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MultiServer 6.0 backup of XP Pro - My Documents Namespace corruption

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Hello all,

 

I am backing up several WIN 2000 workstations on my LAN, and have rescently added an XP Pro workstation to the backup script.

 

After the backup completes on the XP system, the user for that system cannot locate there My Documents folder through a Save dialog box. When they click on the "My Documents" icon along the left edge of the dialog box, it shows an empty folder!

 

If I run Norton WIN Doctor on the XP system, the issue is resolved, but returns the next day after another backup occurs.

 

Has anyone seen this issue, and more importantly, is there a fix!

 

Thanks,

Scott K.

 

 

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Hi

 

Are you using Retrospect client to backup the XP machine? Are you using the open file backup option in Retrospect? I assume from your post that a reboot does not bring the folder back? What type of error does WIN doctor detect on the machine?

 

Thanks

Nate

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I have had this same issue on two different networks since mid summer of 2003. It started on one of my client's networks with 6.0 Single Server. I upgraded them to 6.5 (out of pocket) to see if that would help. Now it has popped up on another client's network that has a similar setup.

 

They are running 6.5 Single Server on a Win 2000 or 2003 Domain Controller. They are being backed up with Proactive Backup. The clients are all Win XP SP1.

 

The profile of the user will corrupt. They go to login and their Application Data or My Documents folder is created anew on the root of the C drive and used from there on subsequent logins. In many cases, the entire profile is corrupt and a new or temporary profile is created by Windows in the Documents and Settings folder. For example, if the user name is Blue, then the new profile will be named Blue.1 or Blue.DOMAIN.

 

There are some eventids in the Event Viewer that describe the registry not being unloaded properly or insufficient permissions to access registry hives, etc. The basic idea that I could come up with was that something was corrupting the user's registry hives.

 

I have literally torn down these networks and rebuilt them- reinstalled Windows XP SP1 clean on several computers and disabled Symantec AV 8.1 Small Business. Laptops are affected most, but the corruption has happened on a few desktops. A few problem machines report corrupt profiles as often as once a week.

 

Sometimes, the corrupt registry can be restored with Windows XP Systems Restore. More oftern than not, this fails with an error saying the "Computer could not be Restored" and no other info. I usually have to do a System State restore from Retrospect to get back to a point before the corruption.

 

The only workaround I have found is to uninstall the Retrospect Client and setup a script for MS Backup to push a backup to a network share. Corruption disappears until I reinstall the Client.

 

These laptops are being backed up in many ways by Proactive- while logged out, while locked, while logged in. If there is a rhyme or reason to it, I have not been able to reproduce it.

 

The first client only had 2 laptops. Those machines were switched over to MS backup. This new client is starting to experience the same problem. Today they had 2 laptops with corrupt My Documents folders. They have 2 desktops and 10 laptops. I cannot switch everyone over to MS backup without abandoning Retrospect. On the other hand, I am fearing a lawsuit for recommending backup software that destroys user profiles.

 

Help is desparately needed. No other product provides the "on demand" Proactive features combined with bare-metal restore.

 

Thanks.

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Have you tried turning off the System Restore feature on the client XP systems (Dantz's unreasonable request for XP). Have you tried turning off any indexing services?

 

I just finished installing the Client on several XP SP1 systems as I continue an eval test of RMS6.5 (on a W2K Server box) and what you're seeing really scares me, far more than if backups just failed. I didn't turn off SR or Indexing on the XP systems, but I haven't tried to run any (Proactive) backups on these systems yet either.

 

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Wow. so much for increasing file security by backing up...if I had your problems I would have ditched Retrospect. That said, we have probably 50 XP windows clients here and none of them experienced problems you describe. Things that I see different with my setup as opposed to yours ( hoping that it might pinpoint the problem ):

 

All clients are installed with "write" dissabled (it's a security risk)

XPs authenticate with WNT4 domain controller.

I started using v6.5 when version .336 came out. Perviously I run V6.0 with no problems either. And, yes, I also use OFO feature all the time.

 

Hope that helps,

 

computer.gif

Mikee

 

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Quote:

Mikee said:

All clients are installed with "write" dissabled (it's a security risk)

 

 


 

How did you do this? I didn't see any controllable options when I installed the Client on several XP and W98 boxes. Or is is something you set after the fact? I did install the clients while logged in as the (domain) Admin on the PCs.

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Thanks.

 

If the client is not set to Read-Only, it must be able to write. But what would a Retrospect Client write (need to be able to, could if there was an error/problem, etc.).?

 

BTW, it would be nice if some of these config options that I choose to change (e.g. the "warn if not backed up for [7] days", performance balance between user and Retro Client to middle, now the "read-only" option) could be set for the clients (per client, globally) from the RMS server rather than than only from each client's GUI.

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Quote:

GoAWest said:

Have you tried turning off the System Restore feature on the client XP systems (Dantz's unreasonable request for XP). Have you tried turning off any indexing services?

