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JamesOakley

7.7 does not fix failure to launch on schedule

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I was glad to see the release of 7.7 as a "Windows 7 compatible" version.

 

I was only encountering one problem with 7.6 and Windows 7 (and, for that matter, Windows Vista). You can create backup jobs, set them to run on schedule, close Retrospect, and nothing will happen. Then, as soon as you manually start Retrospect, any scheduled jobs that had not been running when they should all start to run. The suggestion on the forums has been that this is down to the User Account Control (UAC) feature in Windows Vista and later. Needless to say, I run Windows logged in as a non-administrative user most of the time.

 

Other than that one problem, 7.6 was not giving me any problems in Windows 7. So I tried Retrospect Pro 7.7 in the hope that the problem I was having was fixed. Sadly, I ran the software, entered a trial license key (as it's not a free upgrade), let any waiting scheduled jobs run through, then closed the application. The hours passed, various scheduled backup times went by, and nothing had run. So I opened Retrospect from the start menu, and they all began to run.

 

Unless I'm doing something amiss, the one compatibility problem I had with 7.6 and Windows 7 is still there in 7.7 and Windows 7. I have left my UAC settings on the default, as that give me the balance I want between the security of UAC and minimising interference to the Windows GUI.

 

Can anyone help?

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That does seem strange because autolaunch is something does work on Vista and Windows 7. The only think I can think of is that something installed on your computer is preventing the Retrospect Launcher Service from starting the retrospect.exe at the scheduled time.

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Would the fact that I am running as a Standard User account (non-administrative) be relevant? I notice that, in Windows XP, I used to be able to start Retrospect as a local user, or use Run-as to start it as an administrator. The "local user" option was generally a bad idea, as backups would then run without sufficient permission, but it could be done.

 

In Vista and Win7, if I am running as a non-admin, and I go to launch Retrospect from the Start Menu, Windows thinks of Retrospect as a program that must be run with full admin privileges. Quite right too. So what I get is a UAC dialog asking me for an admin password.

 

Running on schedule, I won't be here to enter that password. I'm guessing that is why it fails silently, but I'm only guessing.

 

If others have auto-launch running on non-admin accounts, I would love to hear that because it would rule that theory out.

 

Any ideas as to what other kinds of software might interfere with the auto-launch procedure? In case it's relevant, I'm running Win 7 home premium, although I used the Ultimate edition at RC stage, and it had the same problem with Retrospect 7.6

 

(By the way, there's nothing in the Windows event logs at the times when the retrorun.exe should have launched Retrospect)

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Try disabling UAC completely and see if Retro is able to Auto Launch.

 

http://forums.dantz.com/showtopic.php?tid/31733/post/128637/hl/GoAWest/fromsearch/1/#128637

 

The inability to auto-launch if UAC is enabled was seen by many under Vista and Win7 with Retro 7.6 and below. It's very disappointing that they'd release a new "OK for Win7" R7.7 and not address this basic issue.

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Thanks for suggesting that test.

 

Sad to say, disabling UAC meant that it launched "OK". (In quotation marks, because it launched as an administrative account in the background with no UI, which means I can't see if I need new media, or if some other problem has occured. In XP, Retrospect would launch as an administrator but visible to the desktop; click on the application, and you need to enter the relevant Admin password before you can interact with it).

 

The backup ran on schedule; Retrospect exited; I got sent two e-mails - one that confirmed the backup had run, and the other to tell me that Retrospect had quit.

 

I am aware that this has been a problem with 7.6. As I said in my original post, the fact that UAC stops backups launching on schedule was the only incompatibility I had between Windows 7 and Retrospect 7.6. It is a real shame that the new version has finally come out, but that it has the same incompatibility that I had with 7.6. UAC is a necessity not an option for me. :confused2:

 

Now I've finished my test, I'll turn UAC back on...

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My experience with 7.6 on Vista (with UAC enabled) was that Retrospect would only auto-launch if the preferences were set to "Run Retrospect as the logged-in user". It would never auto-launch if set to "Always run Retrospect as the specified user", even if the specified user was the exact same user and password as the logged-in user.

 

I'll repeat my experiments with 7.7 and see if things have changed.

