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after automatic backup os is unresponsive


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hello;

 

I (try to) use retrospect 6.1.126 on a g5 (sn CK446HGAS8H) with 2.5G memory doing a duplicate of the startup volume (10.4.7 on a Maxtor 6Y080M0) to an external firewire drive (a WDC WD25 00JB-22REA0 v 20.0 in a lacie "250 GB HD LaCie d2 Hard Drive Extreme ex FW-800/FW-400/USB-2" enclosure), both with softraid 3.5.1 drivers. the machine has two monitors (old eizo crt).

 

I've been using this maching since july. retrospect is set to perform an automatic duplicate of the boot volume to the external drive once a week. Usually the machine is asleep. So far, according to the log, the backup has run about a dozen times. The logs note only errors about changed file status or files which were deleted during the backup. On three occasions, however, most recently this morning, it has been impossible to log into the machine after the backup has run. This is not a good percentage. According to the log, the backup has completed and retrospect has exited. This morning, it "exited" about six hours before the attempt to log in.

 

The failure mode is that there is either a black screen, or a login dialog, both with a spinning circus ball, but even with the dialog, it is not possible to type the password. Sometimes, when the mouse does move, the movement is sporadic and halting.

 

It has been possible to let the machine go back to sleep and wake it up again, but the subsequent behavior was unchanged.

 

Other than these failures, the machine has not crashed since july

 

Has anyone else seen this failure mode.

Can anyone explain at least what is going on, if not how to correct it.

 

thanks,

...

 

ps. i've searched for "freeze" and "wake", but didn't find anything. if there's a history, please just point me to it.

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1- Retrospect can not and does not wake a sleeping Macintosh. Don't expect a schduled script to do that.

 

2- "Duplicate" is not "Backup." They are different operations in Retrospect.

 

3- What version of the Retrospect RDU is loading along with the program?

 

4- When you are unable to log in at the console, are you able to SSH in from another machine?

 

5- Why are you using SoftRAID drivers on single physical drives?

 

5- If you yank the FireWire cable that connects the LaCie, does the machine come back?

 

6- Have you inspected your System and/or Console logs?

 

7- How much free space do you have on your boot volume?

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Quote:

1- Retrospect can not and does not wake a sleeping Macintosh. Don't expect a schduled script to do that.

 


 

my issue does not concern retrospect waking a sleeping macintosh.

my reference to sleep was intended only to explain that, although retrospect is set to run every weekend, it has run only about a dozen times since july.

i do not know whether the machine was asleep when i tried to log in. i don't always look for the throbbing power light. (note also [4].)

 

Quote:

2- "Duplicate" is not "Backup." They are different operations in Retrospect.

 


 

yes, you are correct. i changed the subject line.

 

Quote:

3- What version of the Retrospect RDU is loading along with the program?

 


the installation was the original 6.1.126, in which there was no rdu.

i have now installed the 6.1.9.102 rdu.

 

Quote:

4- When you are unable to log in at the console, are you able to SSH in from another machine?

 


 

the mac in question was not configured to allow it. i will consider that.

 

Quote:

5- Why are you using SoftRAID drivers on single physical drives?

 


 

yup. i neglected that. the boot volume is raided with another sata drive. a SAMSUNG SP2504C.

the external disk also has a mirrored volume, but not the target volume for the duplicate.

 

Quote:

[6]- If you yank the FireWire cable that connects the LaCie, does the machine come back?

 


 

after things i have read about older versions of os x trashing disks which were not dismounted properly, i would hesitate to do that. should the problem recur, if i can be sure i get the system to sleep, i'll try it.

 

Quote:

[7]- Have you inspected your System and/or Console logs?

 


two things appear:

a. there is one line in the system log two minutes before retrospect completed:

 

Dec 9 06:50:14 yoda /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/Metadata.framework/Versions/A/Support/mdimportserver: TIFFAdvanceDirectory: tiff data provider: Error fetching directory link.\n

 

b. subsequent to this, but prior to the login attempt, a sequence of entries about a bad font appears. the last entry in the sequence is about half an hour before i tried to login. each entry is of this sort:

 

Dec 9 08:35:39 yoda /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/ATS.framework/Support/ATSServer: ********* Bad Font Detected *********

Dec 9 08:35:39 yoda /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/ATS.framework/Support/ATSServer: Error while processing font:

Dec 9 08:35:39 yoda /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/ATS.framework/Support/ATSServer: Font ID = 1712339

Dec 9 08:35:39 yoda /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/ATS.framework/Support/ATSServer: in the font file:

Dec 9 08:35:39 yoda /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/ATS.framework/Support/ATSServer: "".

Dec 9 08:35:39 yoda /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/ATS.framework/Support/ATSServer: Remove this font file or replace it with a new version.

Dec 9 08:35:39 yoda /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/ATS.framework/Support/ATSServer: *************************************

 

i do not have logs as far back as july, but i do have one with similar entries - at about the same time as another retrospect run completed. sorry, i can't say that i was unable to log in after that, but there were other intervening retrospect runs after which there were no system log entries.

 

Quote:

[8]- How much free space do you have on your boot volume?

 


the WD has about 7G free. the mirror is a bit bigger.

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Your best bet to identify what's going on would be to log in via SSH and run top and/or other commands to check on what the system is doing while it's thrashing.

 

If Retrospect has Quit (Macintosh programs don't "exit") then the only thing it leaves running is retrorun, which has not been shown to cause this sort of thing.

 

The idea of yanking the FW cable would be for testing, knowing that the only volume on the physical drive is your Retrospect Duplicate Destination, which needs to work to have any value, and as such could risk getting temporarily hosed. Putting the machine to sleep first would negate most of the value of the test.

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