Jump to content

Retrospect Client causes freezes at sleep on PowerPC iMac


Recommended Posts

we have Retrospect Client running on a PowerPC iMac with OS X 10.4.10. if the iMac tries to sleep automatically with the Retrospect Client daemon running, the iMac will freeze. it took quite a while to figure this out and the problem is quite exasperating. I have turned off auto-sleep on the iMac but it continues to freeze every night before backups are supposed to begin. the only way to stop the freezes is to use the installer to uninstall Retrospect Client.

 

the desktop version is running on an Intel iMac with OS X 10.4.10.

 

does anyone know why Client is freezing the iMac when it tries to sleep? can the problem be fixed?

 

(both Desktop Retrospect and Retrospect Client are the latest versions as of today, 22 Sept 2007)

 

regards,

Gregory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

if the iMac tries to sleep automatically with the Retrospect Client daemon running, the iMac will freeze.

 


 

First, the Retrospect OS X Client unix deamon has a name. In an effort to confirm that you're looking at the correct thing, can you name that process?

 

Next, you report that the computer freezes when it sleeps on schedule; will it also freeze if you select "Sleep" from the Apple menu?

 

And third, what exactly is the "freeze" condition you report? Can you ping the machine? Can you log in via ssh? If the machine is asleep, does the light throb?

 

> I have turned off auto-sleep on the iMac but it continues to freeze every night

> before backups are supposed to begin.

 

Sigh.

 

If you turned off auto-sleep, then the iMac isn't going to sleep. So what you report at the top of this page isn't what's happening.

 

 

> does anyone know why Client is freezing the iMac when it tries to sleep?

 

 

You'll need to confirm that this is actually what's happening, before a solution can be offered.

 

 

> (both Desktop Retrospect and Retrospect Client are the latest versions as of today, 22 Sept 2007)

 

Why, if you're asking others for help, would you require those other users to cross-reference the date of your post against a list of release dates for the software involved? Wouldn't it be easier on readers for you to simply list the version of the software you are using?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thank you for responding, and for responding so quickly.

 

Quote:

First, the Retrospect OS X Client unix deamon has a name. In an effort to confirm that you're looking at the correct thing, can you name that process?

 


not immediately. after weeks of trying to pinpoint the problem including removing/exchanging RAM modules, complete reinstalls of the OS, etc, I finally discovered that if I uninstalled Retrospect Client using the Installer to do so, the freezes would stop. manually launching Retrospect Client without installing the daemon via the Installer did not lead to freezes although without the daemon, I would need to manually launch Retrospect Client every time I wanted to begin a backup; not convenient.

 

 

Quote:

Next, you report that the computer freezes when it sleeps on schedule; will it also freeze if you select "Sleep" from the Apple menu?

 


if the computer Energy Saver preference is set to sleep the iMac after x minutes of inactivity and the computer tries to sleep as a consequence, it will freeze. if the iMac is put to sleep manually by selecting Sleep from the Apple menu, it will not freeze. additionally, using remote Apple Events to instruct the iMac to sleep (via Application "Finder") will also successfully sleep the iMac.

 

 

Quote:

And third, what exactly is the "freeze" condition you report? Can you ping the machine? Can you log in via ssh? If the machine is asleep, does the light throb?

 


I haven't tried pinging it after freezing. I'll try tonight after it's nightly freeze. nor have I tried to log in via ssh.

 

the machine doesn't get to the actual sleep stage so the light doesn't throb. the iMac's screen is frozen with the screen's appearance at the time of the freeze. the mouse doesn't move. Retrospect cannot detect the iMac on the network. any combination of keyboard presses has no affect on the iMac. the only action possible is a force shutdown.

 

 

Quote:

If you turned off auto-sleep, then the iMac isn't going to sleep. So what you report at the top of this page isn't what's happening.

 


true. there are two things happening: (i) if auto-sleep is turned on, the iMac will freeze at the point it tries to sleep, (ii) the iMac is currently scheduled to wake from sleep nightly at 1.55am in preparation for the backup but it freezes soon after. the Retrospect log indicates that Retrospect is unable to detect the iMac when it first tries to locate the iMac at around 2.20am. I am not sure why the iMac is freezing although it now occurs to me that even though perhaps illogical, if Retrospect Client is in some way causing the iMac to freeze whenever the iMac tries to automatically sleep, then it might also be causing the iMac to freeze just after automatically waking. this also means that if I can script a wake-on-lan call to the iMac, I might be able to avoid the freezes altogether. (does anyone have an AppleScript version of the wake-on-lan perl/python script?)

 

 

Quote:

Why, if you're asking others for help, would you require those other users to cross-reference the date of your post against a list of release dates for the software involved? Wouldn't it be easier on readers for you to simply list the version of the software you are using?

 


a fair comment.