 

-- Pete

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My experience with 7.6 on Vista (with UAC enabled) was that Retrospect would only auto-launch if the preferences were set to "Run Retrospect as the logged-in user". It would never auto-launch if set to "Always run Retrospect as the specified user", even if the specified user was the exact same user and password as the logged-in user.

 

I'll repeat my experiments with 7.7 and see if things have changed.

 

-- Pete

 

Pete, Did that mean that you also had to be logged in as a user with full administrative rights for Retrospect to run?

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Pete, Did that mean that you also had to be logged in as a user with full administrative rights for Retrospect to run?

 

I never tried it with non-admin users, so I don't know. Sorry.

 

-- Pete

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My experience with 7.6 on Vista (with UAC enabled) was that Retrospect would only auto-launch if the preferences were set to "Run Retrospect as the logged-in user". It would never auto-launch if set to "Always run Retrospect as the specified user", even if the specified user was the exact same user and password as the logged-in user.

 

I'll repeat my experiments with 7.7 and see if things have changed.

 

-- Pete

 

He hits the nail on the head!

 

The answer is, indeed, to use "Always run as the logged-in user". That way, UAC never get invoked.

 

My fear was that this would mean Retrospect would run as my own user account when I am logged in, which is not an administrative one. In fact, this is not the case. The small label next to this option in Security Preferences is more helpful: "Retrospect will run in the local system account when automatically launched. Unattended backups of databases and network resources may not work."

 

This is correct. Retrospect fires as the "logged-in user". In the case when Retrospect is launched from the Retrospect Launcher Service, this is the Local System Account. So it runs, UAC does not get in the way, and it has full administrative privileges. As I said, nail on head.]

 

There are only two draw-backs.

 

1. This method of running still gives no desktop interraction. It is not possible to see how far through a backup it is, how much space is required for the blank media it is asking for, and so on.

 

2. If I had to backup Databases / Network Shares (without using a Client), I would have problems. This drawback won't apply to many Professional users.

 

In all likelihood, this is not a fix for 7.7, but a workaround that I wish had discovered for 7.6. I may, still, be spared from having to pay to get Windows 7 compatibility.

 

Thanks Pete!

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Thanks Pete!

 

You're welcome, James. And thank you for explaining why it works. I hadn't figured out that "currently logged-in user" was the LocalSystem account when Retrospect is run automatically.

 

Windows allows you to specify the account to be used to run each service. It might be that running the Retrospect Launcher service as a specific user would enable it to auto-launch Retrospect with access to network shares.

 

It's surprising that EMC has never clearly described how to use Retrospect in Windows versions newer than XP. It's been many years since Vista was released. Vista and Win7 aren't "broken" as some have claimed -- they are intentionally incompatible in order to close some of the architectural security weaknesses in XP. Those incompatibilities aren't going to go away. Microsoft clearly documented the incompatibilities, and made that documetation available well before Vista was released. Software that was modified for Vista compatibility continues to work correctly in Win7. EMC stated that Retrospect 7.6 is compatible with Vista. (Ignoring bugs, such as the blank status monitor, of course.) It's amazing that they have never documented how to make it work.

 

As a sage product manager once observed, "A feature that isn't documented doesn't exist."

 

-- Pete

Edited by Guest
Fix a typo

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Well I need to run Retrospect Professional logged in as the specified User in order to backup to and from my NAS, which requires user account access (unless I want to open it up to the world).

 

So, thanks for letting me know there is no point in upgrading, as this problem, which EMC stubbonly refuses to recognise, grasp and address, will likely never get fixed in any future release. :angryred:

Edited by Guest

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Well I need to run Retrospect Professional logged in as the specified User in order to backup to and from my NAS, which requires user account access (unless I want to open it up to the world).

Rant>

OK. Try Pete's tip then. (It should work with 7.6 as much as with 7.7). I've not tried it, but I guess it will work. Two steps: 1. Set Retrospect to run as the currently logged in user. 2. Change the Retrospect Launcher service so that it doesn't run as the "Service" account, but runs as the named account you have setup to have NAS access. (Obviously, restart the service)

 

My guess is that the Retrospect Launcher service will then start Retrospect, but that it will do so as the "Currently Logged in User". In this case, that would be the account with the NAS permissions.

