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derek500

Building Snapshot - sometimes forever

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With Retrospect 9.0.2(107) server running a proactive backup script to disk:

 

Sometimes Windows 7 clients will back up and then show the status "Building Snapshot" until the end user restarts their machine or pulls it off the network, at which Retrospect will say in the log the backup compeleted succesfully with a -519 error at the end. The problem is that "Building Snapshot" may never end. The windows clients that do this are Windows 7 with client 7.7.114 installed.

 

Stopping the client (either turning the Retrospect client off, or rebooting the system, or removing it from the network, etc), or stopping the backup from the server console will free up the Proactive script on the server. The laptop user has no idea there is anything amiss. It's only because I looked at the server Activities page I know there is an issue. The next backup of that client usually proceeds and ends normally.

 

Has anyone else run into this and/or solved it? Any tips on what I should look for?

 

Thanks

-Derek

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I've seen the building snapshot taking a lot of time. And I've seen numerous -519 errors.

 

The majority of -519 errors I've seen are due to users pulling hte machines off the network - or quite often, the NIC turning off in powersave. (We've since changed out settings for those NIC's and have not seen the issue).

 

I'll look more into the 'building snapshots' issue when I notice it. This would be helpful to speed up.

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I've seen the -519 errors for other appropriate reasons too - usually a machine with a bad hard drive, or legitimately was shut down or removed from the network during a backup. But these are specifically after the building snapshot sits there forever, the rest of the backup completed. I have no problem with the Building Snapshot phase sometimes taking 15-20 minutes, which seems long. It's the times when it has been Building Snapshot for more than an hour I know it's not going to end, and it won't end until we trigger something to happen.

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The problem is that "Building Snapshot" may never end.

Some posters on some forums write that something "never ends" when they have waited 30 seconds. How long have you waited?

 

We had a computer (thankfully retired by now) where the building snapshot phase took over two hours every time and for no apparent reason. We never solved that. I assume we could have reinstalled it.

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Some posters on some forums write that something "never ends" when they have waited 30 seconds. How long have you waited?

 

We had a computer (thankfully retired by now) where the building snapshot phase took over two hours every time and for no apparent reason. We never solved that. I assume we could have reinstalled it.

 

...

until the end user restarts their machine or pulls it off the network

...

 

 

8, 10 hours? How long is "long enough" when it usually takes 20-30 minutes? I have one right now (which prompted me writing this post), started at 8:20 this morning and has been "Building Snapshot" for over 5 hours after backing up about 800MB. I just stopped it a moment ago from the console as I know there are other laptops waiting to back up (it is Monday after all). If I hadn't stopped it it would have built it's snapshot until the guy closed his laptop and left at 5:00 tonight, at least that's what has happened in the past.

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8, 10 hours? How long is "long enough" when it usually takes 20-30 minutes? I have one right now (which prompted me writing this post), started at 8:20 this morning and has been "Building Snapshot" for over 5 hours after backing up about 800MB. I just stopped it a moment ago from the console as I know there are other laptops waiting to back up (it is Monday after all). If I hadn't stopped it it would have built it's snapshot until the guy closed his laptop and left at 5:00 tonight, at least that's what has happened in the past.

OK, 5 hours is too long.

 

What is relevent here is how many files the client has (in total) and how complex the Registry is.

 

What kind of client are we talking about here? A Pentium 3 at 800MHz or a 2 GHz Core i7? Or someting in between? How much RAM?

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OK, 5 hours is too long.

 

What is relevent here is how many files the client has (in total) and how complex the Registry is.

 

What kind of client are we talking about here? A Pentium 3 at 800MHz or a 2 GHz Core i7? Or someting in between? How much RAM?

 

This particular machine is a Dell Latitude E6400 2.6 GHz Core2Duo, 4GB RAM. Not sure the exact filecount but based on the Past Backups it's about 100K files. A typical lightly used Windows 7 Pro laptop. Previously (and probably next time) this system backed up took about 25 minutes and backed up <1500 files. It was completely formatted and with a clean OS install was just given to this user about 3 months ago, so there is nothing large or unusual on it. Our computers are pretty simple, most of the files are IE temp files or a few office documents being updated.

