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Posts posted by JamesOakley

  1. Helpful - thanks!

    I'm on static IPs, and I've just discovered that I can edit that IP in the clients list in the main Retrospect Desktop application.

    The annoying thing is, randomly (not every time) after rebooting the WiFi network or the client computer, the IP address gets reset to the one on the virtual interface, and I then have to reset it again in the main application.

    I still think this is not how it's supposed to work!

  2. This is not a post about running Retrospect (or clients) within a virtual machine.

    I have a Retrospect Client running on a Windows 10 machine on which I needed to run the Android emulator that comes with Visual Studio. In order to do that, you have to turn on virtualisation / virtualization / hyper-v options within Windows.

    As soon as I did that, my Retrospect Professional installation could no longer see the client (Client Not Found). I tried reinstalling the client software, but that didn't help. When I looked at the client properties in Professional, I had a hunch as to why - the IP address of the client was not the one I was expecting. It was outside the subnet I use for my local area network; I forget what IP it was, but it was still in one of the ranges reserved by IANA for local networks. Conclusion: Enabling Hyper-V must, behind the scenes, create a new network with a different subnet mask to set up a NAT system that lets any virtual machines communicate with each other and the wider network. So each virtual machine, and the host physical machine, share the same "public" IP (the IP on my actual network), and have their own internal IP that is only for VMs to communicate with each other. Somehow, the Retrospect Client had picked up that internal IP, and was broadcasting it to Retrospect Professional, so that my Professional installation was trying to use that IP address to locate the client. Not surprisingly, it failed - any traffic that doesn't originate somewhere on that client machine needs to use the single address the client has on my main network.

    The solution was actually not too painful - remove the client from Professional, and re-add it, giving the IP address manually. Re-create the subvolumes etc., and everything worked.

    Until, randomly, last night the client settings switched back to using a local loop IP again. So I had to remove and re-add the client. Again.

    This is solvable, and not happening too often, but is clearly a bug in the way Retrospect Client thinks it's found the IP address that should be used to contact it.


  3. 9 minutes ago, x509 said:

    This new "feature" would be nice, if it actually worked.  But it doesn't. 😖  Yes, I can now assign different execution units to different backup scripts, but I still can't run two different backup scripts at the same time.

    I am doing this, and it is working.

    But, if the two scripts require a lock on the same source volume or backup destination, the system will respect that and wait for the lock to exit. But where the scripts are truly independent, one doesn't hold the other up.


    40 minutes ago, x509 said:

    About these multiple execution units.  I thought it was a bug, so i submitted a trouble ticket (within my 30 days of free support).

    I've been a Retrospect user for many versions now. When I upgraded from 12.x to 15.x, the Executing tab of Activity Monitor jumped from 1 to 16 units. So it seems that it's a feature as of version 15. At the time, I looked in the release notes, and the only reference I could find was this:


    FIXEDDesktop can now reduce its maximum execution units (#7317)

    So I think (hope) you were asking support to fix a bug that, this time, is actually a feature.

    40 minutes ago, x509 said:

    About these multiple execution units.  I thought it was a bug, so i submitted a trouble ticket (within my 30 days of free support).

    The support response was to ask me if I had ever run Multi-Server.  Of course not!  So he had me rename my configxx files to something else, and let Retrospect create new configxx files.  Not only did that not fix the "problem" but I lost all my backup session history!  So I undid the changes

    I have to laugh. If you read up a few posts, that's exactly what support tried getting me to do. I wasn't convinced at the time, and like you quickly reverted. But seriously: Is this their solution to every support request and bug report? It causes a lot of disruption (you lose your backup session history, but also all the sub-volume and volume group definitions), and shouldn't be something to ask someone to do unless there's reason to believe it will help.

  5. 47 minutes ago, DavidHertzberg said:


    Do you actually use Remote Backup? 

    Nope. I'd clocked what it was for, which was pretty much as you put it. Except for Sally. I could see a use-case for it for us, actually, with a second office site that could then be backed up as a client to my backup storage. But I'm not sure it's an optimal solution even for that, so I've not done anything with it.

    I took #7748 to be about a "remote" backup client only in the sense of "not the same computer as the one running the Master copy of Retrospect". In other words, I hadn't noticed the word "remote" as significant. It's funny though, because apart from "remote" that's exactly the issue we're discussing here.

    I did ask in my support ticket whether my problem relates to that fix. I wonder what they'll say

  6. On 12/2/2018 at 12:41 AM, DavidHertzberg said:

    The Release Notes say "Backup: Fixed issue where scripts hung due to Management Console integration (#7753)".


    Or even: "Remote Backup: Fixed issue where Retrospect would not time out when searching for a remote backup client (#7748)"

    Support had me deleting configxx.dat files, so that they were regenerated from the equivalent .xml files. That meant losing all volume information in my installation, which would have meant setting up volume groups from scratch, and then adding source volumes back into each scheduled script before it would run, hoping I remembered correctly how all that was configured.

