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Don Lee

recurring format inconsistency on tape - same file?

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Retro 9.0.2 (107), on OS X 10.6 mini with 8 GB memory. tape drive is HP storage works Dat 72 usb

 

I am trying to copy a media set from disk to tape. Total size is about 90 GB. On the second tape, I get errors. I've tried this 3 times, and the error is about the same. twice it has happened on the same file. Once on another file "nearby". Log excerpts:

 

 

+ Executing copy_iCompute_year at 12/7/12 (Activity Thread 1)

To Backup Set v9_iCompute_2012t...

- 12/7/12 5:43:14 PM: Transferring from v9_iCompute_2012

- 12/7/12 9:11:55 PM: Verifying v9_iCompute_2012t

- 12/8/12 12:42:17 AM: Transferring from v9_iCompute_2012

- 12/8/12 4:22:35 AM: Verifying v9_iCompute_2012t

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 302823168)

!Generated MD5 digest for file "Joy_HD_X/Users/cjl/Pictures/Bruce_9_13_09/Originals/2009/Jun 25, 2009/" does not match stored MD5 digest.

!Backup Set format inconsistency (5 at 302822304)

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 302818176)

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 302817088)

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 302816064)

(repeated many times....)

 

previous

 

+ Executing copy_iCompute_year at 12/7/12 (Activity Thread 1)

To Backup Set v9_iCompute_2012t...

- 12/7/12 12:22:11 AM: Transferring from v9_iCompute_2012

- 12/7/12 3:51:42 AM: Verifying v9_iCompute_2012t

- 12/7/12 10:42:37 AM: Transferring from v9_iCompute_2012

- 12/7/12 2:22:52 PM: Verifying v9_iCompute_2012t

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 302786496)

!Generated MD5 digest for file "Joy_HD_X/Users/cjl/Pictures/Bruce_9_13_09/Originals/2009/Jun 26, 2009/" does not match stored MD5 digest.

!Backup Set format inconsistency (5 at 312139968)

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 312262592)

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 332547344)

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 317140112)

(repeated many times....)

 

and previous...

 

+ Executing copy_iCompute_year at 12/5/12 (Activity Thread 1)

To Backup Set v9_iCompute_2012t...

- 12/5/12 1:40:33 PM: Transferring from v9_iCompute_2012

- 12/5/12 5:09:11 PM: Verifying v9_iCompute_2012t

- 12/5/12 9:21:03 PM: Transferring from v9_iCompute_2012

- 12/6/12 1:02:50 AM: Verifying v9_iCompute_2012t

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 297431856)

!Generated MD5 digest for file "Joy_HD_X/Users/cjl/Pictures/Bruce_9_13_09/Originals/2009/Jun 25, 2009/" does not match stored MD5 digest.

!Backup Set format inconsistency (5 at 316160816)

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 316426624)

!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 315258976)

(repeated many times....)

 

I already tried using a different tape. The first two were the same tape, the third try was a different tape (different manufacturer, too). After the second failure, I did a verify on the source media set, and it came through clean.

 

This looks like some sort of bug to me. Tape is relatively imprecise in the face of errors and bad media. I would expect that if this were a device or media problem with recording the data, the error would change from run to run, but this is a little too consistent. I also would expect it to behave differently with a different physical tape.

 

It would be nice to have timestamps on the errors. I could at least tell whether this is happening at the beginning, end, or middle of the tape. As it is, I have no idea. Writing these tapes takes hours.

 

Despite all these errors, is any of the data written to these tapes retrievable? I'm inclined to treat the whole set as worthless if the copy process does not come through "clean".

 

Is there some different procedure I can use to make this work?

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Update on this....

 

I decided to let the transfer complete. The tail end of the log on the media set transfer looked like this:

 

	!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 308693232)
 (many, many of these.....)
!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 308694528)
!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 308695728)
!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 308697408)
!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 308697440)
!Device trouble: "[u]2-v9_iCompute_2012t[/u]", error -212 ( media erased)
-  12/8/12 9:19:15 AM: Transferring from v9_iCompute_2012
12/8/12 12:27:41 PM: 309 execution errors
Completed: 690896 files, 113.6 GB
Performance: 190.1 MB/minute
Duration: 12:06:33 (01:54:39 idle/loading/preparing)

-  12/8/12 12:27:41 PM: Verifying v9_iCompute_2012t
12/8/12 3:08:14 PM: Execution completed successfully
Remaining: 1 files, 66.6 MB
Completed: 575859 files, 74 GB
Performance: 1.4 MB/minute
Duration: T03:11:5 (00:01:50 idle/loading/preparing)

 

I then did a verify, figuring that any errors in the transfer would show up in the verify as some sort of error.

