Maintenance.

See page 405 or 409
ftp://exftpp.symantec.com/pub/support/products/Backup_Exec_for_WindowsNT/266190.pdf
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Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 33672167
I have my expired data to be deleted as follows:

Job history: 90 days
job logs: 30 days
Alert history: 7 days
Reports: 14 days

I don't think these are just database entries, I'm pretty sure that these are old jobs actually sitting out on the tapes and not getting over written do to the fact that the number of jobs I can fit on the tapes has decreased.

Any Ideas?

Eric
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:LaserSpot
ID: 33676785
Yes, you do have all those backup jobs on media somewhere. The Database Maintenance options just delete job data from the database, not the actual backup media.
There is an Overwrite Protection Period setting on the media set that controls when the media can be over written. There are also overwrite setting in the job definition and there may be a physical write-protect switch on the tapes.

It is a good idea to keep some old backups; a file could be deleted and you might not notice until a year later.

Are you using a single tape drive, an autoloader tape drive, or Backup-to-Disk folders?
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Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 33677039
On the Media Set
I have 0 hours
Infinite - Allow Append

On my Full backup
Append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available
Write checksums to media

On my differential
Append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available

I'm using an auto loader tape drive. It currently has 19 100/200 tapes in it and one cleaning tape. There are 3 bad slots in the drive that I leave empty.

I used to do backup-to-disk on a nas as well but for some reason I could never get Veritas 9.1 to ever put more than one job on it at a time. I was told by someone that this was a problem with this old a version of Backup Exec.

I'm nearly 100% positive that none of my tapes are write protected but I certainly can pull them out here in a bit and have a look.
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Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 33677081
Just checked all the tapes and they are set to write.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:LaserSpot
ID: 33677829
You need to set the Overwrite Protection Period so that Backup Exec doesn't use the same tape over again each time. I would recommend that you only put enough tapes in the drive for a week, then set the Overwrite Protection Period to 7 days. This will force BE to use a different tape each time the job runs.

Swap them all with another set of tapes every week. Also, set aside some good full backup sets for a year in case something happens that goes unnoticed.

The same thing applies to Backup-to-Disk folders; use the Overwrite Protection Period to control how many backup sets are preserved.

Yes, you should upgrade; that's some really old software you're running.
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Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 33682252
As I understand it, the way I have it setup,forces the tape drive to go through all 19 tapes and then start over again. Yes it does use those 19 over and over but I also do a backup to a disaster recovery location with a different method. This is just for are day to day quick retrieve in case of a problem.  Holding on to backups for a year is not an option.

But this is not what my original post was concerning, I would just like to know how to go in and selectively remove/delete those old sets that are hogging up tape space that don't seem to get overwritten. It's beginning to look like I may have to do a quick erase on all my tapes and recreate my Backup Selection.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:oztrodamus
ID: 33687397
You cannot selectively delete append jobs on tapes. If you want to clear a tape then you have to overwrite the whole thing, erase or relabel the media.

However, what you see in the database isn't always true of what is on the tape. That is why you should perform a catalog of the media prior to restore. That wasy you know exactly what is on the tape. You're database could be telling you have restore points on the tape that don't exist, because you're not flushing the old information from the database.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:LaserSpot
ID: 33688165
When a tape is over written, the catalogs are automatically removed from the database. This means that your 19 tapes aren't being overwritten, or it means that these jobs are on offline media. You can tell where they are if you make a note of the media labels on all the tapes in your drive (from the device tab). Then, go to the media tab and see what media is cataloged that isn't in the drive. Also look at each media to see when it allocated.

If you quick erase all your tapes, you won't be able to restore if you lose files tomorrow. It would be better to go to media management and move them all to the scratch set.

If you want to delete your Backup-to-Disk media from the database, you have to move them to the retired media set first, then delete them from retired media. After that, use Windows explorer to delete the actual backup files from the backup destination.

Here are the settings I recommend to make sure BE cycles through your tapes:
On your backup job, set it to always overwrite
On your default media set, set the Overwrite Protection period to 7 days
Under Tools -> Options -> Media Management, set Media overwrite protection level to Full
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Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 33717827
Well I did find a tape that I had pulled some time ago still listed in the media set so I moved it to Retired Media.

Should I re-catalog or inventory everything to make sure what I see in BE is actually what exists on the tapes?
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Accepted Solution

by:
bwask earned 0 total points
ID: 33717982
I went into "Restore" and deleted all the media that obviously did not exist on my device.

It appears to be clean now, but I would still like to verify the tapes to make sure all is cataloged correctly and actually exists on the tapes.

Thanks
Eric
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