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JamesOakley

Windows 10 "Creators Update" 1703 causing problems with open-file backup

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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

Or
 

           [*] 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 12.1.0.174 Professional.

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I'm a Retrospect Mac administrator, so I can't offer much specific help.

 

However this post by JoTraGo sounds like it's a good method for JamesOakley to start diagnosing his problem.  I found the thread using the Advanced Search facility by clicking the gear icon on the extreme right of the top line in the Forums page that says "IPS Community" on the left.  I then typed "-1001"—including the quotes—into the Find Words box, and selected "Windows Products—Retrospect" from the Find in Forums dropdown.

 

In the next post in that thread, LRSFC_DanJ said he found his problem was "most likely being an issue with the hard drive the catalogue file was being written to".  However that may not apply to JamesOakley's problem.

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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.

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Yeah, sadly everything that goes wrong with open file backup gives a Windows error -1001 error and thus this error is meaningless.

 

Please check the event log of your computer for VSS errors at the time of backup. That will likely give you a better indication what's wrong.

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....

 

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.

 

 

None of the Retrospect developers will see this, for reasons explained in the second paragraph of my next post in this thread.  That post will be my boilerplate explanation of why and how to submit a Retrospect Support Case for this issue.  As explained in the fifth paragraph of that next post, JamesOakley can do this even though he isn't signed up for Annual Support and Maintenance—I don't have ASM but one bug for which I submitted a Support Case has been escalated to Engineering.  

 

If the event log of his computer doesn't indicate a hardware issue, and he doesn't get a solution from some other Retrospect Windows administrator within the next day or two, I strongly urge JamesOakley to submit that Support Case, with a "description of your issue" copied from his Original Post in this thread.

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If you think this is a bug that should be fixed by Retrospect Inc., you will have to submit it as a Support Case.  For English speakers, that is done by going here http://www.retrospect.com/en/support/contact, and filling out the form (sorry, I don't know what the equivalent addresses are for non-English speakers, but they can figure it out from their appropriate Retrospect website address).  IMHO this is quite reasonable; obliging you to fill out the form provides Retrospect Inc. with useful details about your Retrospect installation that they would otherwise have to query you for.

 

As a result, Retrospect Inc. will pay no attention to your post in this forum.  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. http://www.retrospect.com/en/about#exec.  In it he says "From reading your letter, I think the main issue is that you view the forums as a good place to talk to us, Retrospect, Inc. But we view the audience of the forums as restricted to our customers [my emphasis]. The one caveat we have made on that is for feature requests, largely as we would like to see if other customers also agree on the desirability and feature set for these requests."

 

That means that the only audience for "Retrospect bug reports" in this forum will be other administrators of Retrospect.  Nevertheless, by posting in this forum you are providing a useful service to us fellow administrator peasants.  Thank you.

 

Please be aware that the "description of your issue" in the Support Case form is IME limited to about 2000 characters by the Support Case software.  If you go over that limit your "description" will be broken up into a "description" plus one or more "additional notes".  The same is true for any additional notes you may later post yourself.  I suggest that, to avoid the appearance of choppiness in your Support Case, you create your case in a post in this forum and then copy it paragraph-by-paragraph to your Support Case. 

 

Note that, despite the new dialogs in the Retrospect Inc. Support Case system urging you to sign up for Annual Support and Maintenance, Mayoff has verbally assured me that you don't need to be signed up for ASM to report a bug—only to get personal assistance with coping with it.

 

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).

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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.

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Your memory has not let you down, JamesOakleyRobin Mayoff is still—as he has been for years—the Retrospect Technical Support Manager.  What's different is that Mayoff (his handle on the Forums) IMHO no longer has time to even look at the Forums—much less to occasionally post a short suggestion.  That seems to be because his former assistant Alan is no longer working at Retrospect Inc., so that Robin is evidently handling all the T. S. phonecalls himself (I know that because whenever I phone  T.S., which I do as little as possible—and always only to ask a quick question of general Forums interest—because I don't have ASM, it is Robin—whose voice I recognize—who answers).

 

I've more or less tried to fill some of the gap, although I am a retiree volunteer who has never worked for Retrospect Inc. or any of the predecessor corporate owners of the software.  I only have two years of modern experience as a Retrospect administrator (whereas Mayoff has been a full-time T.S. employee of Dantz/EMC/Roxio/Retrospect Inc. since 1994), and the atypical setup of my installation means that I haven't run into many of the problems other Retrospect administrators have.  Therefore I can't provide the answers Lennart Thelander or Scillonian or twickland or ProFromGrover or JoTraGo—among others—can.  That's why I've been aggressively encouraging posters to look for past posts containing their particular error messages, by using the Forums' Advanced Search capability.

