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Retrospect can't find disk backup members on NAS

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Since installing 16.1.2, I haven't been able to do backups to disk media sets on a NAS. Now, when the backup wants to start writing to the media set, it goes to Needs media, and when I use Choose Media..., I can navigate down into the top levels of the NAS filesystem, but when I get to the directory that contains the top-level directory of the disk that contains the media set members, I can open and display some directories, but not the Retrospect directory that contains the backup members.

I get similar results when I try to use Verify on the backup set, or to create a new backup set on the NAS.

I can access the directories where the Retrospect stored the media sets in Finder (as myself) and by using U*ix commandline access to list the directories both as myself and when su'd to root (which RetrospectEngine runs as).

This all worked for several years before I upgraded to 16.1.

Anyone have any ideas?

Retrospect for Mac 16.1.2 (102)
MacOS 10.11.6 (Please don't suggest that I upgrade - my Mac is a MacBook Pro 13-inch, Mid 2009, and this is the most recent MacOS version that runs on it)
NAS: SMB shares served from a Fritz!Box 7390 router (yes, it's slow, but it worked until the Retrospect upgrade)

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On 7/13/2019 at 4:10 AM, prl said:

Anyone have any ideas?

What happens if you let Retrospect make a new set in a new, separate, directory on the NAS -- i.e., instead of your current NAS/folder1/folder2/Retrospect structure you do NAS/folder1/folder3? Can it create and, afterwards, verify the test set OK?

If so, check for any permissions differences between the two using the NAS's management interface. Sometimes a NAS, which is usually running a SAMBA variant, can present itself in different ways to different OS X programs.

And if the first step works but you can't see any differences, try copying one of your "old" catalogs into the "new" Retrospect directory. Can you access that now? In which case you might be able to get round the problem by moving all your catalogs to the new folder.

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I had the same problem and after talking to RS Support found that there was a bug in an early version of 16.1.2 that was fixed in build 102. This solved my problem, but you state that this is the build you are using so maybe there is something else amiss. 

I'd check that you are for sure using 16.1.2 (102) and then check with RS support if it persists. 

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Thanks for the suggestion, but from Retrospect>About: "Version 16.1.2 (102)".

So no luck there. :(

Nigel, thanks for your suggestion. I haven't had time to try it out yet, but I will. I may also try moving the existing backup members to another directory on the NAS, too.

The NAS doesn't have much in the way of permission control. Only registering users with passwords, specifying the name of the directory subtrees that are exported to them and whether they have read or write permission.

The NAS feature of the router seems to have been a bit of an "oh, look, there's room for Samba, so let's put it in" effort. It was removed a while back for space reasons, but there were enough user grumbles that they found space for it again.

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On 7/24/2019 at 3:41 AM, prl said:

The NAS doesn't have much in the way of permission control.

Doesn't need much. NASs usually use Windows ACLs for permission control, which don't directly translate to POSIX/OS X permissions. So it's always a "best approximation", can be tighter or looser than expected/intended, and can be interpreted in different ways by different programs (if they aren't using OS X's APIs).

I'm not expecting my workround to work, but it's worth trying before you contact Support -- more data points will help them help you.

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OK, I tried making a new backup into a directory that Retrospect had newly created on the NAS, and it all worked just fine.

I then renamed that directory to the name of the original backup top level directory and moved the backup set directories into it, but still no good. I think I'll abandon the old backup sets and create new ones.

All a bit annoying.

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You might still be carrying some cruft over from the "old" directory structure.

Instead of what you did, copy (not move) the members from old to new directory, creating any required sub-directories by hand as you go. Set all permissions to the same as the newly-created top level Retrospect directory. Get Retrospect to "Rebuild" the media set, adding members as required, but make sure to save the new catalog in a different location so you don't overwrite the old one.

That's quite a lot of work. But it could get you out of a hole if you need to keep the old sets available for restores -- you never said in the OP if Retrospect still had the read-access that restores require. If it does then I wouldn't bother, just move onto the new sets.

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I tried doing a partial copy of one of the disk media sets, and it seemed to be accessible from Retrospect. I'm currently doing a full copy of both disk media sets. It's s.l.o.w. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for the suggestion.

It's still no clearer why two long-functioning media sets decided to "disappear" from retrospect.

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OK. The copy finished and I got around to testing the copy. I can navigate into the copied directory for a Verify, but when I select the data member, it goes straight back to wanting me to Choose Media again, without putting anything useful into the log.

Also, very oddly, when the top level directory of the copy is called "NewRetro", I can navigate in the directories inside it, but if I rename it to "Retrospect" (the original name), I can no longer navigate inside it. Also, When the old copy is renamed from its original name "Retrospect", to "OldRetro", I can navigate into its directories, but a Verify of its members fails in the same way as the Verify of the copy.

Looks like I'll need to set up new backups.

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I get this problem also, while using Retrospect Desktop 16.6.0 (114), using a WD MyCloud 4TB NAS, and MacOS Mojave 10.14.6.

Usually I could rectify it by rebuilding the catalogue, but not this time, can't see the folders in the Retrospect folder. However, one curious detail this time, is that I can restore from the Media Set, but not write to the affected member.

I'll try the above suggestions, with the folder rename, to see if that works.