 

This also happens to us with newer, equally as simple, Core i5 and Core i7 systems, none with less than 4GB of RAM. It seems to be only the Windows 7 systems that do this. The older XP systems we have back up about the same amount of files and complete in 10-15 minutes, and I've never had an XP client stuck on Building Snapshot.

 

Would the 'building snapshot' be an issue with the backup server or the client?

 

I believe this is the step where the client creates a registry backup for Retrospect to take. That's a mildly educated guess on my part, but I am not sure about that at all.

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I believe this is the step where the client creates a registry backup for Retrospect to take. That's a mildly educated guess on my part, but I am not sure about that at all.

That is correct.

 

If the problem persists, try to check the consistency of the registry. (And please tell me how. I have been looking for a good way to do that.)

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That is correct.

 

If the problem persists, try to check the consistency of the registry. (And please tell me how. I have been looking for a good way to do that.)

 

Hmm. Okay, I would agree but here's the thing (besides also still looking for a good way to check registry consistency)- the problem does not persist. Most of the time the backups work fine. This seems to happen somewhat randomly and across any of our W7 clients. Next time this client backs up (based on past experience), it will plow through and finish normally, in a normal amount of time (~30 minutes). Next week (or maybe tomorrow) it will happen on a different client. If I am here watching the Activities on the server console, I can stop it. If nobody is watching it, no other clients in our Proactive script will get backed up until that client leaves the network.

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I Have the same problem with one of about 5 backups. This one takes about 3 hours to build the snapshot with ~3GB, the others take 15 min-30min same data amount. I'm thinking to recycle, can this be a solution?

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I'm thinking to recycle, can this be a solution?

No. Building snapshots takes place on the client and has nothing to do with the contents of the media set.

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I am getting the exact same thing for one of 3 servers. All Macs. My first one takes about 20-30 min for backup and snapshot. The second one, takes about an hour for scanning and backup, then snapshot takes about 3-5 hours.

 

Both machines are xServes (first one running 10.4 and the other 10.6). I doubt this has to do with the Registry/Windows.

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...

then snapshot takes about 3-5 hours.

 

Both machines are xServes (first one running 10.4 and the other 10.6). I doubt this has to do with the Registry/Windows.

 

But does the snapshot eventually complete? In my case it will not.

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I am getting the exact same thing for one of 3 servers. All Macs. My first one takes about 20-30 min for backup and snapshot. The second one, takes about an hour for scanning and backup, then snapshot takes about 3-5 hours.

 

Both machines are xServes (first one running 10.4 and the other 10.6). I doubt this has to do with the Registry/Windows.

No, not in the case of Mac clients (obviously).

 

How many files are there on the "second one"? What kind of Xserve is it? What kind of storage is it?.

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No, not in the case of Mac clients (obviously).

 

How many files are there on the "second one"? What kind of Xserve is it? What kind of storage is it?.

 

The server has 8.91GB and 111,000 files. it's an xServe 3,1. it has 2x RAID 1, drives. it's being backed up to a single drive.

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The server has 8.91GB and 111,000 files. it's an xServe 3,1. it has 2x RAID 1, drives. it's being backed up to a single drive.

That should run MUCH faster. 111,000 files isn't much.

 

Try repairing the hard drive with Apple's Disk Utility.

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It's not just Windows or Mac clients that have horribly slow "building snapshot" phases. I'm experiencing regular 2 hour snapshot builds of Linux servers using version 9 (and same with version 8 before). The same exact backup with version 6.1 will take only minutes to complete. Version 9 is completely unusable for me. I simply can't have backups that only end up storing a few changed files take hours.

 

Something that nobody can seem to adequately explain: Why do snapshots take so long with version 9? Version 6.1 also stores a snapshot ready backup and doesn't stay connected to the client after the backup during some lengthy snapshot build. The initial scan and backup time are similar between the versions (with 9 being slightly faster). Why can't the snapshot be built during the initial scanning pass like it apparently is on version 6.1?

