Acronis Scheduler is a tool which is responsible for scheduled Acronis operations. If scheduled backups or other activities do not work as configured in backup plan or task, proceed with this article in order to identify the root cause and solve the issue if possible.
Follow these steps to troubleshoot Acronis Scheduler issues:
- Get familiar with technology of Acronis Scheduler in the About part.
- Check for known issues in the Known issues part.
- Follow to Troubleshooting part to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.
Acronis Scheduler is a module for executing tasks on certain events (specific time, logon/logoff and others).
Acronis Scheduler consists of two parts: service and helper.
Service is executed on starting Windows and works till shutdown. Service keeps the scheduled tasks in registry and executes them:
- Windows 32 bit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Acronis\Scheduler
- Windows 64 bit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Acronis\Scheduler
Helper is executed as a separate process for any logon, works till logoff and notifies Scheduler service about logon and logoff events. Without helper it is impossible to run interactive tasks, tasks without user and password information (such as the Create Image operation in Acronis True Image) and to schedule any tasks on logon/logoff/shutdown events.
The scheduling files are:
- Windows 32bit: \Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedhlp.exe
- Windows 32bit: \Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedul2.exe
- Windows 64bit: \Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedhlp.exe
- Windows 64bit: \Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedul2.exe
cron is an internal scheduler tool which is also scheduling Acronis backups. Cron is driven by a crontab (cron table) file, a configuration file that specifies shell commands to run periodically on a given schedule. The crontab files are stored where the lists of jobs and other instructions to the cron daemon are kept. Users can have their own individual crontab files and often there is a system wide crontab file (usually in /etc or a subdirectory of /etc) that only system administrators can edit.
Each line of a crontab file represents a job, and is composed of a CRON expression, followed by a shell command to execute.
See more about Acronis Scheduler in following articles:
Follow step-by-step instructions below to troubleshoot the issue. Complete prerequisites step before proceeding to error troubleshooting step.
Complete all steps before proceeding to error troubleshooting step.
1.1 Correct installation
Acronis product should be installed without errors.
You can also install Acronis Scheduler separately.
1.2. Check Scheduler2 Service
Scheduled Backups are executed by Scheduler2 Service, hence open services.msc console (Start -> Run -> services.msc) and check that Acronis Scheduler2 Service is in the ‘started’ state and logs on as Local System.
Note: Scheduler2 Service should be started also in case when no schedule in use. Manual task execution does not work without Acronis Scheduler.
crontab is used by system default. If it is not working properly or not running at all, Acronis backups will fail too. To test if cron is running, go to a terminal and do
ps -A | grep cron
If it shows nothing, check cron status with ps -ef | grep cron
- chkconfig --list | grep cron
- check for log file in /var/log/cron
Please refer to technical support of the related Linux operating system.
1.3 Check time settings on the machine
Scheduler uses the local time of the machine. Before creating a schedule, be sure the machine’s date and time settings are correct. When configuring scheduled operations do not forget to ensure logical conditions for the related task. Scheduled operations are:
- Conversion to a virtual machine
Pre/post commands are also performed by Acronis Scheduler. Each task can be scheduled in format HH:MM:SS. Please ensure that correct time is set.
If machine's system time changes unexpectedly and/or Windows Event Logs show incorrect timestamps, that means CMOS battery on the machine may be running low. Refer to your motherboard or computer documentation for instructions on changing the CMOS battery or contact your computer manufacturer for additional assistance.
If all steps above have been executed and issue still persists, go to error troubleshooting step.
2. Error troubleshooting
Complete all steps before proceeding to collect information step.
2.1 Start Scheduler Service
When troubleshooting issues with scheduled tasks or scheduler itself, ensure that Scheduler Service is up and running. Open services.msc console (Start -> Run -> services.msc) and check that Acronis Scheduler2 Service is in ‘started’ state and is running under Local System. If not, go to service properties, configure correct settings and start the service.
You can also proceed as follows:
- Start Acronis Scheduler Manager C:\Program Files (x86)\Acronis\BackupAndRecovery\schedmgr.exe
- Issue service start
- Close schedmgr.exe
A lot of scheduler issues may be caused by antivirus software. Please check if instructions from article 46275: Acronis Backup: Scheduled Backup Task Issues Caused by Antivirus Software help to resolve the problem.
2.3 Analyze Logs
- Proceed with instructions from 1518: Acronis Backup Software Scheduled Tasks Do Not Run.
- Contact Acronis Customer Central to help you with analyzing Scheduler report.
- Check Windows Event logs for Scheduler errors.
Linux: Ensure that the latest Acronis build is used. To test if cron is running, go to a terminal and do
ps -A | grep cron
If it shows nothing, check cron status with ps -ef|grep cron
chkconfig --list | grep cron
Check for log file and errors in /var/log/cron. Please refer to technical support of the related Linux operating system.
2.4 If Manual Tasks Work
If you already checked all Acronis, Windows Event and Scheduler logs and still cannot find any reason for failure of scheduled tasks, but manual task execution works without problems, it is possible that scheduler malfunction is caused by a permanent change of the system time on the machine in question. In this case ProcessMonitor log would show this entry:
schedul2.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Acronis\Scheduler\LastTimeSecond NAME NOT FOUND
The change of system time is configured by system options or by a third party software and it is not possible to resolve scheduled tasks failure of Acronis Software. As workaround configure in task settings start time in format XX:XX:05 (avoid seconds to be ==0). It will help in this specified situation only.
If all steps above have been executed and issue still persists, go to collect information step.
3. Collect information
Collect following information and contact Acronis Customer Central.
3.1 Scheduler Log
Activate Scheduler logging and reproduce the issue.
- Windows: collect advanced scheduler log as described in 1859: Acronis Scheduler Manager.
- Linux: collect crontab report via command
crontab –l > /tmp/schedreport.txt
root permissions required. Also provide /var/log/cron folder.
3.2 Process Monitor Log
If scheduled tasks do not start or produce a scheduler error, collect a Process Monitor log during reproducing the issue.
3.3 Error Message
Provide screen shot of the full error message text if Scheduler2 Service fails to start.
3.4 System Report
Collect System Report from the machine in question: see instruction for Acronis True Image 2018 and 2017: Collecting System Report or Acronis Backup 12.5 and 12: Collecting System Information. For other products see the following article: AcronisInfo Utility (in Windows).
In Linux also provide /usr/lib/Acronis/Schedule/ folder and output of sysinfo:acrocmd sysinfo --loc=c:\logs\sysinfo.zip
Provide a dump file for schedhlp.exe and schedul2.exe if any of these processes crashes. It is preferable that a ProcDump utility is used to create the dump: see Creating Process Dumps with ProcDump.
To enable automatic core crash dump collection in Linux execute
ulimit c unlimited
The dump can be found in /var/crash.
3.6 Task settings
The better way to provide backup plan settings is to export the backup plan as .xml file. For Acronis Backup 11.7/11.5 see Export and import of backup plans. For Acronis True Image and vmProtect create screen shots of the backup plan settings: Creating Screenshots.