 

JG Heithcock's statement, which I quote in the second paragraph of post #6 in this thread, is another reason why I have also been aggressively encouraging posters to submit Support Cases for bugs or feature requests.  Because of my experience with filing a Support Case for several interlocking  -530 errors, I know that there is at least one other person "working in the back room" for Retrospect T.S..   IMHO JamesOakley is correct in thinking that it's a shame that Retrospect Inc. staff no longer look at the Forums.  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.  However I do worry that Retrospect Inc. is in danger of recreating the situation described in the last two sentences in the third paragraph of the lead of the old Wikipedia article.  That situation, as I learned over the last two years from discussing my use of Retrospect in the Ars Technica Macintoshian Achaia forum, gave the Retrospect software a rather bad reputation that has endured despite Retrospect Inc.'s subsequent bug-fixing efforts.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Wikipedia article has been significantly re-edited, but old version was saved

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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)>

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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)>

 

 

IMHO, JamesOakley, you're correct on this procedural issue but fail to appreciate the associated marketing issue—at least for Retrospect Inc..  Without knowing much about issue queues/trackers (I did just now take a brief look at some documentation for the Drupal issue queues), it seems to me that having such a  queue/tracker means that all users can be aware of all the bugs for a particular system.  With the Support Case software Retrospect Inc. uses, OTOH, a user who has submitted a Support Case can only see the "description of your issue" and "additional notes" on that particular case (Retrospect Inc.'s system automatically sends an e-mail to the the original submitter containing a URL for accessing that Support Case).

 

The marketing issue is that IMHO Retrospect Inc. doesn't want people outside the company to be able to see all the outstanding bugs that exist for Retrospect. JG Heithcock would no doubt say that Retrospect Inc. doesn't want to provide ammunition to its software competitors.  I think, however, that Retrospect Inc. also doesn't want to scare off potential software purchasers.  The "rather bad reputation" among many former users of Retrospect Mac 8, which I alluded to in the last paragraph of post #8 in this thread, is IME a gross understatement.  IMHO that has given employees of Retrospect Inc., many of whom have been with the company since it was Dantz Development Corp., what could be called a permanent case of "rabbit ears" (since there are some indications in his posts that JamesOakley is British, I should explain that "rabbit ears" is old baseball slang for a player who allows himself/herself to be bothered by shouted gibes from the opposing team or from fans in the stands).

 

About 15 months ago I purchased a KVM switch from the U.S. subsidiary of ATEN International, which is a very reputable Taiwanese manufacturer of connectivity and access management hardware founded in 1979—5 years before Dantz Development.  I discovered a bug in the KVM switch, so I submitted an eSupport Case to ATEN.  The ATEN-website software I used to do this is evidently a version of exactly the same Support Case software that Retrospect Inc. uses.  The bug eventually turned out to be a "conceptual bug" in that model that ATEN refused to fix via a microprogramming enhancement, because in their view to do so would be a violation of the DisplayPort standard.  The "conceptual bug" affected at least two other users of that same model of KVM switch, one of whom returned the KVM switch for a refund.  I'll bet ATEN is very glad that news of that bug was not disseminated to potential purchasers of the KVM switch model by their eSupport Case system, and I'm sure Retrospect Inc. marketing management feels exactly the same way about news of existing Retrospect bugs—some of which are multiple years old because finding their causes and fixing them is complicated.

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IMHO, JamesOakley, you're correct on this procedural issue but fail to appreciate the associated marketing issue—at least for Retrospect Inc..  Without knowing much about issue queues/trackers (I did just now take a brief look at some documentation for the Drupal issue queues), it seems to me that having such a  queue/tracker means that all users can be aware of all the bugs for a particular system.  With the Support Case software Retrospect Inc. uses, OTOH, a user who has submitted a Support Case can only see the "description of your issue" and "additional notes" on that particular case (Retrospect Inc.'s system automatically sends an e-mail to the the original submitter containing a URL for accessing that Support Case).

 

The marketing issue is that IMHO Retrospect Inc. doesn't want people outside the company to be able to see all the outstanding bugs that exist for Retrospect. JG Heithcock would no doubt say that Retrospect Inc. doesn't want to provide ammunition to its software competitors.  I think, however, that Retrospect Inc. also doesn't want to scare off potential software purchasers.  The "rather bad reputation" among many former users of Retrospect Mac 8, which I alluded to in the last paragraph of post #8 in this thread, is IME a gross understatement.  IMHO that has given employees of Retrospect Inc., many of whom have been with the company since it was Dantz Development Corp., what could be called a permanent case of "rabbit ears" (since there are some indications in his posts that JamesOakley is British, I should explain that "rabbit ears" is old baseball slang for a player who allows himself/herself to be bothered by shouted gibes from the opposing team or from fans in the stands).