 


 

I did try turning off System Restore way back thinking it was not letting go of certain registry hives. But that did not affect anything. How do I turn off the indexing?

 

I can set the clients to read only. I am assuming if I need to restore a system state or any files directly to the client PC, I will need to change this back to Read/Write first.

 

One idea that I had is that backing up while locked is causing this. I GUESS the desktops are not as affected because they are usually logged out when they are grabbed by their own Proactive script. It is Inactive during business hours.

 

Any other ideas?

 

Thanks.

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There are two places under XP to twiddle with indexing:

 

1) Open "Search"..."For Files and Folders" then choose the "Change preferences" then "Without Indexing Service" to have the option to enable or disable the (background, idle time) indexing service.

 

2) From this same Indexing Service tab, you can choose the "Change Indexing Service settings (Advanced)" to adjust some other index service settings.

 

I haven't fiddled with these much. I have sometimes turned off the Indexing services on systems that seemed to be very slow (i.e. trying to turn off everything that wasn't necessary) or on ones where users (including myself...) were being annoyed by constant disk activity when the system was idle.

 

-------------------------

Good point on the need to turn on "write" on the Client when doing a restore. Obviously that should only be needed when doing a restore of something and the rest of the time read-only should be OK. In my case, as long as I'm not doing some sort of DR restore, I'm more likely to restore users' files from the RMS program on the server to a directory on the server and tell them that they can go copy them back as desired. So I do plan to turn on the Read-Only option.

 

My gut says your problem isn't related to the Read-Only option (i.e. wouldn't be cured by it). I believe (hope...) that the problem isn't that the Client is randomly writing to the disk during a (read) backup operation but rather than there's a Windows OS <--> RP Client interaction involving system restore, indexing, cataloging, disk-reading, etc. such that the OS itself is writing junk to the disk. And we only have the Clients "word" (i.e. "scout's honor, I'll only read the disk") that this option works.

 

The PCs I'm trying to back up are virtually never locked/logged-out. The screensavers aren't set to do that and the users aren't savvy enough to lock the machines when they're not using them. So the user is either logged in or they shutdown the PC.

 

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Quote:

GoAWest said:
The PCs I'm trying to back up are virtually never locked/logged-out. The screensavers aren't set to do that and the users aren't savvy enough to lock the machines when they're not using them. So the user is either logged in or they shutdown the PC.

 

 


 

I have changed the two machines that got corrupted yesterday to Read only in the Retro Client. I will let that stew for awhile and see if it fails.

 

I am thinking Retrospect is not letting go of certain hives or files, like ntuser.dat, after a backup and those items are considered locked/busy/no permissions when the user tries to log back in or unlock. But this is just a GUESS.

 

Since a Restore System State from Retro or an XP System Restore (doesn't work sometimes and fails with an error as I mentioned in my first post) will bring a system back to life, what is really being backed up during a backup of the "System State"? Which files? That may help determine what and why is being corrupted.

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Quote:

natew said:

Are you using Retrospect client to backup the XP machine? Are you using the open file backup option in Retrospect?

 


 

I thought I should mention that my clients do NOT have the Open File Backup. Does Retro 6.5 use the XP Shadow Copy service?

 

Also, I am not backing up file-level security settings from workstations as dictacted in the Proactive scripts.

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Quote:

bcarter27 said:

Quote:

natew said:

I thought I should mention that my clients do NOT have the Open File Backup. Does Retro 6.5 use the XP Shadow Copy service?

 

 


 

I asked about this in another post, and the answer was that the Volume Shadow Copy only works on the XP ("local") machine running the main Retro application. Other machines running the Client require the optional OFB and won't use VSC even if they're running XP.

 

http://forums.dantz.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=multiserver&Number=35390&Forum=All_Forums&Words=Volume%20Shadow%20copy&Match=Entire%20Phrase&Searchpage=0&Limit=25&Old=1month&Main=35390&Search=true#Post35390

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Hi

 

 

 

That quote is a bit wonky. I think that was your question to me rather than my reply.

 

 

 

There are a couple things that we should clarify:

 

 

 

Assuming you have purchased a server version of Retrospect and the open file backup option, Open files on clients that support shadow copy (XP) will be backed up with shadow copy. Open files on clients that do not support shadow copy will use Dantz's proprietary open file technology. This open file module works only on NTFS volumes.

 

 

 

If you have Retrospect professional or a server version without the open file backup option, Shadow copy is used on the local machine only. This is only if the local OS supports Shadow copy.

 

 

 

Thanks

 

Nate

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Thanks for adding more clarifying information in regards to OFB and VSC.

 

On the link, I just didn't go to the trouble of linking to your specific reply at the end figuring that folks might be interested in the whole thread.

 

http://forums.dantz.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=multiserver&Number=35506&Forum=multiserver&Words=Thank%20_you_%20for%20all%20of%20your%20participation%20&Match=Entire%20Phrase&Searchpage=0&Limit=25&Old=3months&Main=35390&Search=true#Post35506

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Quote:

My gut says your problem isn't related to the Read-Only option (i.e. wouldn't be cured by it).

