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Totally Frustrated with 6.5


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I have been using Retrospect for nearly 10 years in various incarnations and platforms. I have generally been pleased with its performance and capabilities.


In the last company I worked for, I purchased 6.5 for use with 3 Sony AIT libraries. It was a bit flakey but functional.


At my new company, I recommended 6.5 for its Solaris and Linux clients, to replace the old UNIX-style tape backup already in place. It required manually changing tapes every day and was quite a PITA.


That's when the trouble began. We installed Retrospect 5.6 Multi-Server Value on WinXP (maybe part of the problem?), with an Adaptec 39160 and Dell PV 122T LTO library. I have patched the software and driver to the latest version.


Below is a list of problems plaguing our backup system:


1. Retrospect frequently hangs at the end of certain backups, won't quit, and loses all backup information in the backup sets when killed. Is the backup set corrupted? These are recycle jobs...


2. Retrospect craps out after cleaning the drive and doesn't always resume the backup.


3. Retrospect sometimes does not find the correct tape on recycle jobs. It has often picked an empty tape rather than one that was already in the backup set.


I was backing up the catalogs and Retrospect directories and wondering if that might be part of the problem. Deadlock maybe?

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But it works perfectly 90% of the time. The cables/terminator has been checked. Initially, there were some lost contacts between the drive, but new drivers seem to have fixed that. There aren't any other I/O errors. Some backups work perfectly fine. Others don't. I haven't been able to determine the differences. Besides, the setup works fine in BackupExec.


The drive is supported by Retrospect. The only two culprits left are Windows and Retrospect. I suspect Retrospect.


Here is another problem that occurs frequently:


Forgets which tapes are where. This morning I found that it had lost tape one and thought it was a cleaning tape instead. WTF?

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I did that. I even added a second library, which seemed to help stability. I have 4 weekly scripts/backup sets that I rotate. They are all identical. The problems only seem to occur on certain ones even though they are recycled every month. Is it possible one of the files is corrupted?


I just don't understand why we're having so many problems that nobody else seems to be experiencing.

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That is what is so maddening about SCSI. It can "kind of" work when a cable, terminator or connection port is bad. Your only real recourse is to replace expnensive components one by one until it works again.

(Fiber channel is much better in this regard, either it works or it doesn't)


The nature of the problems you have described sounds like a SCSI communication problem to me too.


Do you find that Retrospect is more likely to work properly after rebooting the backup machine and library? Do you notice any patterns about when the failure is more likely to occur?




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