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Hi all,

 

My issue is not 'slow' but 'never finishes', even after 7-8 hours. Next backup with a similar number of changed files on the same client will complete including the snapshot in 20-25 minutes. Both the server and client show little to no CPU activity or network traffic during this period.

 

I understand how some clients can be slow, based on total filecount, variations in the client, etc, but this is not a factor in my scenario. The only consitencies I've noticed are W7 and Proactive.

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Something that nobody can seem to adequately explain: Why do snapshots take so long with version 9? Version 6.1 also stores a snapshot ready backup and doesn't stay connected to the client after the backup during some lengthy snapshot build. The initial scan and backup time are similar between the versions (with 9 being slightly faster). Why can't the snapshot be built during the initial scanning pass like it apparently is on version 6.1?

This is just a user-to-user forum. We (the users) don't know the internal workings of Retrospect.

 

Ask Retrospect support: http://www.retrospect.com/support

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That should run MUCH faster. 111,000 files isn't much.

 

Try repairing the hard drive with Apple's Disk Utility.

 

I will give it a shot, but not holding my breath. Here is lists night backup. Copying 7.9MB. which took about 29 min (with scanning). Then the snapshot took only 8 hours..

 

http://i49.tinypic.com/5zp7i1.png

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If the snap shot is really building on the client, then it is a client issue and most likely how it is being controlled by the Mac host, which seems to be different from when it is being controlled by a Windows host. I have problem with a smallish XP SP3 client (30-40 GB) that also takes a whole hour to build a snap shot, even when the copy is only a few GB. The client machine (old Pentium M) never really gets a kick during snap shot building; its CPU is lumping along at its slowest speed under Speedstep (monitored by CPUZ) and the task manager shows 0% of the CPU allocated to the retroclient. In other words, the client program never makes sufficient demand for CPU cycles to speed this up. Another thing that makes me wonder if the speed limitation comes from the snap shot really being built on the client and not something to do with the Mac is the curious fact that much larger backups I run with Retrospect for Windows at work get the WIndows client (same version) snap shots built in 10-15 minutes. Note all of my scripts are set to save permissions, which wll definitely slow down the snapshot process, but is needed if you ever need to do a bare metal recovery. This again points to the Mac host as the problem. So maybe the client is trying to build the snap shot, but has trouble communicating with a MAc host during the process.

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I don't think it's a client issue - here's a new but important update. I had a client backing up on Friday, and it was stuck in the 'Building Snapshot' phase. I left it alone knowing that when he left the server would move on by itself, but it did not! I come in Monday morning to find it still trying to build a snapshot, and the client is long gone! (I know he took his laptop home Friday night). So NONE of my weekend backup/grooming scripts ran. Argh.

 

I actually had some other issues with Retro, and recently rebuilt my whole system, re-adding all clients and recreating all scripts about two weeks ago, so needless to say I'm getting pretty frustrated.

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I don't think it's a client issue - here's a new but important update. I had a client backing up on Friday, and it was stuck in the 'Building Snapshot' phase. I left it alone knowing that when he left the server would move on by itself, but it did not! I come in Monday morning to find it still trying to build a snapshot, and the client is long gone! (I know he took his laptop home Friday night). So NONE of my weekend backup/grooming scripts ran. Argh.

 

I actually had some other issues with Retro, and recently rebuilt my whole system, re-adding all clients and recreating all scripts about two weeks ago, so needless to say I'm getting pretty frustrated.

What does the log say?

 

We run the Windows version 7.6 at work. Sometimes when a laptop user "pulls the plug" during "building snapshot", an "error -519" is shown in the log, but the server continues with "building snapshot" until it's killed.

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I had to stop the engine to get the backup stopped, trying to stop the backup through the console was not working. I did view the log in the activities pane before I stopped the engine but no -519 error (which is what I'm used to seeing as well). After restarting the engine the log of that backup was not captured in the overall Retrospect log (a huge flaw IMO) so I can't confirm how it ended.

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