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derek500

how to open retrospect without quitting running jobs?

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I recently migrated from Retrospect Server Mac to Retrospect Server Windows. I am running Retrospect MultiServer on a Windows Server machine that is normally logged out. I dug around and found the steps to allow Retrospect to run as a service and work while no user is logged into the computer, but I have one issue - when a backup job is running and I log into the system and open the Retrospect console, Retrospect quits and re-launches, ending any running backup jobs. How can I avoid this (besides waiting until Retrospect is idle)? I set up a 'service' user for Retrospect to run as, and when I open Retrospect it re-launches as the currently logged in user. I tried logging onto the machine as that service user but it still quits and re-launches (as the same user). Is there a way to open Retrospect without making it quit first?

On the Mac version I considered the 'Engine' and 'Console' two completely separate items and you could open a Console from any computer without stopping the Engine. On the Windows version this doesn't seem to be the case. Otherwise my shift from Mac to Windows for Retrospect has been smooth.

Thanks!

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On the Windows platform Retrospect is a monolithic application. The reason for the behaviour you have observed is because of security features that were introduced with Windows 7. In short the restrictions are that any application that is automatically launched in not able to interact directly with a user, even if it was launched as that user.

For Retrospect to Work on Windows the same way it does on Mac will [apparently] require a substantial rewrite. There have been hints in the past from Retrospect staff that they thinking about doing this, maybe, one day but that is about it for now.

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derek500,

To understand the situation prior to 5 September 2017, you should first read the paragraph after the bulleted items in this section of the old Wikipedia article and also read the second bulleted item in this section directly following it.  Since I started writing this post, Scillonian has posted summarizing the second sentence in the first paragraph—but not the rest of the paragraph outlining the workarounds.

Next, if you are fortunate enough to have Retrospect Windows 12.5, you should read the entirety of this post in the Retrospect Windows Professional Forum.  Be sure to read the quoted explanation from Jeff of Retrospect Tech Support, since the  "short explanation available to the user to explain what is going on, and how to use the dashboard" did not in fact "make it in" to the 12.5 revision of the "What's New" chapter of the Retrospect Windows 12 User's Guide.  I waver between two explanations for why the august committee at Retrospect Inc.—which the head of Tech Support has previously informed us does not include anyone from his department—failed to include the "short explanation": [1] They were too rushed to get an explanation from Jeff. [2] They were too ashamed of having taken 3 years to fix the bug.

Finally, if you can't install Retrospect Windows 12.5 or 12.6 and/or you are curious, you should read the rest of the thread that precedes the Forums post I linked to in the first sentence of the second paragraph of this post.  DovidBenAvraham, who did the massive expansion of the Wikipedia article over two years and was forced to participate in its later drastic pruning, read that thread before summarizing it in the first of the two WP paragraphs linked to in the first paragraph of this post, so maybe you don't need to.  If you do, it will help to know that Don Lee was still using the "handle" iCompute when he started the Forums thread—and that mbennett was still using the "handle" ProFromGrover when he contributed to it.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
DovidBenAvraham participated in the later drastic pruning of the WP article

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Thanks to both of you for your replies. The only solution I see at this time is to leave the console open and never log off but I don't like the idea of leaving disconnected RDP sessions. We will consider our options for now.

We are running 12.5 - is 12.6 any different?

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21 hours ago, Scillonian said:

...

For Retrospect to Work on Windows the same way it does on Mac will [apparently] require a substantial rewrite. There have been hints in the past from Retrospect staff that they thinking about doing this, maybe, one day but that is about it for now.

I had a reply six months ago from Jeff of Retrospect Tech Support that a Retrospect Windows UI overhaul is pending, but derek500 should not expect it in the near future.

As covered in this Product Suggestions—Windows forums thread, there seem to be three basic approaches to work around the Windows security features in order to add a Console capability to Retrospect Windows:
[1] Use the inter-process communications capabilities that were built into Retrospect Windows, and which Don Lee—under his former "handle" of iCompute—used when he got a Retrospect Mac Console to sort-of communicate with Retrospect.exe in Windows.  However, as I stated in this post in the Suggestions thread, that may mean that the Retrospect Windows Console would have to run on a separate machine from Retrospect.exe—which might not be a substantial problem for administrators such as derek500.

