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Retrospect Not Running Scheduled Jobs Under Windows 7

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Just upgraded several computers to windows 7 (from scratch) and re-installed retrospect. I notice that the Retrospect launcher and helper services are started and running, but Retrospect doesn't "wake up" to run scheduled tasks. Any ideas on how to fix this?

 

Thanks

Mike

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Retrospect hasn't been completely updated to work well with some of the security features that were added in Windows Vista (and are still present in Windows 7.) As a result, when the main Retrospect application is started by the Launcher service it can't communicate with your screen/keyboard/mouse. As in interim, there is a "Retrospect Activity Monitor" program to provide a view of what the (invisible) background instance of Retrospect is doing.

 

Unfortunately, the Activity Monitor doesn't work for many people (including me.) It just shows a blank screen. There was much discussion about this in the predecessor forums. It seemed that most people who had trouble were running 64-bit Windows. I don't think anyone ever identified a fix. If you're one of the unfortunate people then about all you can do is try hard to configure Retrospect so that it never needs human interaction during scheduled backup.

 

It may be, therefore, that Retrospect is in fact being started but you just can't see it. You can check using the Task Manager. Schedule a backup, then exit Retrospect. Wait until the backup should be running. Open Task Manager, go to the Processes tab, click the "Show processes from all users" button, and look for "Retrospect" in the Image Name column.

 

If Retrospect doesn't show in the Task Manager then in may have failed to start. Another impact of Retrospect's incomplete adaption for Windows Vista/7 is that in some cases the Launcher will silently fail to start the main application. The workaround for this is to set Retrospect preferences to run "As the logged-in user". Confusingly, this doesn't necessarily mean the user that's logged in at the screen/keyboard. Rather, it means that the main Retrospect application should use the same login credentials as the process that starts it. If you start it from the Start menu then that's your login. If it is started by the Launcher then that's the credentials of the Launcher process, which are normally the special "Local System" account.

 

Running as Local System is often just fine. It causes trouble, however, if Retrospect needs to access network shares such as those on a NAS box. For data sources you can set a user ID and password within Retrospect, which should be sufficient. A simpler and (possibly) more effective solution, however, is to configure the Launcher service to use a user ID and password for an account that has access to those shares. That way the Launcher will start the main application with those credentials, enabling it to access the network shares.

 

The ultimate fix for these issues of compatibility with Windows Vista/7 security features is a refactoring of Retrospect to have separate processes for the the user interface and the backup engine. That's been promised for a future major release. (That promise was pre-Roxio, but I'm still hopeful.) In the interim, it would help tremendously if Roxio were to provide documentation that described how to effectively use Retrospect 7.x on Windows 7.

 

-- Pete

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Happy to report the workaround to set Retrospect preferences to run "As the logged-in user" seems to get the scripts scheduled. Thanks again for the help Pete.

Glad it worked for you. Thanks for confirming my understanding of how Retrospect works.

 

Roxio, a Knowledge Base article on this would be a good thing.

 

-- Pete

Edited by Poorman

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Guest jmosk

I am also running Window 7 64-bit. The scripted backups start with no problem, but if you need to change backup media, you can't do it because there is no UI to specify that new backup media has been inserted and is ready to use.

 

How do we continue to perform automatic backups on Retrospect 7.7 when you are unable to change out backup media?

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Thanks very much Pete, I'll give your suggestions a try.

 

(I am indeed running 64bit Windows 7)

 

Regards

Mike Palmer

I am also running Windows 7 64 bit. I have Retrospect 7.7 installed and I have scheduled backups. I have backups set to run as the current user logged in. (This was set via retrospect preferences; I also separately set up the retrospect launcher service to run as a user with admin privileges). I have a local external drive for the media.

 

Each time I start up Retrospect the UAC wants to have permission to run. If I exit (Retrospect is set to "stay in retrospect") the launcher is still running, but I'd sure like to know that it will start retrospect up again for the scheduled backups without me having to grant permissions from the UAC. I will surely know the answer tonight when I have my first scheduled backup set to go, but again I'd like to know if there is something else that needs to be changed to bypass the UAC asking for permission.

 

One other thing that I'm puzzled about is that I can't seem to get the system tray icon to show up no matter how many times I try to unset that preference and then reset it.

 

Any ideas about either of these issues would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by retrojg

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One other thing that I'm puzzled about is that I can't seem to get the system tray icon to show up no matter how many times I try to unset that preference and then reset it.