 


 

The only obvious thing I can think of that RS Client backup will not do - when Read-Only is ON - is clock sync...

 

What about profiles - are there more than one accounts logged in when the corruption happens?

 

computer.gif

Mikee

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Just to clarify- In both clients' setups, they have Single Server 6.5 but no Open File Option. Are the rest of you using Open File Backup? That may mean something.

 

Since I have set the Read-Only option, I have not had a corruption. This may not mean anything yet. Sometimes a couple of weeks would pass between corruptions.

 

These are all domain users- restricted users by default. Fast User switching is turned off in a domain environment.

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Well, well. I have set all the PCs at all of my clients to Read Only and everything was going OK until this week. Two laptops at one company had their profiles corrupted and new (blank) Desktop, Application Data, and My Documents folders created for the user on the root of the C drive.

 

The Retro client was version 6.5.132 and the Retro Single Server is 6.5.336. I have since updated the server to 6.5.343 and the clients to 6.5.136.

 

I had to do a System State Restore to get them back and then manually cleanup those folders on the root of the drive.

 

Both machines were laptops and because security is hugely important the client requires all machines to be locked automatically after 15 minutes. I got a more detailed account from one user. He came in to the office at 830am and started up his laptop, checked his email, walked away for about an hour. The machine presumably locked with the password protected screen saver after 15 minutes. Then Retrospect Proactive kicked in and did a full backup of his machine. (This was his first time in the office since the backup set had recycled.) When he came back and unlocked his computer, all of his desktop icons were gone.

 

This new info points directly at backing up while locked and then not releasing the necessary files to be read again.

 

My client is ranting about legal action and I am running out of ideas. I keep thinking this is fixed and have postponed switching all of my companies over to a different backup product. (I can't describe the amount of money this is going to cost me in lost time that those companies will not pay for.) If I purchase the Open File add-on, does anyone think that may help?

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Hi

 

Here is one possibility.

Try turning the "force backup of outlook" option off.

 

When this option is enabled Retrospect tells Outlook to save any open messages and quit. After the backup Outlook gets relaunched again but it is launched as the admin user on the machine not the user who was using outlook. That could explain the missing Icons and My documents folder as well as the extra profile.

 

Normally closing and re-opening outlook is enough to get things back to normal but it sounds like this is not the case for you.

 

At this point I think the quit outlook feature is the only thing that could cause this kind of trouble on a client. Otherwise it is totally benign and simply reads files off the disk.

 

Thanks

Nate

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I'm seeing similar problems with profiles and Outlook preferences, particularly the signature block.

 

Scenario: Retrospect MultiServer 6.0 was backing up a small number of workstations by script just fine, so I upgraded to MultiServer to 6.5, still fine. Then I got ProActive license and brought over some other workstations previously backed up by Retrospect Server for Mac. Suddenly users are losing profiles (correction: losing contact with profile. We can see the My Documents in their Documents and Settings folders, but they don't get it when logging in. We fixed some by renaming Their Documents folder, then having them log in again to get a new My Documents folder, logging out, then moving the contents while logged in as Administrator.) Other users are complaining by losing Outlook signatures.

 

We've moved to nighttime workstation backups. We will try Read Only settings. Do we need Open File Backup license? (This patchwork of licenses is wearing me down.)

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Hi

 

Have you tried turning off the force quit of outlook mentioned in my previous post? If you need to backup open files from a lot of machines the open file backup option is a much better way to go.

 

Thanks

Nate

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I have turned off the Force Outlook option on all my scripts. Now we wait another days to months to see if this problem has been resolved.

 

What about other users with XP clients using Proactive? Is anyone experiencing problems backing up computers that are locked? Or does everyone in a similar situation own Open File and is not experiencing this for some reason?

 

Let's be clear on this- Dantz needs to address this immediately. If the Open File Backup is necessary to resolve this, then it should be provided for free until this issue is fixed. Otherwise, this backup application does more harm than good.

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The company that is currently experiencing these lockups consists of mostly laptops. Given gbhoffman's post above I decided to investigate further. I don't have physical access to the machines all of the time as they are travelling a lot. But an inspection of their snapshots shows EVERY ONE of them to have their Application Data folder moved to root of the drive at some point. I just heard about 2 new corrupt profiles last week because those users were unlucky enough to have their Desktop and My Documents folders moved as well. So, it was obvious to them that something was going wrong. I have an entire company of corrupt profiles that it is going to take hours to either restore or manually recreate.

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As an aside, one of the laptops I restored lost communication with the DC. No domain users could authenticate. I had to go in as a local admin, unplug from the network, leave the domain (but since I am unplugged the DC still has the machine account), restart, login as local admin, rejoin the domain, restart, and finally I could get the domain users to authenticate. So much for bare metal restore.

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