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Steve3

Missing catalog file?

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Hardware: Retrospect Multi-Server 6.0.206 running on Windows XP, backing up to a Cybernetics AIT-1 based 15 tape library.

 

Problem: My current backup set catalog has dissapeared. Poof. Gone. I tried 5 times to paste a log in here, but the BBS won't have it. The base of the story is that I had to shut down Retro impolitely due to other troubles on this machine, and when it tries to continue to write to the current set, it reports:

 

[*20750]Can't access Backup Set $[01]$[*!20621,,14,+3]Agency Backup Set A$[02], error -1101 (file/directory not found)

 

Yeah, it's right. It's not there. Apparently it spontaneiously combusted between 4:00:03PM on 8/21/2003 and 12:03A on 8/22, when I start backing up servers, which gave the message above.

 

But wait- I do a backup of my catalog folder every day to another box. I have Monday thru Sunday folders, and every dat at 5A, I copy the catalogs to that day's folders. I should be able to go to any of those, declare that the current catalog file, and re-backup what's changed since then.

 

Lo and behold, every one of my remote Mon thru Sun folders looks just like the local catalog folder- there is no Agency Backup Set A.

 

So.... it's been claiming to write to the intended Agency Backup Set A folder all week, but yet, the daily duplicates of that folder are blank?

 

First logical assumption is pebkac, never say never. So a file search should reveal the right path for my catalog file... I've got 40 computers here, it's a decently sized catalog. File search reveals nothing. Just the file being written as I recatalog the last tape and write this message.

 

Somehow, it seems that my catalog file went south, and Retrospect never noticed for more than a week, and kept writing to some phantom, nonexistent place. Is this possible? How? And most importantly, what can I do to keep this from happening again? I might be looking at recataloging 10 50 gig tapes.... and I thought I had 7 layers of redundancy to save me from this crap.

 

(and is there any way to make the evil animated gifs on the compose message page STOP? I'm already grumpy, and they're driving me nuts.)

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Hi

 

If you started this backup set with Catalog rebuild turned on (default in Retro 5.5 or later) you only need to insert the last tape in the set to rebuild the entire catalog.

 

What is your duplicate option set to? If you are using "Replace entire disk" the catalog file in your destination folder would have been deleted the day your primary catalog disappeared.

 

I suspect you shut down the machine at a critical moment when changes are being written from a temporary catalog file (used during backup) to the permanent catalog file. Without looking at the logs it will be hard to prove though.

 

Nate

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Quote:

Steve3 said:

 

(and is there any way to make the evil animated gifs on the compose message page STOP? I'm already grumpy, and they're driving me nuts.)

 


 

 

 

In IE after the page loads hit [ESC]. Try it for other browsers as well or use the equivilent [sTOP] button or keystoke

 

(Just DON'T do this after you've begun typing your post, it may vanish!!!)

 

-dave

 

BTW PEBCAK "Probelm Exists Between Chair And Keyboard" haven't heard that in a while =)

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm pretty sure I had Catalog Rebuild enabled- I remember noting that and thinking it was a good idea, so I'd think I would leave it on, but it sure didn't behave that way. Either I inadvertantly got what I asked for (but didn't want), or it malfunctioned.

Right now, I can pull up the catalog that was created by reading the last tape, and it knows there are 10 members and 503 gigs, but it says that's through 245,057 files. That's too few. If I go to Members, and try to tell it a set was found, nothing happens. No GUI feedback, no dialog, no query, nothing.

The Sessions list goes back 10 days, presumably to when this tape was started.

 

My "solution" was just to abandon this tape set, and declare it time to start a new recycle set of my other tape set, and hope I don't have to restore anything before August 10.

 

I am using "replace entire disc" in my daily duplicate scripts, so I got what I asked for there. The uncomprehendable thing to me is how this folder apparently stayed empty for a week, yet Retro continued to write to tape without writing to a catalog file. If natew's theory is correct, and I hosed a catalog file at a critical moment, shouldn't Retro have said something to the affect of "hey, my catalog file isn't right!" the next time it tried to figure out what files weren't yet backed up on the next machine it tried to back up?

I had at least 2 shutdown/startup cycles in this timeframe to deal with the "critical" Windows updates, so Retro should have been back to "square one", so to speak, twice in this timeframe.

 

ecrm- thanks for the idea, but they keep dancing, typing, clapping, headsmacking and everything else regardless of the escape button. I'm getting dizzy.....

 

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Hi

 

After you rebuild the catalog from the last tape how many members are showing up as missing?

 

What does the log say about your backups? Something is not right here - there has to be an explaination for this. Retrospect will complain loudly when it can do an operation.

 

Nate

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There were 10 sets in the backup. After recataloging tape 10, 1-9 are missing.

 

The logs go back to 8/7/03. If I look at 5AM, I see a successful copy from my catalog storage place to my Thursday folder. It also says that it took 4 seconds, and doesn't say that it copied *any* files. Today it spent 00:05:07 to copy 2 files of 460.4 megs. A little slow, but they're there, I've been watching them with great paranoia now. This is what should be in the logs.

 

So it seems to me, that on 8/7 (and later days) the weekday catalog copy script was copying nothing. A logical conclusion is that while the script is in fact duplicating the folder I ask it to, it's empty, and I'm storing the catalog files somewhere else.

 

So I search for the catalog files. The OS can't find them.

 

Yet on 8/8, it again copies nothing. Repeat on 8/9, 8/10......

 

Either this catalog file was being written to the Win equivalent of /dev/null, or it was writing it to somewhere else and it has totally disappeared since then. I have no idea.

My best guess is that it didn't realize it was failing to properly do an operation (of writing the catalog), so it never did complain loudly.

 

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Hi

 

You have me confused here:

 

You said there are 10 sets in the backup? That doesn't make any sense. Do you mean 10 members in your backup set?

 

What are each of these tapes named? (exact names please) You can see the name of each tape when you view the configure devices window.

 

Thanks

Nate

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10 members of the set would be the right terminology. Naming sequence is

1-Agency Backup Set B

2-Agency Backup Set B

straight through

10-Agency Backup Set B

 

Truth is, I stopped worrying about this a while back. I made a new recycle set with my other set, and just chalked myself up as screwed for getting these tapes back. Ya know... to err is human, but to really f up....

 

My daily .rbc file backups are behaving just fine, and I'm now making a point to check on them 2x/week, so if it does go wonky again, I should be able to revert to an existing backup before it's written over a week's worth of files.

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Hi

 

It sounds like you have moved on here but I can at least suggest a work around for future reference.

 

Fast Catalog rebuild works by copying the catalog file to the first part of very new tape. It follows that if the catalog were fouled up (ie. missing members) the first time you put in tape #10, the fouled up catalog will get restored when you do the rebuild from that tape.

 

To get around this start your rebuild from tape number 8 or so and have Retrospect read the rest of the tapes manually. At that point it should ignore the catalogs that were saved on tap 9 and 10.

 

I hope that makes sense

 

Nate

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I appreciate your efforts to help out. Thanks for taking the time, Nate.

 

I've double checked that the fast catalog rebuild is enabled, so if it decides to poop on me again, I *should* be covered. The previous set is long ago enough that I dance on it's grave:

 

mango.gifappl.gifmango.gif

 

(hey, if you can't beat the dancing icons, join 'em)

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