 

I am not now inclined to trust this media set. It had "309 execution errors".

 

I ran a verify of the tape set.

 

The verify log looks like this:

 

+  Executing [u]Verify[/u] at 12/10/12 (Activity Thread 1)
To Backup Set [u]v9_iCompute_2012t[/u]...
12/11/12 4:45:37 PM: Execution completed successfully
Completed: 690896 files, 113.6 GB
Performance: 207.6 MB/minute
Duration: 23:08:50 (13:48:31 idle/loading/preparing)

 

No errors? How can that be? Why is there no indication of the 309 errors?

 

The summary in the xfer script says that it wrote 113.6 GB, but it only verified 74 GB. How can that be?

 

How much of this set should I trust? Is it completely untrustworthy, or is it likely to be a 90% solution?

 

Is there any way I can "fix" the second member without re-writing all three tapes? (hours and hours)

 

Thanks.

Edited by iCompute

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I have now done this with Retro 10 as well, and it behaves the same. Whatever it is, it happens on the second tape, and fails the MD5 digest on one of the same pictures. This latest try is to a completely different set of tapes.

 

Is this tape set usable, given this error? I don't care about the pictures, but what about all the other stuff in the set?

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FWIW, I restored two volumes from one of these media sets with the hundreds of errors on tape 2, and compared the resultant restored volumes with the resultant volumes from separate restores using the the disk (file) copy of the same media set.

 

The restores appear to produce identical results, including the files that the media set copy reported as "in error" in the above narrative.

 

Based on this result, I have taken the risk of discarding the disk copy of this media set.

 

It appears that Retrospect is complaining in its tape error messages that it had trouble, but recovered. I think that Retrospect should not complain so loquaciously about tape errors that do not result in lost data. At minimum, if the resultant media set is usable, some indication of "It's OK" should be present in the error stream. Ideally, some more informative error messages should be reported, instead of the long stream of meaningless numbers. ("!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 308697408)" means very little to me.)

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... Ideally, some more informative error messages should be reported, instead of the long stream of meaningless numbers. ("!Backup Set format inconsistency (4 at 308697408)" means very little to me.)

Unintelligible error messages seem to be de rigeur in Retrospect.

If you think yours bad, here's an error message on a write failure to DVD:

Additional error information for device "Panasonic DVD DL" [1:0],

Sense >

(渐癎翿 |渐癎翿 |渐癎翿 )

!Trouble writing: "1-Bardiya Backup Set A" (129236992), error -203 ( hardware failure)

- 6/01/13 20:47:42: Verifying Users on Bardiya

!Trouble writing media:

"1-Bardiya Backup Set A"

error -203 ( hardware failure)

I'm particularly impressed by the sense information in Chinese(?) script.

 

Fixed by replacing the DVD in question.

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Yeah, I've seen that one too.

 

Error messages are surprisingly difficult. You don't always "see" the error in the code in a place where you know what to do with it WRT the user. I have an appreciation for this not being a trivial thing to correct.

 

That said, I still think it should be addressed.

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This mystery message also shows up for certain backuo sets I have for the Windows multiserver version.  I found an ancient post, dated 1999 and harking back to the days of yore and Retros[pec 6.x that found that file names ending in _1 on the source would trip this error.  It's a really slow link:

http://archive.macfixitforums.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/331814

 

So it may be a nothing error message and probably a consistency checking error.  I guess one way to find out iits true effect is to attempt a recovery, since there has been no other response.

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I have seen this again with another media set xfer and a different set of tapes. I ran it twice, and it "failed" in the same way, with similar scary errors both times.