[2] Use the approach that is used in a Retrospect Inc. product that I can only refer to on these forums as R. V., but which we are all free to read about here.  However I pointed out in this post in the Suggestions thread that that particular work-around seems to require the equivalent of the current Retrospect.exe in Windows to run within a virtual machine manager.  Based on a reply I got from Retrospect Tech Support, that work-around would mean that there could be no non-virtual-machine "clients", because "Retrospect Client is not a concept that exists [my emphasis] with the R. V. [my elision of the product name] ecosystem".

[3] Use the approach that is used in a competing client-server backup product for Macintosh, which does seem to have a fully-interactive Console equivalent.  However I pointed out in this post in the Suggestions thread that that particular work-around would seem to require giving Retrospect.exe in Windows a Web server capability, which sounds like it would be a substantial amount of work.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
got rid of displays of starts of linked posts at bottom, after finally noticing a double-quote-mark after them

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deredk500,

I haven't been following this thread until just now, but I logged in to comment about something that is pertinent.

First, as a practical matter in a Windows environment the icon on the taskbar is a myth and hasn't ever worked in my experience. Looking at page 22 of the User's Guide pretty much reveals that feature as an artifact of Windows XP and previous Windows versions. You can go to Preferences | Execution | Startup and set the flag to show the icon in the taskbar, but it will never actually appear. The UAC features introduced with Windows Vista killed that ability.

Second, as a practical matter you can't do what you're asking. When the startup preferences are checked to enable the Retrospect services, those services own the program. You can launch the Dashboard and see if anything is running. If no job is running, then clicking the "Launch Retrospect" link in the top right corner of the window (label was renamed for version 12 to make it more accurate) will stop the services and open Retrospect proper. If you take that action when a job is running, killing the services will kill the job. If no jobs are running the program will launch harmlessly and all jobs will run as scheduled even though the services are stopped. If you launch the program while a job is running it will kill the job because launching it will kill the services. If you exit Retrospect while a job is running it will kill the job, because the services will be relaunched when you exit.

To summarize this, don't start the Retrospect program while a job is running, and don't exit while a job is running. :)

The Dashboard was envisioned, I believe, as a way to monitor the operation of the program while allowing it to continue running. You can't modify anything but you can see what's happening up to a point.

Perhaps you could launch the program from an RDP session and set the session to lock after several minutes of inactivity and require a password to reopen the desktop.  Not a great solution but it's pretty simple if it's possible.  I don't use RDP a lot and I haven't attempted this.

I've recently revised my own policy on using the E-Mail alerts which may help you to not feel that you need to be in the program watching everything. At one time I had every system to send an email every time Retrospect twitched it's nose, and it drove me a little crazy. In Preferences | Notification | E-Mail I now only check "Use e-mail for reporting" and "Send e-mail for failure and media requests". For each Retrospect 'server' that is running normally I get two emails every night, one when the Launcher starts and another when it stops. If no other email comes from that system I know the jobs have run successfully. Retrospect is such a stable program this happens most nights. If I get additional email from a system then I know I have a problem and I can focus on it. Real problems don't get lost in the weeds of meaningless emails. 

Last, I'm a dealer and I got an email from the sales department yesterday. As I hypothesized last year with DavidHertzberg they've announced that the next release of Retrospect is coming in a couple of months, and the new web-based user interface (which I predicted and was hoping for) will be released this summer. This might also be the fix you're looking for. I believe it will be, so hang in there. There is a long Youtube video about administering the Virtual Retrospect product and I think that is approximately what you can expect to see with the new interface. This simply confirms their direction.

Quote

The Web Console is the next step for the Retrospect interface, with the console running as a web application and the engine as a background service.

I hope this helps you.

Mark

Edited by mbennett
I didn't flag it to show me replies, and apparently can't change that.

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First, mbennett, do the bug fixes to Retrospect Windows 12.5 that I reported at the bottom of this post (which I linked to in an earlier post in the current thread, but you probably didn't read that) not work, or would they not help solve derek500's problem?

