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jfelczak

pcpds.exe freezing client system?

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One of our senior programmers reports that pcpds.exe, which is part of the Retrospect Client, intermittently and temporarily locks up his and another developer's systems for periods of time up to 5 minutes in duration, at times when no Retrospect backup is being performed.

 

Symptom: machine stops responding to any input, even mouse movement. CPU is nowhere near 100%. Our chief architect's hypotheses is that this executable is grabbing an interrupt and locking all other processes out of access to CPU resources. After about 5 minutes the system starts responding normally again.

 

Configuration: Retrospect 7.5 for Windows running on Windows 2003 Server, backing up an assortment of local and remote laptops mostly running Windows XP Professional.

 

Couldn't find anything in the knowledgebase or existing forum posts that seemed relevant to this issue. Has anyone else experienced this problem or know what might be causing it?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I have never seen that happen. When no backup is running the client is "dumb" or "dead" and doesn't do anything on the computer

 

Why do they think it is pcpds.exe? Can you provide us with a specific detailed bug report so we can investigate this claim?

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It would be helpful to know exactly what troubleshooting has been done and what the engineers have done to conclude that the problem is with the pcpds.exe and not a conflict with other software on the computer (like an anti-virus or firewall program).

 

Does the problem go away when the Retrospect Client service has been disabled? What is listed in the Windows process list during this problem? What processes are listed and what % of CPU are they using?

 

What are the steps to reproduce this problem?

 

If this was a bug, I suspect that we would be hearing from all of our customers since the client is installed on 1000's of computer (including 2003 Server).

 

What is the exact version of the client installed on each of these computers? What version of the OS do the clients run? What service packs?

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Thank you for the quick response! I'll follow up with them once our office reopens after the Thanksgiving holiday and respond with the information requested.

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Spoke with the developer who initially reported the problem, and did some more testing with him whenever the problem has recurred.

 

Clarification: I had misunderstood the initial report when I indicated that no backup was taking place when the freezes occur. While they often do occur as much as an hour or more after the client's Proactive Backup dialogue box disappears, in actual fact a backup *is* still running when the freeze occurs.

 

The past several times it's happened I've checked the executions tab of the server GUI and found in every case what the server reported it was backing up was "Registry".

 

M> Does the problem go away when the Retrospect Client service has been disabled?

 

Yes, it does. When the "Off" radio button is selected in the client GUI the problem does not occur.

 

M> What are the steps to reproduce this problem?

 

It occurs spontaneously during the proactive backup execution, in all cases when "Registry" is what is being backed up.

 

M> What is the exact version of the client installed on each of these computers?

 

All of our client systems run client 7.5.111. At the time our developer initially reported this problem he was running this same version. He subsequently upgraded his client to 7.5.116 to see if that would fix the problem, but no change in behavior occurred after the upgrade.

 

M> What version of the OS do the clients run? What service packs?

 

Windows XP Professional, Service Pack 2

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Additional clarification from the developer who initially reported the problem"

 

"Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that no backup was running - I just meant that it was never "just after" clicking the backup/defer response (and fwiw my response to that dialog is pretty much always "backup"). I assume that in each case, a backup was running, but it may be relevant to know that I think in all cases, it was at least an hour since seeing the "Backup/Defer" dialog (which I presume precedes every backup job?)."

 

"I know it's pcpds.exe because I use Process Monitor from sysinternals.com, which shows me not just a graph of cpu usage, but also the process consuming the most cpu time as part of the graph. 100% of the time that I've looked into it following one of these multi-minute freezes, pcpds.exe has appeared as the most active process. I gave up checking after perhaps 20 times. Also note that this started happening days after retrospect was installed on my laptop.... and this never happened in the two years I've had the laptop before installing retrospect."

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Hi, I'm the guy whose machine is acting up. Each time it happened a few days ago, we looked at the retrospect status on the server, and it showed that my machine was being backed up. It was stalled backing up my Registry - at least in the status view it was displaying "Registry"

 

When my machine would unfreeze a few minutes later, the backup screen on the server would show progress resuming too.

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I have the same problem, on my Dell Latitude D810 running Win XP SP2. The machine freezes entirely for 5 minutes each time there is a backup pass running.

 

Please advise.

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