 

The log from the first run:

 

+ Executing copy set at 1/8/14 (Activity Thread 2)
To Backup Set v9_SharedFiles_2013t...
- 1/8/14 8:21:17 PM: Transferring from v9_SharedFiles_2013
- 1/8/14 10:12:32 PM: Verifying v9_SharedFiles_2013t
- 1/9/14 12:50:54 AM: Transferring from v9_SharedFiles_2013
- 1/9/14 2:41:27 AM: Verifying v9_SharedFiles_2013t
- 1/9/14 8:38:17 AM: Transferring from v9_SharedFiles_2013
- 1/9/14 10:29:45 AM: Verifying v9_SharedFiles_2013t
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 35061120)
!Generated MD5 digest for file "/Volumes/Shared_Files2/installers OS X/IRIS/ReadIRIS pro 12 mac/" does not match stored MD5 digest.
!Media Set format inconsistency (5 at 35117791)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 35265920)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 35470720)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 35675520)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 35880320)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 36085120)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 36289920)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 36494720)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 36699520)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 36904320)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 37109120)

 

(many more of these....)

 

!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 50943456)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 51148256)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 51353056)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 51557856)
!Device trouble: "3-v9_SharedFiles_2013t", error -212 ( media erased)
- 1/9/14 1:09:30 PM: Transferring from v9_SharedFiles_2013
1/9/14 1:10:37 PM: Execution stopped by operator
Remaining: 47 files, 4.2 GB
Completed: 10 files, 2.5 GB
Performance: 7.7 MB/minute
Duration: 11:21:06 (05:53:25 idle/loading/preparing)

 

 

and the second run:  (actually the third - I aborted the second very early in the run)

 

+ Executing copy set at 1/9/14 (Activity Thread 2)
To Backup Set v9_SharedFiles_2013t...
- 1/9/14 1:51:56 PM: Transferring from v9_SharedFiles_2013
- 1/9/14 3:46:01 PM: Verifying v9_SharedFiles_2013t
- 1/9/14 9:30:05 PM: Transferring from v9_SharedFiles_2013
- 1/9/14 11:20:36 PM: Verifying v9_SharedFiles_2013t
- 1/10/14 12:23:33 PM: Transferring from v9_SharedFiles_2013
- 1/10/14 2:14:20 PM: Verifying v9_SharedFiles_2013t
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 35074432)
!Generated MD5 digest for file "/Volumes/Shared_Files2/installers OS X/IRIS/ReadIRIS pro 12 mac/" does not match stored MD5 digest.
!Media Set format inconsistency (5 at 35118812)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 35279232)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 35484032)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 35688832)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 35893632)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 36098432)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 36303232)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 36508032)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 36712832)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 36917632)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 37122432)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 37327232)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 37532032)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 37736832)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 37941632)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 38146432)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 38351232)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 38556032)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 38760832)

 

 

Note that I replaced the third tape in this set between the runs, and sequence of tape operations was slightly different (one erased the tapes first, the second re-used the previously erased tapes)

 

Nevertheless, the error occurred on the same tape, in apparently the same spot, on the same (not very large) file.

Very fishy, if you ask me.

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Is there any documentation anywhere - KB, forum, pirate web site - on what these errors mean?

 

 

- 3/8/14 4:10:04 PM: Transferring from MiniDuo_2013d
- 3/8/14 6:01:28 PM: Verifying MCI-MiniDuo_2013-1t
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 58026944)
!Generated MD5 digest for file "/Volumes/MiniDuoHD/Users/office/Dropbox/Camera Uploads/" does not match stored MD5 digest.
!Media Set format inconsistency (5 at 58032043)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 58231744)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 58436544)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 58641344)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 58735680)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 58855136)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 59059936)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 59264736)
!Media Set format inconsistency (4 at 59433664)


 

 

I'm seeing them again with Retro 10.5.

 

Experience tells me that the backup media is OK, but the error messages do not build confidence.

I also know from past experimentation that if I re-run the backup/copy, I will get the same result - same errors.

 

I would feel a lot better if I knew what these errors were.

 

???

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It sure would be nice to have some sort of information about what these errors mean. I gather from my experiments that the errors show up when Retro fails to write the tape, and counts the portions of the tape that hit the error "lost", causing any files in these areas to be written elsewhere.

 

That's just a guess, though. It would be nice to hear from someone who knows what it is *trying* to do.

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