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Retrospect 12.0.2 lost contact with tape drive

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I rebooted my computer for a reason unrelated to Retrospect. When the system was back up, Retrospect had lost communication with our tape drive, something I did not discover until the next day because the previous evening's backups had not run. Examining the operations log revealed the following:

 

 +  Retrospect version 12.0.2.116

  Launched at 7/6/15 10:21:19 AM 

 

  stucFinished: [HP|Ultrium 5-SCSI|Z5AD] incorrect scsiServiceResponse 0x1, scsiStatus 0x2

  stucFinished: [0|0|0] transaction result 0x6

  StucStartTrans: ExecuteTaskAsync (error -536870174) 

  StucStartTrans: errval 0xe00002e2, doneServResp 0x0 (error -536870174) 

  StucStartTrans: ExecuteTaskAsync (error -536870174) 

  StucStartTrans: errval 0xe00002e2, doneServResp 0x0 (error -536870174) ..... [error message repeated several dozen times]

 

At this point, Retrospect could see the tape drive, but reported it as "running;" the tape present icon was displayed, but the name of the tape member was not.

 

I assumed that the problem was probably related to the tape drive or our Thunderbolt SAS adapter. Several tests with power cycling the tape drive and SAS adapter, stopping and restarting Retrospect engine, and rebooting did not improve things. In fact, after the last reboot, Retrospect was unable to see the tape drive at all; clicking on Scan All did not make the drive visible.

 

I then checked and found that the drive was visible in both the ATTO configuration tool and in System Profiler. It seemed odd that Retrospect was unable to see it. At this point, I tried simply reinstalling the 12.0.2 engine, not expecting a whole lot. However, when the newly-installed engine came up, Retrospect appropriately accessed the tape drive, displayed the correct tape member name, and, later that evening, successfully ran two backup scripts to the tape.

 

It's not obvious whether the tape drive reported a true problem to Retrospect, which then somehow damaged the engine file, or whether the engine file was damaged first, which caused it to incorrectly report a drive error. Either of these would seem strange.

 

Relevant system information: Mac Pro 3.7 GHz Quad-Core Xeon E5 with16 GB RAM, running OS 10.10.4. The tape drive is an HP StorageWorks 3000 LTO-5 drive connected via an ATTO ThunderLink SH 2068 SAS HBA.

 

 

 

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When I using tapes, I encountered this issue.  If the Retrospect engine starts up without proper communication to the tape driver, it will either not see it at all or misread the tape information.  The best course of action is to stop the Retrospect engine and cycle power on the tape drive.  Once the tape drive finishes it start up procedure, start the Retrospect engine and it should show up correctly.

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Unfortunately, I did try power-cycling the tape drive with the engine not running, and when I restarted the engine I could not see the tape drive. It was only upon reinstalling the engine that I was able to view and access the drive.

 

I'm hoping that this glitch was just a one-off, and that it won't recur.

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FWIW, I have seen behavior on my tape drive (HP DDS drive) where certain operations cause the tape drive to go "catatonic" for several minutes. When I wait those 3-mumble minutes, the tape "re-appears" and all is well. I don't recall the details of this, whether restarting the engine and/or power  cycling the drive made any difference, but as I recall, it appeared to be a problem with the driver/engine getting "stuck".

 

The op I recall doing this was cleaning the drive. After a cleaning, the drive was unusable for those 3-mumble minutes.

 

Try waiting.

 

My notes here:

 

http://forums.retrospect.com/index.php?/topic/147857-3-minute-delay-after-tape-drive-cleaning-console-hang/

 

Last I checked with newer versions of Retro, it still happened.

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