 

Retrospect Desktop 6.1.126

Retrospect Driver Update 6.1.11.101

Retrospect Client 6.1.130

 

regards,

Gregory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi.

 

I found an osax (XWOL by Jean-Baptiste LE STANG) that can let me wake up the offending iMac from within AppleScript so I can now script the iMac to wake and sleep from within the Retrospect Event Handler:

 

Code:


on RetrospectStart given autoLaunchBoolean:autolaunched

if autolaunched then

-- wake up the iMac

wake on lan "00:xx:xx:xx:xx:b6" -- the iMac's MAC address

end if

end RetrospectStart

 

on scriptEnd given scriptName:theScript, scriptErrorMessage:theScriptErrorMessage, errorCount:theErrorCount

if theScript is "the last script to back up the iMac" then

-- put the iMac to sleep

tell application "finder" of machine "eppc://user:password@the-iMac.local"

using terms from application "Finder"

sleep

end using terms from

end tell

end if

end scriptEnd

 

on RetrospectQuit()

-- quit the Retrospect Event Handler

quit

end RetrospectQuit


 

NOTE. weird: the routine to put the iMac to sleep will not work from within the RetrospectQuit() handler.

 

hopefully, this will allow Retrospect to backup the iMac tonight, automatically waking and sleeping the iMac without a freeze.

 

regards,

Gregory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

...Manually launching Retrospect Client without installing the daemon via the Installer did not lead to freezes although without the daemon, I would need to manually launch Retrospect Client every time I wanted to begin a backup; not convenient.

 


 

This is simply not how the Retrospect OS X Client software works.

 

While the unix daemon binary resides inside the client applicaton bundle, simply launching the application has no effect on the daemon. It takes other actions to start the process.

 

So, invoking Tech Support Univeral Rule #1-a ("Users omit critical information"), I'm going to question exactly what you have done in regards to the client software.

 

> there are two things happening.

 

Are there? You have reported that you have configured the machine not to sleep, which would also mean that the machine does not wake. Yet even with that configuration, you reported that the machine froze.

 

With the information presented so far, I would say that either sleep is a red herring, or the steps provided so far have been misleading or inaccurate.

 

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi Dave.

 

again, many thanks for your input.

 

Quote:

While the unix daemon binary resides inside the client applicaton bundle, simply launching the application has no effect on the daemon. It takes other actions to start the process.

 


if I use the installer to install Retrospect Client and restart, Retrospect Desktop can see Retrospect Client and back up the iMac. however, the freezes begin every time the iMac wants to automatically sleep (or wake). to get around this, I had to turn off auto-sleep.

 

if I remove Retrospect Client using the installer and then simply copy Retrospect Client from another mac back to the iMac in question, Retrospect Desktop will not see Retrospect Client unless I manually launch Retrospect Client before the backup begins, hence my reference to a daemon. I'm not an expert on daemons but I am certain that if:

 

Client is installed by the installer,

- Retrospect Desktop can see and back up the iMac,

- the iMac freezes at any attempt to automatically sleep (or wake)

 

Client is installed by copying across from another Mac,

- Retrospect Desktop can not see or backup the iMac until Client is manually launched,

- the iMac will not freeze when attempting to automatically sleep.

 

 

Quote:

Are there (two things happening)? You have reported that you have configured the machine not to sleep, which would also mean that the machine does not wake. Yet even with that configuration, you reported that the machine froze.

 


an iMac can be configured to not automatically sleep while automatically waking. in Energy Saver, the iMac was configured to Never automatically sleep. also in Energy Saver in the Schedule section, the iMac was configured to automatically wake from sleep every morning at 1.55am. the iMac would be asleep at that time if the family members who had used the iMac during the day had manually put the iMac to sleep (now normal practice).

 

Quote:

With the information presented so far, I would say that either sleep is a red herring, or the steps provided so far have been misleading or inaccurate.

 


it's very complicated and took a very long time to pinpoint the problem. it was only after doing a complete reinstall of the system that also reset the /Library directory (I normally retain the user-installed files found in /Library) that I noticed that the freezing stopped. it stopped until I reinstalled Retrospect Client via the installer.

 

it is possible that there's a hardware element involved here but I have no way to test for it. is the power management chip involved in automatic sleep/wake?

 

regards,

Gregory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

if I remove Retrospect Client using the installer and then simply copy Retrospect Client from another mac back to the iMac in question, Retrospect Desktop will not see Retrospect Client unless I manually launch Retrospect Client before the backup begins

 


 

Because you continue to use terms loosely, I'll again promt you for the exact meaning you intend to convey with the words you are using.

 

When you say "manually launch Retrospect Client," what exactly do you mean?

 

If you drag copy the Retrospect Client application package via AppleShare from one Mac (where it was installed with the installer) to another, launching the resulting copy will result in an error dialog alerting you to the fact that the client does not have the root permissions, and will not launch.

