How to rebuild catalogs in Backup Exec when catalog operation fails.


Catalog operations fails during backup or a restore job with below given errors:

Error Message

Some possible error messages:

"The requested media is not listed in the media index and could not be mounted. To add the media's catalog information to the disk-based catalogs, run an inventory operation on the media and resubmit the Catalog operation."

"V-79-57344-33860 - An error occurred while scanning the catalogs. The job will not continue." 

"Catalog job fails with the error "0xe0000901 - The storage media-based catalog data was not written during backup for a given backup set. Backup Exec must catalog this backup set using a file-by-file cataloging method. 

"An error occurred while retrieving catalog information".


This issue could be due to a number of problems: Corrupt catalogs in the Catalogs folder, catalogs on disk/tapes overwritten, catalogs truncated, bad tape, one piece of media not currently identified in Backup Exec database, unable to catalog overwritten media which is transferred from another Media Server even after the inventory was performed, etc.


WARNING: This procedure should only be undertaken for Backup Exec versions 2010 and below. It is not applicable for versions 2012 and above as it can have an adverse effect on DLM (data lifecycle management).

In case the problem is based in backup to tape jobs, following steps to delete the media from Backup Exec and re-run the catalogs operation on the media is suggested:

1) Right click on the tape/s that is having problems, select  "Associate with Media Set" and send it to "Retired Media" media set.

2) Go to "Retired Media" into Media tab from Backup Exec menu and Delete it/them -


3) Stop Backup Exec services

4) Rename “Catalogs” folder to anything other than that, for example "Catalogs_old". The default location for this folder is:

%SystemDrive%:\Program Files\Veritas\Backup Exec\ NT\Catalogs   (for versions 7 to 10d)
%SystemDrive%:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\Catalogs   (for version 11d to 2010. This procedure is not valid for versions 2012 and up)

5) Restart Backup Exec services.

6) In Backup Exec, go to Tools|Options and click on “Catalog” section.

7) Uncheck the "Use storage media-based catalogs" option.


Explanation of 'Use storage media-based catalogs' (Fast Cataloging) option  :

When the "Use storage media-based catalogs" check box is selected, Backup Exec is able to read the catalog information that is on the media. This allows the catalog operation to complete much faster as it is not reading each file on the media to build a new catalog. This option reduces the size of the catalogs considerably.

After the catalogs have been truncated, the files and directories cannot be restored unless the media is recataloged. If the check box is not selected during a catalog operation, all files on the tape must be read file-by-file to create a new catalog.

Having the option cleared is very useful when cataloging media written by other backup software applications, such as ArcServe. When running a catalog operation with this check box not selected, it is normal that the procedure will take a long time to complete. The catalog procedure may take as long or longer than the time it took to record the backup job operation.

If a particular backup job spanned more than one tape, clearing this option also allows you to catalog one of the tapes independently without requiring the other tapes. Backup Exec will catalog the particular tape only.


8) Perform an Inventory on the media.

9) It should now appear once again in “Online media” section, under Devices tab.

10) Run the Catalog job again to rebuild the catalogs, it should complete successfully, if so re-run the restore or backup job.


In some cases where existing catalogs are corrupt or even recreating the catalogs does not help, "Catrebuildindex -r" command can be used to recreate the index. Here are the steps:

  • Opening a command prompt, typing “cd C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec”  and then “catrebuildindex -r”


  • Looking for “Catrebuildindex.exe” into “C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec” and double click on it, which will start the same process but from that executable file.

Terms of use for this information are found in Legal Notices.



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