Update for Windows Azure Backup for Windows Server Essentials 2012

I’ve been running Windows Home Server since its second beta – away back in 2007. Man, how the time flies!

Last year I moved over to Windows Server 2012 Essentials running on a nice new Dell box with some oopmh.

In October I decided to enable Windows Azure Backup as an experiment – mainly to see the price. I was never going to be able to afford all 5Tb of data being in the cloub, so I started with just 300Gb.

It seems to be about £45 a month, tho its been both more and less.

Starting April 1st ( no joke) the pricing structure has been changed. It should now be cheaper to store the same amount of data. Based on the Windows Azure Pricing Calculator my bill should be cut in half, almost.

However – there is a catch – you have to update the Microsoft Azure Recovery Agent to take full advantage of the lower prices.

When I ran the update, I got this:

The Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent installation has failed.

Error : Failed to install Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent.

Problem : 1603:Fatal error during installation

The accepted solution seems to be to uninstall Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent and then re-install.

But, if you’re using the Add-In, it gets a bit more complicated than that.


Make sure that you have the Backup Vault certificate from Azure dashboard, and the Certificate that was originally generated when you first installed the agent. And make sure that you remember your 16 charecter pass phrase. Aditionally, go to the Azure dashboard and make sure you allow your server to re-register,

  1. Remove the Addin using the dashboard – make sure the box to remove the agent is also ticked.
  2. Reboot
  3. Re install the Addin using the dashboard. This will also reinstall the old agent, but will leave your server unregistered.
  4. Install the updated agent and follow the instructions in the wizard.
  5. Check in the Dashboard that it is recieving infomation from the new Agent

And you should be done. The new agent will magically remember the previous configuration of your protected files, retention policy and so on.