Second, mbennett, the top of that same post implies that Jeff of Retrospect Tech Support sent another reply about 6 months ago that I decided I should not fully share on the Forums.  That reply mentioned the new interface, but gave a date (which is what I didn't share) that is about a year later than the date you have just heard from Retrospect Sales.  I'm afraid my 40 years experience as a now-retired applications programmer makes me skeptical that the Retrospect  engineers could have cut a year off a major development effort in only six months of work.  So IMHO derek500 will have to "hang in there" longer than you predict, because my background leads me to trust Jeff's estimate (he is, after all, a lead Support engineer) more than that of Retrospect Sales.

Third, I did speculate three months ago in this post that a Web Console might be the way for Retrospect Windows to go, as it has been for Archiware.  However the head of Retrospect Tech Support says that R.V. does not does not support the concept of a non-VMM Client, so that the development engineers will have to do quite a bit of expansion of R.V's Console to make a version of it work for Retrospect Windows.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Spelling fix in second prgf.

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I remember reading that at the time you wrote it. I don't know if the timeline provided by Ian Dennis in sales is accurate, but I expect it is relatively so. He specifically says "Preview coming" so perhaps the web UI is still going to be in beta, may still be an optional install, may be any number of things. Maybe it will just be a Youtube video showing where they're going and we won't see a live product until 2019. There are major enhancements to both Physical and Virtual Retrospect, but that's for them to announce. I also wouldn't have any reason to believe Jeff was intentionally misleading anybody, but with software development the deadlines and project times change almost daily.

I'm still running 12.5 and haven't installed 12.6 which was framed as more of a bug fix. They actually released it a few days after I upgraded from 12 to 12.5 (isn't that always the way?)  When I start the Dashboard and get the UAC prompt, then click Launch Retrospect it does briefly display a message at the top of the Dashboard screen that says something along the lines of "Retrospect is exiting", which I take to mean the services are stopping.

The following quote is is in the release notes for 12.6, so presumably something is different. I'll try to install 12.6 on my system in the next few days.

Quote

Fixed notification in Dashboard application when launched with engine running in the background (#7017)

And last, because I'm really tired and this has been a long day, you seem to be concerned about my name, which is Mark Bennett. At some point when signing up for this forum it asked me to assign a handle for myself, something I don't like to choose at any time. So I picked ProFromGrover which is a callback to the book M*A*S*H* by Richard Hooker. My mbennett login is the first part of my email address. I can't explain why the forum software mixes this up from one time to the next, but it's not really that important to me. I just know it's not me that's causing it to shift from one to the other.

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mbennett,

I'm not really concerned about your name on these Forums.  A year or two ago I saw that someone in the Ars Technica Other Hardware forum was bolding the "handle" of anyone he referred to; I thought it was a courteous idea, so I've done it ever since.  I noticed a couple of months ago that you were no longer using ProFromGrover as a "handle", and that Don Lee was no longer using iCompute, but I believed until just now that those changes must be a social movement for "open handles" instead of something that the Forums software was doing.

Getting back to the topic of this thread, do you think that derek500 could instead use a VNC variant as I suggested to Monafly here on the Retrospect Mac forum?  I realize that Monafly's problem is superficially different, in that he/she is trying to control a Mac "backup server" instead of a Windows "backup server" from a Windows machine.  My idea is that derek500 could leave his Retrospect process running all the time on his "backup server" Windows machine, instead of using a service to start it, and access its GUI from another Windows machine when he needs to.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added a third sentence to second paragraph

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I did get time to install the 12.6.1 version of Retrospect on Monday night, and have observed a couple of things. But to the point of this thread, this version does allow you to launch the Retrospect program without seeming to break anything.

When you start the Dashboard, you can click the "Launch Retrospect" link if the program doesn't start at that time. As DavidHertzberg notes, if you're within the look-forward time frame the program seems to launch automatically and you'll barely see the Dashboard screen.  If you're not within that time frame, clicking the link will show the message "Waiting for Retrospect to exit" as the services stop and the program launches.  To me, this behavior is perfect and resolves the real issue.

Blanket recommendation is that if you've paid the ASM fees, you should upgrade to 12.6.1 ASAP.

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On 2/2/2018 at 11:55 AM, mbennett said:

I did get time to install the 12.6.1 version of Retrospect on Monday night, and have observed a couple of things. But to the point of this thread, this version does allow you to launch the Retrospect program without seeming to break anything.

