Manually uninstalling the Symantec Backup Exec 2010 agent after a failed or corrupt uninstall

When trying to install the Symantec (now Veritas) Backup Exec 2014 client on our servers, there were

Symantec Backup Exec two separate instances in which the Backup Exec 2010 agent failed to uninstall correctly and thus made it impossible to install the new agent.

This proved to be a worrying issue, as of course we need to ensure we are getting consistent backups of our infrastructure at all times. Thankfully, I have managed to resolve the issue.

Though Veritas had previously documented a process of how to manually uninstall the Backup Exec 2010 agent, this procedure did not work for me – even after a reboot. Which was particularly frustrating as we had to wait for a maintenance window before we could test this.

You can find the Veritas document here. I’d advise you to follow their procedure prior to my final step: https://www.veritas.com/support/en_US/article.TECH130940

THE FIX:

Now on to the good bit.

So, firstly, please ensure you follow these steps (these are mentioned in the Veritas documentation linked above).

1.  Open registry editor and delete the following (including all sub keys and folders)  Warning: Incorrect use of the Windows registry editor may prevent the operating system from functioning properly. Great care should be taken when making changes to a Windows registry. Registry modifications should only be carried-out by persons experienced in the use of the registry editor application. It is recommended that a complete backup of the registry and workstation be made prior to making any registry changes.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{B7C50B9F-8463-45A5-A1C9-33DA83E42F99}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Remote Agent for Windows Servers
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Symantec\Backup Exec For Windows  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432node\Symantec\Backup Exec For Windows (64-bit machines only)  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\BackupExecAgentAccelerator HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\BackupExecRPCService HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\BackupExecVssProvider HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\bedgb HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\PDVFSService HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\PDVFSNP HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\PDVFSDriver HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\BeVssProvider – – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Providers\{5fdb6ef5-6ead-4610-995b-401c88626115}

2.  Delete the remote agent installation directory: 

  • 32-bit agent on 32-bit operating system > \Program Files\Symantec
  • 32-bit agent on 64-bit operating system > \Program Files(x86)\Symantec
  • 64-bit agent on 64-bit operating system > \Program Files\Symantec

So, here is when Veritas would suggest the process is finished, and that a reboot will resolve all your woes. My personal experiences suggest this is not the case. 

The final step, for me, was indeed in the registry.

(Another generic warning about backing up your registry and ensuring you know what you're doing before diving in....)
Manually uninstalling Symantec Backup Exec 2010
As you’ll see above, on the server in question, the key was 6CD7C56B68E0C9446B91753CD68FC734 – I cannot be certain yet whether it will be the same on other servers, but either way, you can find it yourself with a little patience.

Navigate to the ‘Products’ registry key, located at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products, and go through each of the listed GUID’s one by one until you spot the ‘Symantec Backup Exec Remote Agent for Windows Systems’ value in the ‘Product Name’ subkey. Once you find it, and assuming you have taken a registry backup already, hit delete on the entire GUID key.

This will complete the manual/forced uninstallation of Symantec Backup Exec 2010 remote agent, which in my case was fantastic as it allowed me to install the new agent from my backup server and start using the software for it’s actual purpose – backups.

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