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Scheduled backup jobs may not run as expected

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

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This article was previously published under Q264604
When you schedule a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or Microsoft Windows 2000 backup job to run with user credentials different from the interactive user you are logged on as, the scheduled backup job may start when scheduled. However, backup quits immediately, and the actual backup task is never performed.

If you open Control Panel, and then double-click Scheduled Tasks to look at the status of the scheduled backup job, it shows Last Result: 0x2D as a status. If you log on to the system interactively by using the same user credentials as the scheduled backup job, and then start Ntbackup.exe interactively, the backup_name.job report under the tool's Reports menu states the following:
Skipped files in "NT\Ntbackup\data\backup_selection_file_name.bks" folder. Folder not found.
The partition that Windows 2003 or Windows 2000 is installed on is formatted as NTFS file system. The location for the backup selections file (.bks) in the scheduled tasks job is pointing to the interactive users profile directory that originally scheduled the backup job. This is the default location for saved .bks files, and only the profile owner has access to this directory.

Note You may also receive this error message if a drive or path selected to be backed up in the backup selections .bks file cannot be accessed when backup starts. For example, a mapped network drive is no longer mapped or accessible.

You may also encounter this error if the .bks file was created or edited by using a text editor, and then saved in American National Standards Institute (ANSI) format instead of Unicode. This file must be in Unicode.

Additionally, you may encounter this error if there are commas in the task's command line, in the task name, or in the .bks file that is referenced in the command line.
When scheduling backup jobs that may use different user credentials, be sure to save the backup selections file (.bks) to a common location to which the scheduled user has access. For instance, if you are logged on as the local administrator attempting to schedule a backup job, when you are asked for the location to save the backup selections file to, choose a directory location that the user in the scheduled job has at least read privileges in order to access the file.

Alternately, you could give that same user read access to your users profile directory where the .bks file is stored. By default, this location is in one of the following locations:

Fresh Windows 2000 Installation
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data\
Upgrade to Windows 2000 from Windows NT
C:\Winnt\Profiles\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data\
You could also choose to modify the scheduled tasks properties to change the path to the .bks file, then copy the associated .bks file from the profiles directory to the new location the user has read access to, perhaps their own user profile directory.

Example of a backup scheduled tasks properties

Before modifying:
C:\WINNT\system32\ntbackup.exe backup "@C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data\PSTFILE.bks" /n "My Backup Name" /d "My Description" /v:no /r:no /rs:no /hc:off /m normal /j "PSTFILE.job" /l:s /f "C:\backup\pst.bkf"
After modifying:
C:\WINNT\system32\ntbackup.exe backup "@C:\backup\PSTFILE.bks" /n "My Backup Name" /d "My Description" /v:no /r:no /rs:no /hc:off /m normal /j "PSTFILE.job" /l:s /f "C:\backup\pst.bkf"

If there are commas in the task's command line, in the task name, or in the .bks file that is referenced in the command line, remove the commas.
This behavior is by design. Users in the Run As box in Scheduled tasks need to have read access to the scheduled executable and any associated companion files required to complete the task.
239892 Scheduling Unattended Backups Using a Stand-Alone Tape Library
W2000NTBackup bks ntbackup exe

Article ID: 264604 - Last Review: 02/28/2007 21:32:47 - Revision: 4.4

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • kbenv kbprb KB264604