 

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I don't have a NAS, but—after 15 years experience over the last 20 years—I've been running Retrospect Mac 16.6 for nearly a year.  It's my observation that earlier 16.x releases were a mess, and that 16.6 was a late-in-the-cycle release to clean up earlier mistakes.  My destinations rotate on a weekly basis between 3 portable HDDs, one of which is always in my bank safe deposit box.  Another HDD is always cabled to my "backup server", and the third—having been brought back from the bank—normally sits right inside my apartment door in case I have a flood when the bank isn't open.  From time to time I use the spare space on the inside-the-door HDD as a destination for tests of Retrospect features, and I've  had some "interesting occurrences".🤣

The squeaky-clean approach is to have a "Retrospect" folder at the top level of each destination "drive", and to have a zero-byte "marker" Unix executable file named "Backup Media" directly inside "Retrospect".  Also directly inside "Retrospect" should be a folder for each Media Set whose destination can be that "drive"; the folder has the name of the Media Set, e. g. "Whatever".  Inside that folder should be at least one Member folder whose name is that of the Media Set preceded by a number and a dash, e. g. "1-Whatever" or "2-Whatever"; these leading-numbered folders are where the corresponding .rdb and .session files for the Member are stored.   Adding a Member to Media Set "Whatever" creates folder "Whatever".

This approach was the multi-HDD-volume-destination Disk Media Set upgrade from Retrospect's multi-tape-per-Backup-Set destinations, where the tapes are labeled e. g.  "1-Whatever" and "2-Whatever".  Over the years since Retrospect Mac 8,  Retrospect Inc. engineers seem to have gotten creative for the benefit of administrators wishing to use the spare space on their destination HDDs for other purposes.  IME everything works beautifully so long as there is one—and only one—folder on a destination drive with a zero-byte Unix executable file named "Backup Media" directly inside it.  It seems you can get away with naming the folder enclosing that "marker" file something other than "Retrospect", and even with having more than one folder named "Retrospect" on the HDD so long as only one folder contains the "marker" file.   However you get into trouble by having multiple folders each containing the  "marker" file, especially if they are one inside another.  I suspect all you complaining administrators have some variant of that problem, encouraged by the possibility of having more than one destination "drive" on the same NAS.

Now that I've told you this secret, I believe I'm obligated to kill everyone who reads it.  Please aid that by PM'ing me your names and addresses.🤣  If you can't see your way clear to doing it, please put at least your home country—and home state for U.S. residents—in the Location field of your Profile.  It's very helpful to those of us who answer questions on these Forums, because it gives us some idea of your English proficiency and at which hours you'll be posting. Gender too.  And no pseudo-Latinate cutesy-poo; leave that to the weird posters on the Ars Technica forums.TIA. 😃

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Thanks, Dave. I'm afraid I've long since given up on Retrospect and I now use Apple's TimeMachine for my backups.

Now that we're running Catalina on our Macs, the NAS I was using (which can only do SMB v1 - don't ask) is no longer accessible from the Macs anyway.

Posting from Australia (Terra Australis Incognita, IIRC, in real late Latin ;) ).

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On 11/15/2020 at 12:51 AM, prl said:

Now that we're running Catalina on our Macs, the NAS I was using (which can only do SMB v1 - don't ask) is no longer accessible from the Macs anyway.

NetBIOS is disabled in Catalina, which is probably what's breaking things. See here for how to re-enable. You may also have to use "cifs://serverAddress" rather than "smb://serverAddress" to force an old-style connection.

Or upgrade the NAS, of course 😉

 

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Thanks.

Doing that (I'd in fact already tried it when I first installed Catalina) allows me guest access to the NAS, but not authenticated (Registered user...) access. Whenever I try, , the Connect to Server popup shakes and does nothing, not even an error popup. It doesn't seem to make any difference whether I use the smb: or cifs: protocol name.

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Thanks, Nigel. I hadn't, but adding it didn't help either.

By using mount -t smbfs, I can see unequivocally that it's an authentication issue (using a guest mount of the same server/share specs works):

mount_smbfs: server rejected the connection: Authentication error

My /etc/nsmb.conf now contains:

[default]
port445=both
signing_required=no
minauth=none

According to the Mac nsmb.conf man page, port445=both and signing_required=no are defaults anyway.

BTW, I rebooted to make sure that /etc/nsmb.conf was re-read. Is that necessary?

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11 hours ago, prl said:

Thanks, Nigel. I hadn't, but adding it didn't help either.

Given that AVM themselves say you'll not get things to work and that unit is EOL and so not getting firmware/OS updates, I'd give this up as a bad job. Not all Samba implementations are equal, and it seems that AVM used one that you can't force to work with Catalina.

Assuming you don't want to get a new router or replace your USB drive with a "proper", standalone, NAS, I'd go for a fileserver with the drive connected. Got an old Mac or PC sitting around? Use that. Otherwise, nice little project for you -- a Raspberry Pi running Pi OS or Ubuntu Server, which'll not only be more secure but probably faster too! A Pi 4 Model B, case and PSU would only cost ~£50

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Thanks, Nigel. I've been thinking about getting a NAS, but so far can't justify myself getting one. The AVM router's NAS was convenient, but quite slow (max throughput ~5MB/s). My current backup arrangement using TimeMachine doesn't require a NAS.

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