 

Please let us all know whether it works. If so, we have a complete work-around for this long-standing problem

Edited by Guest

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Hmmm, I will try this tip (although previous advice from Mayoff was that the launcher service account should not be changed).

 

Unfortunately, I am in the middle of a major NAS rebuild / restore due to a totally unrelated probelm (a Raid 5 disk crash - but a disk swap & array rebuild failed) so it may be a few days before I will be taking scheduled backups again!

 

Its true to say that in the last few days I have relied very heavily on Retrospect to move / recover my data and it has worked flawlessly (in "manual" operation). So if this fix works I could well be a happy camper again (as I was on XP) :content:

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I have the same problem with retrospect failing to lauch the scheduled jobs on sbs 2008. I had the problem with 7.6 and was hoping this was sovled with 7.7.

 

The server has to remain logged in as the server administrator with retrospect left open for the jobs to run. Retrospect is setup to run using the configured RBU account not the logged in user as I am backing up the exchange server also.

 

I'm suprised this issue still exists as its a pretty major problem.

Edited by Guest

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I finally tried it myself yesteday, using Retrospect 7.6 on Vista 64, and it worked.

 

I opened the properties of the "Retrospect Launcher" service, changed it to use a specific account (on the "Log on" tab), clicked "Ok" to save the changes and close the properties dialog, then restarted the service. The service successfully auto-launches Retrospect, and the Windows Task Manager shows Retrospect running as the user I specified.

 

Retrospect still can't put up prompts on the display. This is not surprising, since the ability for malicious background background programs to put windows up on the display is one of the security weaknesses of XP that was intentionally eliminated in Vista (and Windows 7.) Addressing that probably requires the refactoring that's been promised for Retrospect 8.

 

Changing the account for Retrospect Launcher also didn't eliminate the issue of the blank Activity Monitor. I've got my fingers crossed that this might be addressed in Retrospect 7.7. Hopefully the release notes will be available soon so we can see what bugs have been fixed.

 

-- Pete

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After speaking to EMC again I've found there is actually 2 versions of 7.7. I had not actually installed a 64bit compatible version like I thought. Wooops

 

After downloading and installing the 64bit version of 7.7 and testing it the scheduled executions actually do start automatically without changing the credentials of the launcher service.

 

But because retrospect is running as the logged in user account not the specified RBU account the backups fail because the security is wrong.

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I too have been having problems with scheduled executions not launching under 64-bit Vista or Win7. I had Retrospect set to run as the specified user, because I back up to password-protected NAS storage. I had tried also setting the Retrospect Launcher task to run under the same account, but to no avail. Finally, thanks to the suggestions in this thread, I have it working by running the Launcher service under the desired user account, and setting Retrospect to run as the logged-in user.

 

Scheduled backups now run on schedule, and for the first time ever, I can actualy see a progress bar in the Retrospect Monitor window if I try to open Retrospect while one is running.

 

I'm running Retrospect Pro 7.7 plus the latest RDU, under 64-bit Win7 Ultimate.

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I thought changing the credentials on the launcher account had it working but it does not seem to be completely.

 

The backups are launched like expected and you can follow the progress in the retrospect monitor but when you open retrospect after it is finished nothing has been logged in the event log history in activity monitor.

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I thought changing the credentials on the launcher account had it working but it does not seem to be completely.

 

The backups are launched like expected and you can follow the progress in the retrospect monitor but when you open retrospect after it is finished nothing has been logged in the event log history in activity monitor.

The user account you have used to run everything under: Does it have full administrative rights?

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I had the same problem and support told me to stay logged-in and leave Retrospect 7.7 running on my Windows 7 (64-bit) machine. Not acceptable.

 

I got the backup script to automatically run while logged off with the following configuration:

 

1) Removed password from backup device.

2) Component Services

a. Set ‘Retrospect Launcher’ to ‘Log On As’ a local administrator.

3) Retrospect 7.7

a. Preferences | Execution

i. Startup

1. Check both:

a. Enable Retrospect Launcher service, and

b. Automatically launch Retrospect

ii. Security

1. Select:

a. Run Retrospect as the logged-in user

 

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