When you start the Dashboard, you can click the "Launch Retrospect" link if the program doesn't start at that time. As DavidHertzberg notes, if you're within the look-forward time frame the program seems to launch automatically and you'll barely see the Dashboard screen.  If you're not within that time frame, clicking the link will show the message "Waiting for Retrospect to exit" as the services stop and the program launches.  To me, this behavior is perfect and resolves the real issue.

Blanket recommendation is that if you've paid the ASM fees, you should upgrade to 12.6.1 ASAP.

Hi,

Are you saying that the 'bug fix' is that the warning message is more worthwhile, but doesn't solve the underlying issue of opening the console killing any running jobs? I'm not sure what you mean by being in the 'look-forward' timeframe, unless you just mean that it is showing the 'next jobs' and there is no current activity. I'm looking forward to the web interface version!

Thanks, -Derek

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14 hours ago, derek500 said:

Hi,

Are you saying that the 'bug fix' is that the warning message is more worthwhile, but doesn't solve the underlying issue of opening the console killing any running jobs? I'm not sure what you mean by being in the 'look-forward' timeframe, unless you just mean that it is showing the 'next jobs' and there is no current activity. I'm looking forward to the web interface version!

Thanks, -Derek

mbennett,

As a Retrospect Mac administrator, it seems to me the question I'd want to ask is: If you open the Dashboard from its separate icon, and Retrospect.exe turns out to be running as auto-launched, do you have the option of simply observing any running activities from the Dashboard without clicking the Dashboard's "Launch Retrospect" button?  That, IMHO, would give a Retrospect Windows administrator almost the functional capabilities of the Retrospect Mac console.  If so, the only thing that a Retrospect Windows administrator couldn't do—when Retrospect.exe has been auto-launched—that a Retrospect Mac administrator can do is to create/modify/submit either scripts or Immediate-ops while other scripts or Immediate-ops are running.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
We're talking about Retrospect.exe running as auto-launched; Immediate-ops is short for Immediate operations

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14 hours ago, DavidHertzberg said:

mbennett,

As a Retrospect Mac administrator, it seems to me the question I'd want to ask is: If you open the Dashboard from its separate icon, and Retrospect.exe turns out to be running as auto-launched, do you have the option of simply observing any running activities from the Dashboard without clicking the Dashboard's "Launch Retrospect" button?  That, IMHO, would give a Retrospect Windows administrator almost the functional capabilities of the Retrospect Mac console.  If so, the only thing that a Retrospect Windows administrator couldn't do—when Retrospect.exe has been auto-launched—that a Retrospect Mac administrator can do is to create/modify/submit either scripts or Immediate-ops while other scripts or Immediate-ops are running.

I'm coming from the Mac side originally, our migration to Windows was recent. Yes, the dashboard shows me minimal observations of any running activities without clicking 'Launch'. It looks a lot like the Mac version of Retrospect's "dashboard" page. However, there are several things I would like to do, like reviewing how a script was set up, or rescheduling an upcoming script, or grabbing a status list (usually I print the backup status for my own log notebooks, old school I know). I appreciate being able to see that jobs are running, but I can't interact with the system at all from the dashboard, and that's not very useful. I'd rather just go straight into the console and see the 'activities' tab.

An 'easier' workaround I could envision would be a button to "tell all unstarted/pending jobs to delay start but let the actively running jobs keep running" so I can launch the system sometime today to follow up on a previous error message, or do some other task without killing the running job.

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On 2/8/2018 at 9:35 AM, derek500 said:

I'm coming from the Mac side originally, our migration to Windows was recent. Yes, the dashboard shows me minimal observations of any running activities without clicking 'Launch'. It looks a lot like the Mac version of Retrospect's "dashboard" page. However, there are several things I would like to do, like reviewing how a script was set up, or rescheduling an upcoming script, or grabbing a status list (usually I print the backup status for my own log notebooks, old school I know). I appreciate being able to see that jobs are running, but I can't interact with the system at all from the dashboard, and that's not very useful. I'd rather just go straight into the console and see the 'activities' tab.

