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"No Network Connection" on connected client

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  • Running trial of v14
  • Installed new client on remote Mac (public key), defined proactive scripts, sources, media sets. When defining the client all is well; it recognizes the remote Mac and hard drives/folders. I can restore individual files from previous backups back to the client. 
  • Dedicated connection between 2 Macs, with manual IP address set on each. Everything works in set-up, but client shows "No network connection".
  • If I force a regular (non-proactive) script to run, the client shows "Protected by Retrospect" while it is running, but as soon as that is complete, the client reverts to "No network connection".
  • While this forced backup is running, status on server shows "Media not available"; as soon as forced backup is complete, goes back to "Status: (Not yet determined)". 

Is this normal behavior? So far none of my proactive scripts have started - they all show a status of "(Not yet determined)". On-demand features show Unavailable as well.

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Sorry, lwhitten, you haven't supplied enough information for anyone to help you.  First, it's not clear whether the bullet-pointed items represent one problem, or whether each one represents a separate problem.  IMHO you should rewrite your OP with a separate paragraph for each distinct problem, and stop using bullet points—you're not doing a PowerPoint/Keynote presentation here.

Second, in your item "Installed new client on remote Mac (public key) ....", did you follow the procedures on pages 63-64, and 162-163 of the Retrospect Mac 14 User's Guide and set them to add clients automatically?  Since I have a lowly home installation of Retrospect, I've never had to use public key authentication.

Third, your item "Dedicated connection between 2 Macs, with manual IP address set on each. ...." sounds as if it's a separate case from the preceding item.  It's not covered in the UG, but I learned 2.5 years ago that addresses of Macs (and I suspect other computers) don't stay the same if there's an Internet router assigning them via DHCP/PPPoE unless they are given static IPs.  Here's a post by me that describes how I did that for computers and printers on my LAN; you'll have to adapt that to your router.  The procedure should work for previously-identified computers that appear even intermittently on you LAN/WAN.

Fourth, your item "If I force a regular (non-proactive) script to run ...." raises in my mind the question of whether you really need to use Proactive scripts.  For computers that intermittently appear on your LAN/WAN you do, but IMHO some administrators use Proactive scripts to back up permanently-connected computers in order avoid dealing with having to schedule regular Backup Scripts.  It may help to know that a Backup script will not run until the "backup server" computer is booted; that's why I have my own Backup scripts scheduled for 3 a.m. but don't normally run them until later in the day—simply booting the client machines before I boot the "backup server" machine.

Fifth, if you're running a trial of the current version of Retrospect, you're entitled to 45 days of free telephone support—but only on weekdays during New-York-through-California normal working hours.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
If Mac addresses are assigned by router via DHCP/PPPoE, they don't stay the same; you're entitled to 45 days of free phone support
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Thanks for the detailed reply - I guess it does look a little PowerPointy. It's all one problem that I was trying to be super clear on, and obviously failed!

SO: one single problem. There is a Mac Pro in the basement running Retrospect Desktop, and another Mac Pro as the client upstairs. There is also literally a single cat6 cable connecting the two Macs (no router or switch). I specified DHCP with manual address, and set them on both Macs. I copied the public key generated by Retrospect into the Public Key folder where the client sits.

I also used the ipsave command described elsewhere to require the client to use the dedicated cable port of the client Mac Pro, and the Retrospect preferences of the server to use that Mac's dedicated cable port. Proactive or not, it "kind of" works, but it doesn't seem right. If forced, the client shows "Protected by Retrospect", but then reverts to "No network connection". So on the client end, I can't ever check anything.

If I use the "normal" network connections (connected through a router with dynamic DHCP IP addresses), then it actually works OK. But that's not what I want to do; I wanted to keep the backup computer off of the network - hence the dedicated cable. I just don't understand why that connection wouldn't stay active. Gotta be a setting I'm missing somewhere.

Thanks again for the response.

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Thanks for restating your problem, lwhitten; it makes it a great deal clearer.  Actually it sounds as if the setup for your two computers is the same as mine, except your separation is vertical whereas mine is horizontal.  It makes it clear why you are using Proactive scripts; you don't want to descend to the basement, boot your backup server, and then ascend from the basement every time you need to run a backup. 

In my case the MacBook Pro I backup once a day is in a small room my former wife named the study, while the inherited Mac Pro I use as a backup server is in my bedroom.  I'm not so decrepit that I can't walk 40 feet into the bedroom when I want to boot my backup server, and in fact I usually run the six-days-a-week incremental backup while I'm brushing and flossing my teeth.  My backup server must be in a different room from my other computers, because I have hanging over me the danger of a massive leak from an apartment two floors above mine (the owner is a junior-grade "master of the universe", who has a wife who has insisted on major plumbing/HVAC enhancements, but who lacks the basic home-repairs knowledge to prevent occasional massive leaks from those enhancements).  My apartment is in a reinforced-concrete building completed in 1986, so it would have been ugly running Cat5 cable across the ceiling of two interior hallways to connect the study with the bedroom (and I didn't want to go underneath floors instead).  The next two paragraphs will explain why those facts are relevant to your problem.

The apartments in my building were built pre-wired with coax cable in every major room (along with four pairs of telephone wires).  Those wires were run under the floors and through walls, so starting in 1998 I disconnected the section of the coax cable running between the study and the bedroom from the Time Warner Cable TV feed and connected it to a pair of 10Base2 hubs.  In 2015 I upgraded these to MoCA adapters, but because of cost considerations these are MoCA 1.1 adapters with 175 Mbits/sec net throughput.  This means that part of my LAN involved in Retrospect backups is only capable of net speeds—1050MB/min allowing for 20% TCP/IP overhead—considerably less than the capabilities of the Cat5 cable in the rest of my LAN.

However, because the limiting factor in Retrospect LAN backups is the speed of traversal of multiple files in the client computer's file system (see the second and last posts in that thread), I couldn't get a net speed (backup, not counting MD5 compare) of more than about 350MB/min in yesterday's Recycle backup of my new 2016 (purchased open-box) MacBook Pro—see the last two posts in that thread.  The point is that, if you have chosen to connect your client with your backup server using a dedicated Cat6 cable because of backup speed considerations, you shouldn't have bothered.  Two weeks ago yesterday, while I was doing a Recycle backup of my older slower 2011 MacBook Pro (it died the following Tuesday), my friend DovidBenAvraham was easily able to look at Wikipedia articles using Firefox from my Mac Pro while the Retrospect backup server was running over the same LAN. 

If you have chosen to connect your client with your backup server using a dedicated Cat6 cable because of security considerations, then that's another matter that I can't help you with.  But otherwise my advice would be to ditch the dedicated Cat6 cable and port, the manual addresses, and the public key; just setup a LAN static IP address on the router for your client, and you'll be fine.


Edited by DavidHertzberg
Changed "effective" to "net" in 3rd and 4th prgfs.; bumped net backup speed in 4th prgf. to 350MB/min; it's 2 hallways; see last 2 posts linked in 4th prgf.
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