 

As such, any report of copying this software in this manner that goes on to suggest that the software runs successfully causes me to doubt the accuracy of the entire report.

 

Add to that the continuing addition of relevant facts with each new post (now we learn that the machine is put to sleep manually) makes it impossible for readers to know what's occurring at your end.

 

When you write:

 

"the iMac is currently scheduled to wake from sleep nightly at 1.55am in preparation for the backup but it freezes soon after..."

 

_How_ soon after? How do you know? Can you see the clock?

 

> it's very complicated and took a very long time to pinpoint the problem

 

This sounds a bit condescending, but perhaps that's just my frustration with the thread. Trust us to be able to understand the complexities of how the software usually works, but _only_ if you provide clean, accurate and understandable steps that are being taken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

Because you continue to use terms loosely, I'll again promt you for the exact meaning you intend to convey with the words you are using. When you say "manually launch Retrospect Client," what exactly do you mean?

 


double-click Retrospect Client to launch it.

 

 

Quote:

If you drag copy the Retrospect Client application package via AppleShare from one Mac (where it was installed with the installer) to another, launching the resulting copy will result in an error dialog alerting you to the fact that the client does not have the root permissions, and will not launch.

 


excellent observation. a quick trial here with a third Mac proves that you're spot on.

 

pinpointing the source of the freezes took many weeks of experimentation. Retrospect Client was not responding to Retrospect Desktop when the freezes were not happening, and it was responding to Retrospect Desktop when the freezes were occurring. since copying Retrospect Client via AppleShare will not result in a usable application, I can think of two possibilities based on my dimming memories of the extended experimentation period: either (i) a version of Retrospect Client was being used which did not auto-launch at startup (a documented bug) and hence only responded to Retrospect Desktop when manually launched, and didn't lead to the iMac freezes, or (ii) installing Retrospect Client installs more than just the application file, something else that allows it to auto-launch at startup, something else which was disabled/erased by one of my trouble-shooting system reinstalls.

 

 

Quote:

As such, any report of copying this software in this manner that goes on to suggest that the software runs successfully causes me to doubt the accuracy of the entire report.

 


I apologise for being so shoddy in my reporting. what else would you like to know?

 

 

Quote:

_How_ soon after? How do you know? Can you see the clock?

 


I know because the iMac is frozen in the morning when I get up. no, I can't see the clock. I can approximate the time because I know the iMac tries to wake up at 1.55am but Retrospect Desktop fails to detect the iMac at 2.15am according to its log.

 

 

Quote:

This sounds a bit condescending, but perhaps that's just my frustration with the thread. Trust us to be able to understand the complexities of how the software usually works, but _only_ if you provide clean, accurate and understandable steps that are being taken.

 


I'll try.

 

if Retrospect Client is clashing with something else in the system leading to the freezes, how could I identify the other offender? in which log, although I suspect that iMac wouldn't have time to write to the log before freezing. again, if you've not heard of another instance of this kind of problem, perhaps something is happening in the Power Management chip that's clashing with Retrospect Client. just a possibility.

 

for now though, I've successfully scripted Retrospect Event Handler to wake the iMac before backing up and put it to sleep after the last script has completed. no more freezes ;-)

 

on a side note, my respect for EMC/Dantz is steadily decreasing. Retrospect on Windows continues to get upgraded while Retrospect on Mac is left to rot. we are promised upgrades but nothing happens. there are significant problems with Retrospect's work flow where DVD backups are concerned, problems that I described in detail 2 or 3 years ago. I'd also like to see an Intel Binary version of the application. I'd like to see it work faster than it is if a binary base would enable it to do so. the only reasons I'm currently using Retrospect are because I've used it for many years, and it seems to be the only backup application that backs up network Macs without mounting them first.

 

take care Dave.

 

regards,

Gregory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> either (i) a version of Retrospect Client was being used which did not auto-launch at startup (a documented bug)

 

There is no such bug with the Retrospect OS X Client software. Unlike the method employed to auto-launch the Retrospect application in advance of a pending script, the system calls to launch pitond (the client daemon) is well baked and solid when used as directed.

 

> and hence only responded to Retrospect Desktop when manually launched,

 

If all you do is "double-click Retrospect Client to launch it," then the client process will not start. That's what the "on" and "off" radio buttons in the client application main window are for. After 5 posts on the subject, it's the omission of any mention of these buttons that keeps my skepticism high.

 

> and didn't lead to the iMac freezes,

 

Nor would it lead to any backups.

 

 

or (ii) installing Retrospect Client installs more than just the application file, something else that allows it to auto-launch at startup, something else which was disabled/erased by one of my trouble-shooting system reinstalls.

