Jump to content

REPOST: ASPI versus Passthrough


Recommended Posts





I have two issues:




1) What is the keyboard shortcut for gaining access to the hidden configuration dialog in Retrospect Desktop 5.11? I want DR to use SPTI and not ASPI for SCSI access on Windows 2000 (SP2), but other software on my PC requires the full Adaptec ASPI32 drivers (4.60, 1021) to be installed.




The reason for this preference for the passthrough drivers is that I have an external tape drive (LaCie/Sony AIT2) which I do not leave powered on all the time. The device has a native W2K PnP driver installed; you can switch the device on, go into the SCSI card's settings in the Device Manager, rescan the SCSI bus, and the PnP driver starts up, inserting the tape drive into the set of devices running on that SCSI card, and Retrospect will also recognize it when rescanning the bus. No rebooting required! However, under ASPI the device must be powered on and respond to W2K boot-up SCSI chain scans; once W2K boots up and detects the presence of the drive, so does the ASPI driver: you can then turn off the device until actually needed. But you *must* remember to reboot with the device powered up, or else reboot to do backups. Annoying!




This tape drive, along with two internal CD-R/Ws (one is a bootable drive), is connected to an "old" ASUS/Symbios 875 Ultra SCSI-2 card. I also have an even older Adaptec 2940 (narrow SCSI-2, PCI) with an Agfa scanner attached; interestingly enough, the Agfa scanner seems to work in a PnP fashion with or without Adaptec ASPI installed (the Agfa TWAIN driver installs its own passthrough driver).




I also have the impression that peak performance is improved using the passthrough drivers: on a backup the average can be around 350MB/minute (occasionally 400MB/minute with highly compressible files), while the ASPI drivers' averages are generally 50-100MB/minute less (measured over backup sets of 10GB... if I can believe the statistics in the retrospect backup logs).




Are there any disadvantages using the passthrough drivers? I've always tended to do my backups unattended, with no one logged into the PC, so the Retrospect script always executes in the privileged "Local system" context. This avoids the curious Retrospect behaviour of a scheduled backup session always appearing on the desktop of any logged-on user; since my usual working account does not have backup/restore privileges, I'm fearful that the backup session would fail for files for which I don't have sufficient privileges. When will Windows Retrospect function as a *real* Windows service daemon?




What has changed in version 5.6 regarding these points? Eventually I will probably upgrade, but not until I know that 3rd party boot drivers are correctly picked up by the disaster recovery CD creation process (as of last Monday's trial version, they were not).




2) Earlier this week I had the second occasion to use DR 5.11 emergency system recovery procedures to restore my system after performing some hardware maintenance tasks on the same configuration as above. There were a couple of problems:




a) I was installing to identical hardware, but with freshly low-level formatted, blank disks. I followed the following procedure: boot the installation off the Windows 2K CD-ROM and complete the first stage of the installation; boot off the CD-ROM a second time and install Windows 2K to a different directory (C:\RECOVERY). Complete this installation, install Retrospect 5.11 (no ASPI) in a location within the windows temporary installation (C:\RECOVERY\DANTZ), create a Windows 2K user account with Admin privileges and a name different from any account name in the system backup you want to restore, and log on to that new account to restore the entire disk (all files, NTFS permissions, and the system state). This procedure worked perfectly, EXCEPT that at the end, when all files had been restored, Retrospect appeared to have hung--so I killed it, and rebooted into the restored system. The Dantz system required me to reboot once more.




B) Once back in the restored system, I noticed that NTFS permissions had not been restored to the C:\WINNT directory and subdirectories, while C:\Program Files and C:\Documents and Settings seemed to be O.K., and the system as a whole seems to be working normally (initial impressions).




Do you have any past customers reporting Retrospect hanging and/or not restoring NTFS permissions on a system restoration procedure?




Anyway, keep up the work on this excellent product, and sorry for this very long note.






Michel Joly de Lotbinière







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...