I have found that too, after recently upgrading a machine to Windows 7 64-bit. Looking at the old Retrospect forum, this was a problem in Vista also, that I guess has still not been fixed:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:70g-RWHnZ74J:forums.dantz.com/showtopic.php%3Ftid/26729/

(The above link also discusses some of the other problems mentioned in this current thread.)

 

I'd be fine with scheduled backups starting up 'hidden' in the background if the following were true:

(1) A system tray icon were present, perhaps with a notification bubble and/or some simple animation to indicate that an operation is running.

(2) The system tray icon could be clicked, or double-clicked or something, to start the main Retrospect UI *without* interrupting the current operation. (If this is already possible, I'd appreciate it if someone could advise me how.) The option to minimise the UI window to the tray again while the operation continues would also be good.

 

I also have the same annoying problem of needing to grant Retrospect permission via UAC every time I want to start the UI.

 

In summary, the 'behaviour' of Retrospect under Win7 compared to XP is pretty disappointing... especially if the same was also true of Vista, meaning that EMC/Roxio/etc. have had nearly five years to work on improving it and this is the best they have been able to do. :(

 

Hopefully it's just error on my part and there are solutions to my above complaints...

Edited by Cygnis

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I also have the same annoying problem of needing to grant Retrospect permission via UAC every time I want to start the UI.

 

Okay now I'm really puzzled. The scheduled backup worked just fine and the next one is scheduled to run as expect according to the monitor, but that seems to be the only UI I can get to start up now. I can't get the main Retrospect application to come up so that I can review the log files, possibly alter the schedule, etc.

 

What is the trick to getting the main UI to start?

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Okay now I'm really puzzled. The scheduled backup worked just fine and the next one is scheduled to run as expect according to the monitor, but that seems to be the only UI I can get to start up now. I can't get the main Retrospect application to come up so that I can review the log files, possibly alter the schedule, etc.

 

What is the trick to getting the main UI to start?

 

Chasing down the solution from the referenced link regarding Vista behavior I was able to uncover the detail that if I STOP Retrospect via the monitor UI it will then launch the main Retrospect UI so I can make changes and view logs. Upon exit the Retrospect launcher is still running and I assume (will see tonight) that it will once again start the scheduled backup, but the monitor does not show that Retrospect is running or that a job is scheduled as it did before I "stopped" Retrospect to view the details. Very odd way of interacting with the OS and with me the user.

 

If someone can confirm that this is the normal "workflow" for Retrospect 7.7 on Windows 7 / Vista that would help calm my nerves :).

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Does anyone know whether Roxio is actually doing anything to support Retrospect? Regarding the Launcher problem addressed here, I've been getting the same promises all of you report to fix it since I "upgraded" to 7.7 as what Retrospect advertized as a match to Windows 7 when my firm switched some of its computers from XP. Another really serious problem you may discover is that RS 7.7, unlike the wonderfully reliable 7.6, doesn't always recognize the contents of some folders for either backup or duplication, and the support people (for those of us persuaded to pay extra for "ASM" subscriptions) don't seem to have any clue about how to fix it, or even explain it.

 

If you have any suggestions to get Retrospect back on track to its old trustable ways, please post. Otherwise, I'll appreciate recommendations of alternative software....

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Another really serious problem you may discover is that RS 7.7, unlike the wonderfully reliable 7.6, doesn't always recognize the contents of some folders for either backup or duplication, and the support people (for those of us persuaded to pay extra for "ASM" subscriptions) don't seem to have any clue about how to fix it, or even explain it.

Could you please elaborate on this? That's very concerning.

 

One other problem I noticed on the Win7 box I referred to above is that certain folders simply aren't visible when picking a "Subvolume"... including the "Retrospect" settings folder in AppData. I need to run some tests to see whether such folders can be backed up by selecting the parent folder (or entire disk).

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One other problem I noticed on the Win7 box I referred to above is that certain folders simply aren't visible when picking a "Subvolume"... including the "Retrospect" settings folder in AppData.

It turns out that the Retrospect settings are actually stored in C:\ProgramData\Retrospect, which *has* been getting backed up.

 

"C:\Users\...\AppData" is just a 'junction' to \ProgramData, as outlined here:

http://www.svrops.com/svrops/articles/jpoints.htm

 

So, it would appear that my unfamiliarity with Vista/Win7 is to blame in this particular instance, not Retrospect. :)

 

Regarding the UAC issue, here is an article describing a possible workaround:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprosecurity/thread/6822b712-8fc3-4253-8856-25e99f144262

However, when I tried this approach, it made Retrospect significantly slower to start (and close), despite not having to deal with the UAC prompt. Anyone know why?

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