An 'easier' workaround I could envision would be a button to "tell all unstarted/pending jobs to delay start but let the actively running jobs keep running" so I can launch the system sometime today to follow up on a previous error message, or do some other task without killing the running job.

derek500,

Your Dashboard "'easier' workaround" sounds quite reasonable to me.  It also sounds as if the mechanism for  implementing it quickly might exist in Retrospect Windows, since "Retrospect for iOS"—page 578 of the Retrospect Windows 12 User's Guide—supposedly has the capability "Run from afar— Just tap on a script to run it."

If you want to submit this as a feature request, here's why and how to do that (in case you don't already know).  Getting the feature into Retrospect Windows 13.0 seems like a stretch, since that's probably due out the first week in March 2018.  However getting it into Retrospect Windows 13.5 seems possible, since that is probably due out the first week in September 2018, unless—and I'll be pleasantly surprised if this happens—one of those two releases contains a first version of the Retrospect Windows Console.  Actually, it now occurs to me that your feature request should also suggest as an alternative that the ""'easier' workaround" be implemented in Retrospect for iOS—since that may be easier for Retrospect Inc. engineers either technically (inter-process communication) or schedule-wise.

Get that feature request in ASAP, and good luck!

P.S.: As I have already communicated to derek500 in a message, my reasoning behind the Retrospect for iOS alternative is as follows: If you read Scillonian's previous post in the thread, you'll see that it may not be possible for the Retrospect Windows Dashboard application to interact directly with a running Retrospect.exe.  Don Lee—under his former "handle" of iCompute—got a Retrospect Mac Console to sort-of communicate with Retrospect.exe in Windows, but that used the inter-process communications capabilities that were carefully left in Retrospect.exe.  Those same capabilities seem to be what make it possible for Retrospect for iOS to communicate with Retrospect.exe, and are what would make it comparatively simple to give Retrospect for iOS the ability to "tell all unstarted/pending jobs to delay start but let the actively running jobs keep running" .

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added last sentence suggesting that the Support Case also request that the "'easier' workaround" be implemented in Retrospect for iOS; added P.S. explaining reason for that suggestion; in 1st prgf. it's Win 12 UG

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Hi David,

Thanks, yes it seems like a late addition to see the light of day in v13. But if they are moving towards a web driven interface anyway, that would most likely resolve this entire issue. I'll submit it for the idea of it, and for us for now the 'remember not to close the console or log off' workaround will have to do.

Thanks,

-Derek

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15 hours ago, derek500 said:

I'm coming from the Mac side originally, our migration to Windows was recent. Yes, the dashboard shows me minimal observations of any running activities without clicking 'Launch'. It looks a lot like the Mac version of Retrospect's "dashboard" page. However, there are several things I would like to do, like reviewing how a script was set up, or rescheduling an upcoming script, or grabbing a status list (usually I print the backup status for my own log notebooks, old school I know). I appreciate being able to see that jobs are running, but I can't interact with the system at all from the dashboard, and that's not very useful. I'd rather just go straight into the console and see the 'activities' tab.

An 'easier' workaround I could envision would be a button to "tell all unstarted/pending jobs to delay start but let the actively running jobs keep running" so I can launch the system sometime today to follow up on a previous error message, or do some other task without killing the running job.

derek500,

I think the way to immediately get what you want would be: [1] Use the Retrospect Windows 12.6.1 Dashboard to see if Retrospect.exe is running.   [2] If it is, use a VNC variant—as I suggested in the second paragraph here—to access the Retrospect.exe GUI and "tell all unstarted/pending jobs to delay start but let the actively running jobs keep running".  I don't know what VNC variant would be best to run for Windows-controlling-Windows desktop sharing; RealVNC and TightVNC and UltraVNC are possibilities that I or others raised per this Windows-controlling-Mac post on the Mac forum.  As I've said before in this thread, I don't think you should hold your breath until a Retrospect Windows Console actually sees the light of day.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added additional sentence saying I don't think a Retrospect Windows Console is going to be available very soon

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mbennett, derek500, or anyone else:

In regard to my post immediately above this and this post by derek500, does 'close the Dashboard [which is what I assume derek500 means by "console"] or log off' automatically start Retrospect.exe in Retrospect Windows 12.6.1?  If so, isn't there a Windows equivalent of macOS's Force Quit Applications that would kill the Dashboard program without starting Retrospect.exe?

