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Hang during device scan


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I'm having a problem with Retrospect Desktop 5.0.205 that has me baffled. I'm running OS X 10.1.4 on a 933 MHz G4 Desktop with the SuperDrive installed, although I'm not using that for backup. I'm backing up to an Exabyte (Ecrix) VXA-1 *FireWire* drive.

 

 

 

My problem is that when I attempt to do a backup, either manual or automatic, as soon as the backup starts, Retrospect attempts to do a device scan and hangs. First, it puts up a dialog that says "Scanning devices..." and "Checking ATAPI-B". And there it hangs. Sometimes, after a minute or so, it might change to "Checking FireWire-A", but it never gets any farther than that. Trying to click the Stop button results in the spinning rainbow cursor, and at that point, the only solution is to force quit Retrospect.

 

 

 

Interestingly, I don't appear to have any devices attached to ATAPI-B. Retro's Device Scan dialog tells me that the SuperDrive is on ATAPI-A, though as I mentioned, I'm not trying to use it for backup.

 

 

 

If, instead of trying a backup, I click the Configure tab in the main window, and then click the Devices button, I'll get the same results -- a hang. No matter how it starts, once Retrospect starts hanging at the device scan, the only solution I've found that always works is to reboot the comptuer. Once I reboot the computer, then Retro works for a day or two, and then it starts hanging again. Force quitting the app, and logging out and back in again don't help.

 

 

 

I've read several of the KnowledgeBase articles on device scan hangs, but none of them seem to apply here. I don't have any SCSI devices, nor even a SCSI card installed. I have no hard drives hanging off the external Firewire ports. I do have two internal hard drives, but both are using Apple's own driver software. I have nothing that's using CharisMac drivers, unless it's something that Apple ships as a standard part of OS X.

 

 

 

Even when Retrospect has hung, I can run Apple System Profiler, and it correctly identifies the VXA-1 Firewire drive. Unplugging and replugging the VXA-1 does help on rare occasions, although I've never been able to get Retro to recognize the drive after plugging it back in until after I quit Retro and relaunch it. Forcing a re-scan from the Device Status window won't do the trick here. Switching the VXA-1 to the other FireWire port doesn't help either. Nor does powering off the VXA-1 and then powering it back on again. I've even seen Retro hang at "Checking ATAPI-B" when the VXA-1 wasn't connected to the Mac at all.

 

 

 

On the occasions where Retro doesn't hang at the device scan (such as after a reboot), then the backup proceeds flawlessly and very quickly. That, plus the fact that I've experienced the hangs when the VXA-1 isn't even connected, has convinced that the problem isn't in the VXA-1.

 

 

 

Does anyone know what's causing this hang, and how to fix it?

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If you remove *all* devices from the computer as a test, does the same thing happen?

 

 

 

Please provide details on your configuration:

 

 

 

OS X version and build

 

Device (from Retrospect's Configure > Devices > Device Status window)

 

Device firmware (in the version column of the Device Status window)

 

Other Devices

 

Adapter Card

 

Adapter Card firmware

 

Adapter Card driver for OS X

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

 

Irena Solomon

 

Dantz Tech Support

 

 

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> If you remove *all* devices from the computer as a test, does the same thing happen?

 

 

 

It varies. It has in the past, but when I tried it today, it did not happen.

 

 

 

> Please provide details on your configuration:

 

>

 

> OS X version and build

 

 

 

Version 10.1.4, Build 5Q125

 

 

 

> Device (from Retrospect's Configure > Devices > Device Status window)

 

 

 

Currently visible devices:

 

 

 

ATAPI-B PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-104 A212 Pioneer DVD/CD-RW (1.51)

 

FireWire-A ECRIX VXA-1 2B7B Ecrix VXA DC (4.08)

 

 

 

> Device firmware (in the version column of the Device Status window)

 

 

 

2B7B

 

 

 

> Other Devices

 

> Adapter Card

 

> Adapter Card firmware

 

> Adapter Card driver for OS X

 

 

 

None for any of those. Just the built-in FireWire port.

 

 

 

-- Bruce

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

As of about a week ago I'm experiencing exactly the same problem you describe.

 

Occasionally it all works fine, but this evening, e.g., I have rebooted and re-run Retrospect

 

about 6 times to no avail - every time it hung while scanning devices. The "ATAPI B" scan takes

 

about a minute, and then it hangs on "Firewire A". Normally, both complete in the blink

 

of an eye. Apple System Profiler also hangs if Retrospect is hung. Power cycling the tape

 

drive has made no difference.

 

 

 

I upgraded my Mac to 10.1.5. on 6/10, a few days before the problem began to

 

manifest itself, but the first few runs of RD after the upgrade worked fine.

 

I can't figure out what might have changed to start this happening.

 

 

 

My config is:

 

Mac G4 450MHz

 

OS X version: 10.1.5

 

Device: Ecrix VXA-1 Firewire, firmware V2B7B

 

Retrospect Desktop 5.0.205

 

 

 

I have a few other devices on the system (an external Firewire hard drive and a CDRW,

 

a Nikon slide scanner hanging off an Adaptec 2930 SCSI adapter, and various USB devices).

 

However, none of these have changed recently. I will try removing the CDRW to see

 

if makes any difference. I cannot remove the hard drive, as that is the OSX boot device.

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> Does anyone know what's causing this hang, and how to fix it?

 

 

 

One possible cause is a firewire device that is off but attached.

 

 

 

I have one firewire disk which shows an orange light when attached and off, and a green light when attached and powered on. When in the standby (orange) state, various things go badly for me! Shutting down Mac OS X can apparently hang, Retrospect can hang, etc etc. I now always disconnect the firewire cable when the drive is not powered on.

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Sorry for the delay in responding -- I never got an e-mail notification of your reply.

 

 

 

Yes, the problem continues to this day. Typically, it works for a few days without any problems, and then the next day it hangs. There are no other FireWire devices connected, no ATAPI devices connected, and no SCSI card or SCSI devices at all.

 

 

 

In all cases, when the hang occurs, if I unplug the FireWire cable, Retrospect "un-hangs", but of course fails to find the drive (since it's unplugged) and the backup fails. If I then plug the FireWire cable back in, Retrospect does not recognize that it has been reconnected, even after I tell Retrospect to do a device scan. In order to get the drive to be recognized again, I must quit and restart Retrospect. It always recognizes the drive on the first restart of Retrospect, and does a successful backup at that point. And then it will continue to work for a few more days until the hang eventually occurs again.

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