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Is EMC trying to kill Retrospect?

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Between 6.5 and 7 Retrospect has gone from a product that "just works" to one

 

that requires constant handholding and tweaking. I have had to deal with problems

 

including:

 

 

 

1) "Media Unrecognized" on a DVD drive that worked perfectly with 6.5 -- the

 

workaround is to open and close the drive manually

 

 

 

2) Unable to even install the server version on Win2003

 

 

 

3) Unable to find clients where previously there was no difficulty finding them

 

 

 

4) Consistent inability to use file-based backup sets because the RBF file gets

 

corrupted (at least that's what Retrospect is telling me)

 

 

 

5) Attempts to repair the damaged catalog result in Retrospect hanging,

 

accumulating almost no CPU usage or increasing memory usage but

 

page fault rates of 2000-4000 per SECOND.

 

 

 

 

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What version of Retrospect 7 are you running?

 

Can you be more specific about each of these issues, so that troubleshooting can be attempted?

 

Have you called for technical support on these issues?

 

Media unrecognized is an indication that the device is having trouble reading the media header? What drive are you using? Is this a supported drive or one that was autoconfigured

 

Retrospect 7 is fully compatible with 2003. What sort of install errors or problems are you having?

 

What type of error do you get during this "corruption". I do not know of any other reports of corrupt file backup sets in 7.0

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That isn't the point of my posting.

 

I have contacted technical support with extremely poor results. The response to being

unable to install on 2003 was ascribed to InstallShield and tech support basically said

"Sorry, not our problem".

 

I also have an open ticket on the Media Unrecognized issue, but so far there is

no solution.

 

Based on the problems being reported in this forum, it's clear that the quality of

the implementation has completely tanked (as opposed to the quality of the

architecture and design, which is still excellent) with the release of v7.

 

On the recatalog issue, I just let it run and it finally completed after several hours.

During that time the GUI was COMPLETELY unresponsive, and I was unable to

even minimize the window. This is NOT the way it's supposed to work.

 

The corruption issue happens when backing up across the network. It occurs

in both the following situations:

 

1) Full Retrospect running on the machine to be backed up, writing backup set

to a file on a server network drive.

 

2) Retrospect running on the server using the Retrospect client on the machine

to be backed up.

 

Another problem: A specific file was causing the backup to hang. Tech support's

response was "that can't happen", even after I invested several hours performing

detailed tests to demonstrate that it was the file contents, not its location on disk,

that was the problem. Once again, tech support shrugs their collective shoulders

and says "don't back up that file". This is not the quality of software or tech support

I've come to expect from Dantz.

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My two cents.

 

I doubt EMC is trying to kill Retrospect. Retrospect is why EMC bought them.

 

That said, from my own brief experience with 7.0 both original build and build 265 and the problems reported here from previous users of 6.5 - 7.0 is not ready for prime time. Seems more like beta.

I've been using Retrospect since 6.0 and have come to rely completely on it. I'm still using 6.5 - watching until Dantz gets 7.0 right.

 

Sorry, Mayoff.

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My original post was censored by Mayoff. Part of what he removed

pointed out that EMC has bought several backup software companies.

In the past, this type of consolidation has led to only one package

surviving and the rest being discontinued. For example, take ScanSoft's

purchase of Xerox Pagis and Textbridge. They also bought PaperPort

and Caere, competing products, and then proceeded to kill Pagis and

Textbridge. From a management perspective that doesn't appreciate

how unique Retrospect is, it would make sense to whittle the offerings

down to one product to reduce development and support costs. For

loyal Retrospect users, such as myself, it would be a disaster because

there just isn't anything else on the market that provides equivalent

functionality.

 

The fact that Mayoff censored my original post (let's see what happens

to this one) only supports my contention.

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Hi,

 

A couple questions regarding the technical problems you're seeing:

 

1. What kind of DVD drive do you have and what firmware is it? If you go to Configure > Devices > Environment tab, you should be able to get the model number and firmware version. I'm assuming you already have the latest version of Retrospect (7.0.265) with the most recent Driver Update (7.0.3.101). Did you configure the drive to create a custom driver in 6.5 and if so, have you tried doing that with 7.0? Also, what kind of media are you using and have you tried using multiple brands of media?

 

2. That's interesting that you're unable to install Retrospect on Windows 2003 Server. I was able to install it on a win2k3 box and get it to run without any problems. What kind of errors do you get when you run the installer? Does the Windows Event Log say anything about the bad install? I'm assuming you already tried downloading the installer multiple times in the event that the installer you had was corrupted for some reason. If it isn't a Retrospect error that you are getting, you might want to try updating or reinstalling your Windows Installer: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=884016

 

3. It seems like you're running into a lot of problems when backing up to a file over the network. Have you tried backing up to a file on a local hard drive to see if this causes any problems? If you're having network problems, information packets could be getting dropped while writing to that network drive which might explain why the file backup set is getting corrupted. Just a theory though.

 

Anyways, just a couple things to throw out there if you're interested in troubleshooting.

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And Scansoft's support truly sucks. I have been trying to get their Paperport Pro 10 installed and it is a nightmare. And anytime you call support it costs you money. There is actually an incentive to write bad software as it generates more support calls at 20bux apiece!

 

I have been trying to reload my machine this week from a crashed drive and get it backed up. Between Retrospect and Scansoft, I have lost hours and hours.

 

I would find it hard to believe that they would kill Retrospect since it is now included with several external hard drives.

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Quote:

That isn't the point of my posting.

 

I have contacted technical support with extremely poor results. The response to being

unable to install on 2003 was ascribed to InstallShield and tech support basically said

"Sorry, not our problem".

 


 

If Dantz chose to use InstallShield to install Retrospect, then it is indeed Dantz's problem.

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As the admin for this forum, it is my responsibility to keep content focused on troubleshooting Retrospect issues. I edited the forum post because it seemed like a direct commentary about EMC and Retrospect, it was not a valid topic for the forum. For the record, Retrospect 7 was in development for many many months before EMC was involved with Dantz. Retrospect is still developed using the same engineers, same management team and same offices. None of that has changed and it won't be changing any time in the near future.

 

For the customer, EMC means: Higher quality products and faster product releases. Dantz is growing and that is good for the customers and Retrospect.

 

Rather then point fingers at Retrospect, InstallShield, EMC and everything else we can think of, lets stick to the focus of the forum....to solve problems. Michael has asked some very good questions and made some good points about the technical problem.

 

If a specific file is causing the backup to hang, it is often an indication that the specific source file is corrupted or that file is located on a bad section of disk.

 

If you copy the file in Windows Explorer, is Retrospect able to backup the copy?

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I've seen similar issues with catalog rebuilds and large disk-based backup sets. Retro 7 doesn't like large disk-based backup sets (>1Tb), or at least it doesn't like large catalog files (>1Gb compressed). Viewing the properties of a large catalog file takes ~10-15 minutes for the properties window to come up, and the same amount of time to switch between tabs within the properties window--that's 10-15 minutes per mouse click, and it ultimately just stops doing anything, Retro stops responding and has to be killed. Rebuilding the catalog file results in the "white screen of death" where the Retrospect application window goes white and doesn't appear to be doing anything.

 

Then there's the spurious "serious errors" that cause Retro to crash unexpectedly, buggy handling of some tape libraries, and other niggling issues including tech support that says, "Gee, that's odd" instead of offering meaningful assistance.

 

I have to agree with jhg on this one. Retro 7 has some serious issues.

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With all due respect, I would guess that a very small % of users are working with Catalog files > 1 Terabyte. I'm simply having trouble bridging from your experience with 1TB files to claiming Retrospect is having serious problems.

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