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Here's the original question:

Quote

 Is there a way to open Retrospect without making it quit first?

No there doesn't seem to be a way to do that. It isn't a problem with Retrospect, it's a problem with the way Windows services work. When you stop a service, the application that service is running also stops.

But as my final word on this thread, I suggest you install 12.6.1 and test the interaction between the Dashboard and program yourself.  If it doesn't do what you expect, then communicate with support and present the issue to them.  Let us know what happens.

If you were comfortable and happy with using the Mac as a Retrospect server and it did what you want to do, why not go back to that?  The fundamental operation of the Mac OS is based on Unix, and is definitely different and probably superior to Windows.  Expecting them to work in an identical manner, or even in an exactly analogous manner is probably a waste of time.

Good Luck

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4 hours ago, mbennett said:

Here's the original question:

No there doesn't seem to be a way to do that. It isn't a problem with Retrospect, it's a problem with the way Windows services work. When you stop a service, the application that service is running also stops.

....

Good Luck

While I appreciate mbennett's explanation, I think he has missed the idea I was trying to get across in this post.  So I'll spell it out:

Whenever derek500 wants to do things with Retrospect such as "reviewing how a script was set up, or rescheduling an upcoming script, or grabbing a status list ", either Retrospect.exe is already running on his "backup server" or it isn't.  Using the Dashboard will tell him which is the case.  If Retrospect.exe isn't already running, he can just start Retrospect.exe from the Dashboard and do whatever he wants.  If Retrospect.exe is already running, derek500 will not want to start it from the Dashboard if there are any running jobs that doing so would kill.  In that sub-case, he should instead then use a VNC variant to share the desktop of the "backup server" from another machine—which will enable him to directly access the GUI of the running Retrospect.exe to do whatever he wants without disturbing running jobs.  (This is IMHO an easier up-to-date variation on using Windows RDS—referred to in the Retrospect Windows User's Guides by its obsolete name of Terminal Services.)

Of course derek500 could simply leave a VNC variant running all the time on another machine as a Windows equivalent to the Retrospect Mac Console , which would enable him to dispense with the Dashboard entirely.  If he doesn't like that idea, he could instead keep the Dashboard running all the time on his "backup server" in an account other than the one used to run Retrospect.exe.  I thought he might not like that idea, which is why I posted this question aimed at finding a way to kill the Dashboard without starting Retrospect.exe.

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42 minutes ago, DavidHertzberg said:

In that sub-case, he should instead then use a VNC variant to share the desktop of the "backup server" from another machine—which will enable him to directly access the GUI of the running Retrospect.exe to do whatever he wants without disturbing running jobs.  (This is IMHO an easier up-to-date variation on using Windows RDS—referred to in the Retrospect Windows User's Guides by its obsolete name of Terminal Services.)

This will not work where Retrospect.exe is launched by the Retrospect Launcher service.

From Windows Vista onward applications that run as a Windows Service, and any application(s) that they may launch, are not allowed to have* a GUI. (*Although it is the same Retrospect.exe that has GUI functionality when launched by a user, that functionality is disabled/suppressed when it is launched by the Retrospect Launcher service.)

Applications that run as a Windows Service from Windows Vista onward are also not allowed to interact directly with a user. This is why dashboard.exe exists in Retrospect for Windows to allow indirect user interaction with Retrospect.exe when it has been launched by the Retrospect Launcher service. (I don't know if dashboard.exe communicates directly with Retrospect.exe or through the Retrospect Launcher service.)

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On 2/9/2018 at 4:58 PM, Scillonian said:

This will not work where Retrospect.exe is launched by the Retrospect Launcher service.

From Windows Vista onward applications that run as a Windows Service, and any application(s) that they may launch, are not allowed to have* a GUI. (*Although it is the same Retrospect.exe that has GUI functionality when launched by a user, that functionality is disabled/suppressed when it is launched by the Retrospect Launcher service.)

Applications that run as a Windows Service from Windows Vista onward are also not allowed to interact directly with a user. This is why dashboard.exe exists in Retrospect for Windows to allow indirect user interaction with Retrospect.exe when it has been launched by the Retrospect Launcher service. (I don't know if dashboard.exe communicates directly with Retrospect.exe or through the Retrospect Launcher service.)

