OU 812 - NT Backup error 8012

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Getting a cryptic error during NT Backup that is like this:

The 'ESE API' returned 'Unable to perform the operation. Either you can not connect to the specified server 
or the service you are trying to connect to is not running.
' from a call to 'HrESEBackupRestoreNodes()' additional data

If you are backing up a machine that has had Exchange on it in the past and the store is still there but not mounted, it is just a warning of that fact.
(it could also be because the 2000 server has the Exchange System Manager installed sans Exchange).