    I didn't last long before I put the backup copies of configxx.dat back, and waited for a proper fix, suspecting that a corrupt config file was probably not my problem.

    Edit: They also got me to uninstall InstantScan from the clients. I can probably re-enable that now.

  7. 1 minute ago, zz-pdb said:

    just froze with no error. Had to kill retrospect.

    This is a pretty serious regression since the 12.x versions. Certain errors (specifically including a client being unreachable) no longer fail elegantly with an emailed report, but cause the whole engine to hang so that nothing is backed up. Further more, the hang is serious enough that it can't be restarted from the dashboard - it requires the task manager with elevated permissions.

    • Thanks 1

  8. But if it's running in the background, with no UI visible, it shouldn't pop a dialog that you have to click "OK" to before anything continues.

    I'm now on 15.6, and it just did it again - no backups ran for 3 days until I noticed that they hadn't. Killed retrospect.exe, and started the program again, and the waiting executions all began to run. The thing is, under 15.x for Windows, even Desktop edition gets multiple execution units, so one stuck job shouldn't freeze the whole setup.

  9. Yes, and in fact it can't be an invisible dialog in my case, because the front-end doesn't stop responding, just the engine. So I cannot "stop" the running job - it just sits there trying to connect to the client. I also cannot close the Retrospect main window, and I cannot relaunch it from the dashboard - if I try, nothing happens. But I can browse around the application, read logs, look at selectors, clients, volumes, etc. - none of which would be possible if the program were paused waiting for me to click "OK" somewhere.

  10. The dialog issue may be behind this. It's hard to find out, by definition. If that were the case, fixing the z-order wouldn't solve the problem, since Retrospect usually runs without the UI open. If Retrospect is running in the background, the only way to get the UI up to interact with it is to restart it, which cancels any running jobs.

  11. I've noted this with 15.5.x (Professional) on Windows 10.

    The trigger here seems to be if a client is not available for whatever reason. Retrospect hangs looking for that unreachable client. The trouble is, it doesn't timeout like it used to on earlier versions, and move onto the next task. It hangs totally. If you try to close Retrospect, or relaunch from the Dashboard, it never does. The only way to get things back is to kill retrospect.exe in the task manager.

    I always notice emails telling me that a backup run had a problem. It takes me longer to notice I haven't had any emails from Retrospect for a while, so I need to find out what's wrong.

  12. Thanks!

    I tried that. It took a while (of course, lots to download) and the log said it was doing a "thorough" rebuild as required.

    After doing that, I did another "Transfer Snapshots", with the same parameters as before. The job ended quickly, with nothing to transfer. Only, now I've rebuilt the catalog thoroughly, the difference in the two sets is not 900 MB but more like 10 GB. The same directory I had identified as missing is still missing. Again, I can get that directory if I use the "Restore" function instead of "Find Files", which must again mean that the files are backed up but are just absent from the snapshot.

    Does anyone have any further thoughts or suggestions?

  13. I've just transferred most recent snapshots from a 100+ GB backup Disk Backup Set to a Cloud Backup Set (backblaze)

    I had to restart half way through - it suddenly bailed out with:

            [*] TBackblazeConn::b2_upload_file: Request Error: error -1010 (API request bad) ()
            [*] DS3::ds3CloseFile: cannot write to AC000025.rdb: error -1010 (API request bad), resetting m_pos from 3,993,600 to 3,840,000
            [*] xopFlush: flush failed, error -1010 (API request bad)
            [*] xopFlush: flush failed, error -1010 (API request bad)

    I restarted the Transfer, and the remaining files copied across. ?

    However, when I do "Find Files" on the resulting backups, the number of files is different, and the cloud set is 900 MB smaller. So it seems some files are missing. But if I re-run Transfer Snapshots, it completes instantly, saying that there is nothing to copy. Retrospect thinks nothing is missing. I tried recreating the catalog, but that didn't help.

    By using selectors, I've managed to track down a whole folder that's missing - except that it's not missing if I start with "Restore" instead. So I've found what's happened - the files are there, but they are not included in the snapshot. The snapshot file must have failed to transfer.

    So my question is: How can I ask Retrospect to copy across the Snapshots again, so that I get a complete set of Snapshots - but without having to recycle and re-upload all 100 GB. The other reason to avoid this drastic restart is that, going forwards, something similar could recur, and then recycling would lose older snapshots as well as resetting the most recent one I'm trying to get right.

    Retrospect 12.6. Windows 10 x64

  14. I have to admit that the Support Case system makes more efficient use of Retrospect Inc. staff time, tending to eliminate the need for staff to look at Forums posts containing insufficient information.