 

About 15 months ago I purchased a KVM switch from the U.S. subsidiary of ATEN International, which is a very reputable Taiwanese manufacturer of connectivity and access management hardware founded in 1979—5 years before Dantz Development.  I discovered a bug in the KVM switch, so I submitted an eSupport Case to ATEN.  The ATEN-website software I used to do this is evidently a version of exactly the same Support Case software that Retrospect Inc. uses.  The bug eventually turned out to be a "conceptual bug" in that model that ATEN refused to fix via a microprogramming enhancement, because in their view to do so would be a violation of the DisplayPort standard.  The "conceptual bug" affected at least two other users of that same model of KVM switch, one of whom returned the KVM switch for a refund.  I'll bet ATEN is very glad that news of that bug was not disseminated to potential purchasers of the KVM switch model by their eSupport Case system, and I'm sure Retrospect Inc. marketing management feels exactly the same way about news of existing Retrospect bugs—some of which are multiple years old because finding their causes and fixing them is complicated.

David, I agree that Dantz management doesn't want to expose all its bugs and bug history to the world.  But Dantz is hardly unique in that issue.  I also use an Adobe product for photographers that suffers from the same issue, andI don't know if Adobe is so militant (my word choice) about concealing the bugs.  What I do know is that any software of any degree of complexity is going to have some "technical debt," some of it quite old, if only because bugs have to be prioritized for fixing.  I also think that buyers of such software understand that issue, more than managements realize.

 

Also, if some Dantz competitor started using the bug list as a weapon against Dantz, that would probably come across as

(1) sleazy, very sleazy

(2) hypocritical.

 

x509

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On 7/13/2017 at 12:39 AM, x509 said:

David, I agree that Dantz management doesn't want to expose all its bugs and bug history to the world.  But Dantz is hardly unique in that issue.  I also use an Adobe product for photographers that suffers from the same issue, andI don't know if Adobe is so militant (my word choice) about concealing the bugs.  What I do know is that any software of any degree of complexity is going to have some "technical debt," some of it quite old, if only because bugs have to be prioritized for fixing.  I also think that buyers of such software understand that issue, more than managements realize.

 

Also, if some Dantz competitor started using the bug list as a weapon against Dantz, that would probably come across as

(1) sleazy, very sleazy

(2) hypocritical.

 

x509

 

 

The problem is that Retrospect Inc. (the modern name for Dantz Development Corp.) is in a different marketing position from Adobe.  It cannot have escaped your notice, x509, that Adobe has IMHO a near-monopoly on certain categories of software products for photographers.  (Although that near-monopoly was undoubtedly obtained mostly by a combination of product excellence and competitors' mistakes, in at least one other category of graphics software products Adobe's near-monopoly was gained by tactics that could be categorized as sleazy.)  Being in that position, Adobe [a] can afford to employ an extensive staff of skilled testers to catch bugs before release of new versions of its software and need not be afraid to admit existence of bugs after release.  Adobe also [c] can afford to employ knowledgeable employees to aggressively scan user forums to detect bugs and [d] can afford to employ enough programmers to promptly fix bugs that come to Adobe's attention.

 

Unfortunately Retrospect Inc. is not in a near-monopoly position for backup software, and has not been that position—even for Mac backup—since at least 2007.  See  the second paragraph in the "History" section of the Wikipedia article (incidentally DovidBenAvraham's reference for the first sentence of that paragraph is a Macworld article which to this very day is linked to in the fourth-from-earliest post—made by Mayoff—in the Latest News forum on this website).  Thus IME Retrospect Inc. does not qualify in categories [a] or or [c] or [d] as described in the first paragraph of this post.  Therefore IMHO Retrospect Inc. management has "rabbit ears" about its "technical debt", some of which became years old before being brought to that management's attention.

 

That's why I say, as my third sentence in the second paragraph of post #10 in this thread, "I think, however, that Retrospect Inc. ... doesn't want to scare off potential software purchasers".  Since making post #10 in this thread, I had a reply to a feature request Support Case from a senior Retrospect Support engineer, which I posted nearly intact in the thread related to that feature request in this Forum.  Before posting I asked the engineer if it was OK to do so, and he wrote "If you just mention it on the forums, that is fine. I'd appreciate if you refrain from bringing it up to your Wiki correspondent, as that is a much more likely place for our competition to see the information."  As I pointed out to the engineer, DovidBenAvraham is constrained by Wikipedia's requirement for a Neutral Point of View (NPOV) in articles; therefore, even if I had mentioned it to him, DovidBenAvraham would generally never include a mention of a Retrospect bug in the Wikipedia article—although DBA did make a brief parenthetical exception for the Wake-on-LAN feature for Retrospect Mac (announced in 2009, but it isn't clear whether it ever worked even in Retrospect Mac 😎 .

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Wikipedia article has been significantly re-edited

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