This issue may occur after the NOexpire touch file was implemented, and then not removed promptly when no longer needed, and allowing sufficient time pass so as to allow some images to go past their expiration date. When this occurs, these images cannot have their expiration date extended with the bpexpdate command, using either the -d or -recalculate command line options, on a backup ID basis, as bpdbm does not allow this action on an image whose expiration date has been reached or surpassed.
Note: NOexpire is not formally supported and not recommended to be in place for more than a short period of time. See the related articles.
Attempts to change the expiration date of an already expired image will result in these diagnostic messages:
unable to process request
EXIT STATUS 2516: Failed to process an image whose expiration date is in the past
Should these circumstances arise, the following methods may be used to extend the expiration date of the backups. Note, both methods require that the backup IDs are known.
1) Use bpexpdate to extend the expiration date of the media on which the backups reside. This action is permissible by NetBackup, and will result in consistent images and media databases.
Note: This will update the expiration date for all images on each tape.
The media IDs can be obtained by inspecting the fragments of the individual backup IDs. E.g.
bpimagelist -backupid <backup_ID>
Once the media IDs are known, run the following bpexpdate command to update the expiration date to the desired future date:
bpexpdate -m <media ID> -d <date>
2) Alternatively, protect the media, expire just the image (not the media), and then import the images from media, and extend their expiration dates.
Obtain the media IDs as in #1 and freeze the media.
Expire just the image; bpexpdate -backupid <backup_ID> -d 0 -justimage
Then the needed images may be recreated by the import process, after which the bpexpdate command can then be used to extend the expiration date for each backup ID.
Caution: Do not manually adjust the retention level of the backup! That may protect the image files, but will not protect the media on which the backups reside, and can lead to database inconsistencies, and possibly data loss, as the media can be expired by normal NetBackup processing and be overwritten.
Reminder: Remove the NOexpire touch file once the image expiration dates have been extended to allow normal NetBackup image cleanup operations to resume.