    But something like the Drupal issue queues or the GitHub issue tracker could do the same as the support case system, whilst also allowing other users to search / chip in on related cases as well as track progress towards solutions etc. (I know that Retrospect is not open source, but you can still have a similar kind of public bug tracker with closed-source commercial software)>

  15. None of the Retrospect developers will see this.

    That's a change. Back in the day, and certainly when Retrospect first went back into private ownership after the developers bought it back from Roxio, most sensible questions in the forums attracted staff replies as well as from other customers. It's a shame that's changed.


    I strongly urge JamesOakley to submit that Support Case, with a "description of your issue" copied from his Original Post in this thread.


    Thanks: Will do!  :)


    On 12 December 2016, in response to a letter I snail-mailed to Mayoff,  I received an e-mail through a Mayoff account that was signed by JG Heithcock, CEO, Retrospect, Inc.

    Mayoff used to be operated by someone named "Robin", I thought - or does my memory let me down?


    If this post sounds formulaic, that's because I intend it to be.  I intend to post it in every new thread that appears in this forum, unless the OP indicates that he/she has or will open a Support Case for the bug that the thread reports.  Of course, Mayoff could take 5 minutes of his time to post a slightly-more-polite version of this post as a  "sticky thread" that will always appear at the top of the forum.  I don't intend to hold my breath until that happens (insert appropriate smiley here).

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, even if it is using copy/paste.


    Let's see if I get any tips from other users. Interestingly, the event log has not yielded any VSS errors, but there is another error I'm looking into. On paper, it shouldn't be related. But this is Windows, where someone turns a kettle on in the kitchen and the curtains automatically close in another room as a result.

  16. Thanks, David.


    The thread you linked seems to have the same error number, but different description (can't create catalog / snapshot).


    I'm sure it is an underlying Windows issue, but that need not mean that Windows is broken. (I realise that you're a Mac user, so that's just begging to start some banter, ...). The issue is that Retrospect is not able to make Windows do what it's trying to make it do - in this case, tap into VSS for open-file backup.


    The timing is significant: Windows had just had a major upgrade. One of the new features of the "Creators Update" is the introduction of a more time-machine type interface to the continuous backup feature (that's existed since the launch of Windows 10). That may well mean that Microsoft have made changes to the VSS code, which requires changes from other software that interfaces with it. ... But none of this is my expertise at all. I'm hoping that one of the Retrospect devs will see this and have some thoughts, or that other users who have upgraded may have experienced (and maybe even circumvented) the same issue.

  17. My computer recently updated to the latest major upgrade of Windows 10, nicknamed by Microsoft the "Creators Update", version number 1703.
    Since then, I've had on and off problems with Retrospect not using Open File Backup. The last time I had the problem, I needed to reboot the computer to get it to work again. It worked for the next 3 backups, and then the error has just returned.

               [*] MapError: unknown Windows error -1
               [*] VssWEnumWriterMetadata: GatherWriterMetadata on tempBackupComp failed. Aborting writer exclude, osErr -1, error -1001


               [*] MapError: unknown Windows error -1
               [*] VssWSnapVolume: PrepareForBackup failed, osErr -1, error -1001
               Can't use Open File Backup option for Data on DATA (E:), error -1001 (unknown Windows OS error)

    I'm using Professional.

    • Like 1

  18. Maybe the block-level backup is a red-herring. I'm guessing there.


    I'm trying to restore a large (c. 1.5 GB) outlook.pst file from October 2014. So I found the backup set, browsed the available snapshots and chose the one I wanted, found the file, and set it to restore to a new location. In the file selection dialog, the datestamp was from 2nd February, and the file size is nearly the same as the current version of the file (several hundred of MB larger than it was in October 2014). I began the restore. When I opened it up in Outlook, sure enough, it was last night's copy.


    I tried again, this time retrieving an additional snapshot from the backup set that was not shown by default. I had the same problem.


    I did manage to retrieve the older copy in the end. I had to use the "Find Files" feature, and then uncheck all the copies except the one with the datestamp I wanted.


    So it seems that I cannot restore older copies of this particular file, other than through the "Find Files" interface. I've never had problems with earlier versions of Retrospect (with outlook.pst files from a few months back). I'm guessing the block backups are an issue here, because it's one of the features that's recently changed, and the file is large enough for block-increments to be used for backing it up.

  19. Thanks for that, Lennart


    I saw the button labelled "Ignore ID", but it sounded like it did something more sophisticated than "Forget Device". I wasn't sure what it's ID was, but I didn't think I needed Retrospect to forget the device's ID - so I didn't even get as far as checking the manual.


    I guess there's UI feedback here for the developers - the label elsewhere in the software is "forget", so they could usefully use the same label here.


    Thanks again!