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Retrospect consuming CPU


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Hi,

 

I have Retrospect 6.1 running on an X-Serve. As soon as it launches the CPU lights on the front of the X-Serve all light up with the processor usage at around 97%. It stays like this until I either force-quit Retrospect or perform a restart.

 

Additionally, its not backing up when I log out, I was under the impression that it should?

 

How do other X-Server users get this to work, do they leave the machine in its logged-in state with Retrospect running?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Regards Alan

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I have Retrospect 6.1 running on an X-Serve. As soon as it launches the CPU lights on the front of the X-Serve all light up with the processor usage at around 97%. It stays like this until I either force-quit Retrospect or perform a restart.

 


While high processor usage is normal for Retrospect, your post seems to imply that the backup never starts when in this mode. That's not normal. We only see the high processor usage while Retrospect is doing its job (writing to tape, verifying, updating catalog).

 

We did have an issue where Retrospect would hang our Xserve when Retrospect did its device scan, and this was only resolved when we moved Retrospect's tape drives and autoloader to their own SCSI channel on our ATTO UL4D, separate from the SoftRAID mirror of the OS volume. I'm convinced that the problem was that something in Retrospect's device scan was causing a SCSI transaction to be dropped for the disk subsystem on the same channel. This may not be your problem, because you seem to indicate that you can force quit Retrospect, which is not the same hang mode we saw (our Xserve G5 appeared hung in a wait loop at elevated processor priority, causing all services to become unresponsive). Our Xserve G5 is headless, and our only access to Retrospect is via Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) over the network.

 

Quote:

Additionally, its not backing up when I log out, I was under the impression that it should?

 


Do you have automated backups scheduled? We've never seen this; our scheduled backups happen when the scripts say they should, Retrospect is normally not running and starts when the backup time is reached. Even though our Xserve is headless, there's never anyone logged in on the ARD console, and our scheduled backups work fine. Now there is an occasional (once every month or two) happening when Retrospect doesn't start when scheduled, seems to be caused by some corruption (for unknown reason) in the Retrospect preference files. Solution is (from another forum's thread):

- Quit Retrospect if it is running

- manually delete /Library/Preferences/Retrospect/retrorun

- manually delete /Library/Preferences/Retrospect/LaunchRetroHelper

- launch Retrospect, it will automatically recreate the missing files

- Quit Retrospect

 

Only other thing I could think of is that perhaps you have Retrospect's Schedule set to "Never". Have you checked that (Special > Preferences > Schedule) ?

 

Quote:

How do other X-Server users get this to work, do they leave the machine in its logged-in state with Retrospect running?

 


See above - no one is ever logged in to our server even via ARD except if we have to ARD over and do some Retrospect maintenance (change script times, etc.). Sure wish Retrospect had a client/server admin structure for remote admin, but that's a feature enhancement for a future version.

 

Russ

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Hi Russ,

 

Many thanks for your reply, very much appreciated.

 

My XServe is also headless and worse still its at a remote site, I haven't been able to set up remote access to it so have to make the 40 minute journey every time there is a problem.

 

I have a VXA-2 PacketLoader on Firewire, its the second one the first had self-test faults. The second had similar issues but was resolved with a replacement firewire 800 cable, its still picky about the correct sequence to turn it on.

 

I communicate with the server using VNC, I'm using the built-in Apple VNC server with VNCviewer, the combination seems to work OK.

 

The processor of the xserve was replaced because it would lock up completely, the fans would then start to roar and it wouldn't respond to any form of input, other than the power button.

 

So between a faulty VXA, xserve, firewire cable and the processor loading issue with Retrospect I haven't managed to get an unattended backup running. I have managed to write to the tape, the drives appear to work and I have been able to restore so I'm happy that the solution will work.

 

The biggest problem is that as soon as you start Retrospect manually it wants to start catching up with its scheduled backups, it appears that it doesn't do them whilst logged out.

 

If I open a VNC connection to my xserve I see the usual username and password log-in dialogue that you would see if you logged out of OSX. I'm starting to wonder whether Retrospect will self launch if I leave the VNC session by logging out completely since no user account is active for Retrospect to run in.

 

I will try your suggestions with regard to deleting the files etc and check that the preferences are set correctly.

 

Regards Alan.

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I'm starting to wonder whether Retrospect will self launch if I leave the VNC session by logging out completely since no user account is active for Retrospect to run in.

 


 

Don't.

 

Retrospect can launch, run and quit with no user logged in. You would see the Retrospect window(s) peaking out from behind the login window screen.

 

- Connect to the machine via SSH and check if the "retrorun" process is alive on the server. If it is, trash the retrorun file as suggested above. If it's not, check your preference settings.

 

Dave

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