Thank you, Scillonian.  As a strictly-Mac administrator, I had not understood the full implications of running using the Retrospect Windows Launcher service—which are only described in the first paragraph of this Knowledge Base article (I'd read it, but evidently not fully understood it).  My gosh, I'm sorry for you poor people!

This raises an important question: Why does derek500 have to auto-launch Retrospect?  He considered the possibility of not using auto-launch in this earlier post in the thread, but said "The only solution I see at this time is to leave the console [by which I now think he meant Retrospect.exe in GUI-open mode] open and never log off but I don't like the idea of leaving disconnected RDP sessions."

First of all, derek500 might not need to use RDP at all.  Assuming he only needs to access a constantly-running Retrospect.exe from another machine on the same LAN, he could use a VNC variant instead.  He could just connect to the VNC client—either directly or via a web browser—when he needs to, and the VNC server on the machine that is running Retrospect.exe would allow him to control it.  The "Security" section of the Wikipedia article linked-to in the second sentence of this paragraph mentions several VNC variants that have encryption.

The "Limitations" section of that same Wikipedia article on VNC mentions and links to Windows RDP.  It is supposedly more efficient than VNC variants, but derek500 may not need efficiency just for some limited interaction with the Retrospect.exe GUI.  Pages 434-436 of the Retrospect Windows 12 User's Guide mention RDP under the heading "Terminal Services and Remote Desktop".  Page 68 of that same UG says "If Retrospect is running and you want to close the control window, disconnect from the Terminal Services session, but leave the session running. The next time you connect, the same session will be running and Retrospect will be unaffected."  That's what derek500 was talking about in the section of a previous post I quoted in the second paragraph of this post.  If I were he and decided after all to use Windows RDP, I'd first have an IT person double-check the instructions on pages 434-436; a User's Guide that still uses the obsolete term Terminal Services may not have been updated for changes in Windows subsequent to Retrospect Windows 8.

P.S.: The combination of Retrospect Engine and Retrospect Console that is running on my Mac Pro "backup server" is currently—while it is backing up the last of my local drives—only using a maximum of 675MB real memory (virtual, shmirtual, is what us fuddy-duddies say).  That is probably roughly equivalent to what Retrospect.exe would use while backing up on a Windows "backup server" with the GUI visible.  And now that my backup script has finished running, the combination of Retrospect Engine and Retrospect Console has dropped to 250MB real memory.  IMHO derek500's installation ought to be able to afford reserving that continuously.  (Why in my day, the IBM 704/709/709x series could address a maximum of 192KB at a cost of US$3 million; and that's while I was bicycling 4 miles to and from high school—uphill both ways.  You young whipper-snappers have no idea ....)  And I know, because I occasionally start the Retrospect Engine on my Mac Pro before a script is due to run, that the Engine—whose capabilities I'm sure Retrospect.exe also has—will automatically start running a script when it is scheduled to begin without needing any Launcher service (which Retrospect Mac doesn't have).

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. estimating real-memory requirements for Retrospect Windows when not running a script, and saying it will automatically launch scripts without needing Launcher; added two-word clarification in 1st sntnc. of 4th prgf.; in 4th prgf. it's Win 12 UG

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derek500, and other Retrospect Windows administrators with his problem, should have a permanent solution within the next year with the Retrospect Web Console.  And a partial solution may be available as early as May 2018, with the release of the preview version.  That is, of course, even if derek500 rejects my suggestion of not running Retrospect.exe via the Retrospect Launcher.  The blue icons may be working well enough in the preview version to allow him to review a how a script was set up or grab a status list, which are display-only capabilities he said in this preceding post that he wants.

A fuller solution might be possible in 6 months, with the probable release of a more-capable preview version along with Retrospect Windows 15.5.  If derek500 puts in a Support Case right now requesting it, the Retrospect Inc. engineers might be able to add to the Web Console preview a capability to "tell all unstarted/pending jobs to delay start but let the actively running jobs keep running" in September 2018.  If my hypothesis in the second paragraph of the Product Suggestions post I linked to in the first sentence of this post is correct, by then the engineers may be in a position to beta-test two-way interaction between Retrospect.exe and the Web Console—and that capability sounds like an ideal not-too-ambitious two-way interaction.

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