I'm having a problem with VERITAS Software's VERITAS Backup Exec 8.5. My nightly backups all result in a Failed status code. When I inspect the BackupExec log file to determine the source of the problem, I see only several instances of the same message: Remote Agent for Windows NT/2000 not present - performing standard backup. The message goes on to explain that Backup Exec can't completely protect my remote servers and workstations unless the Remote Agent is installed and running on each of those systems. I know that the agent software installation occurred when I first installed Backup Exec, so why is this message appearing?

The Failed code and the message probably appear because you reinstalled or added machines to the network after you installed Backup Exec. Backup Exec requires a Remote Agent on each remote Win2K or NT system to maximize the backup operation's performance on those systems. The agent also ensures that the remote backup operation doesn't interfere with Windows' operation and result in data corruption or loss. When Backup Exec determines that the agent doesn't exist on a machine, the program records the message you described in the backup log file. The software then generates an overall Failed status for the backup job—even though the job might have backed up all files successfully.

The solution is to reinstall the agent on each Win2K and NT system that's issuing the error. To launch the installation, find the original agent source files (e.g., on the Backup Exec installation CD-ROM), navigate to the \winnt\install\eng\i386\ntaa folder, and run the setupaa.cmd program. Note that you can't simply launch setup.exe directly. You must run the setupaa.cmd batch file instead because it passes several required command-line parameters to the agent setup routine. These parameters are a bit of a mystery; VERITAS doesn't provide any documentation (in the product manual or through a command-line Help option) about the command-line switches that the agent setup.exe file accepts.

After the program is finished running, the Backup Exec Remote Agent for Windows NT/2000 service is operational on the system and the log-file error messages will probably go away. From now on, make sure to install the Backup Exec Remote Agent software at the same time you install or reinstall Win2K or NT systems on your network.