 

Of _course_ there is something installed that gets the process to start at system startup time. Programs don't just launch themselves without some method to do so.

 

For OS X, Apple provides /Library/StartupItems/ for any third party developer who wants to launch anything when the computer boots. Retrospect puts a very simple shell script there, which points the operating system to the pitond binary file located inside the Retrospect Client application bundle.

 

There might be more modern ways for developers to do things (launchd was introduced well after Dantz made the choices it did for this software) but as long as you don't change the location of the software that the shell script expects, pitond will launch when the computer boots.

 

> I know the iMac tries to wake up at 1.55am but Retrospect Desktop fails

> to detect the iMac at 2.15am according to its log.

 

And here's where the logic breaks down. What you _know_ is that the machine is not responding at 2.15 am. But you have no idea what the machine was might have been "trying" to do at 1:55 am. It's entirely possible that by 1:55 am, the machine was already frozen.

 

I have one Intel machine on our network with the client software installed, and have scheduled a wake time in the future. I have just put that machine to sleep manually, and will check on it later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gregory,

 

This thread is a bit confused, so I'm not sure what is happening, but you did arrive at a clever solution. FYI, I've got a network of iMacs backed up from our Xserve, and I've never seen the problem you describe in years of operation since 1992 (then with Retrospect running on ASIP server, now on Xserve, then with Mac OS 7,8,9 clients, now with Mac OS 10.4 clients). On one of them, the user would try to be "helpful" after logging out, and would put the computer to sleep, but I never saw it cause a hang of the Retrospect client (which did then, and still does, autolaunch at boot); it would just cause the backup to be missed. I solved that problem by having the energy saver wake the client up a few minutes before its scheduled backup.

 

I do wonder, though, whether your WOL solution still might not work, if the issues are as you say they are, if Retrospect takes a long time getting to that computer after start - it can take many hours for our server to walk our network and do the backup. There is another similar solution posted by another user a while back:

Sending Magic Packet to wake up clients

That solution used separate scripts, one for each client, matched each script on its launch, and woke up the appropriate client.

 

Quote:

(Retrospect) seems to be the only backup application that backs up network Macs without mounting them first.

 


Not true. BRU is an example, and the various enterprise backup solutions also use client applications and don't require mounting either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On an Intel CoreDuo Mini (OS X 10.4.8), Retrospect OS X Client 6.1.130 (ethernet network) exhibits no conflict with the Energy Saver wake cycle of a sleeping Macintosh.

 

Steps:

- Restart Macintosh

- Confirm Retrospect Client Status as "Ready"

- Schedule Energy Saver to Wake at a time in the Future

- Manually sleep the Macintosh

- Observe the machine wake up at the expected time

 

 

If you can provide other steps that exhibit a problem I'd be happy to test them on this system.

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave, I'll be the first to admit that this is a confused thread, but your test didn't seem to test the problem statement of the original poster because you tested with a different architecture. You tested with:

Quote:

On an
Intel CoreDuo
Mini (OS X 10.4.8)

 


The original poster's issue was with PowerPC iMacs:

 

Quote:

we have Retrospect Client running on a
PowerPC
iMac with OS X 10.4.10.

 


That's why I reported our results with PowerPC iMacs.

 

Russ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Groan; you're right, Russ.

 

Given that reminder, I'm even less inclinded to believe that this is anything at all to do with the client software, as pitond is pretty well baked on PPC (I was willing to entertain the possibility that this could be some sort of Rosetta induced problem).

 

There's something missing from the user's reports, to be sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

There's something missing from the user's reports, to be sure.

 


there was a time many years ago when bad RAM caused a problem which took me several days of intensive testing to narrow down. both Russ and yourself have seemingly never seen this problem before and it's obviously freaking you out. I'm therefore inclined to suspect that the Power Manager circuits in the iMac have changed in some way so that with Retrospect Client present, it freezes the iMac whenever trying to automatically sleep/wake (something which a Power Manager reset does not correct by the way).

 

my Retrospect Event Handler script is now working (the Wake-on-LAN osax works like a dream) and totally negates any automatic wake/sleep on the said iMac and everything is working well. that said, I think I'll leave it at that.

 

thank you for your efforts Dave.

 

take care,

Gregory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

I'm therefore inclined to suspect that the Power Manager circuits in the iMac have changed in some way so that with Retrospect Client present, it freezes the iMac whenever trying to automatically sleep/wake

 


 

If this were happening with some new machine that Apple had just introduced, there might be some reason to suspect hardware. But given that Apple has been shipping PowerPC based iMacs for 8 years, and this is the only report of its kind here on the Forum, I'm not inclined to view it as a software defect. Add the scattered nature of the reports, and happy to know that you've found a way to get things working.

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

BRU is an example… don't require mounting either.

 


hoping that someone had written an OS X backup app with the features I hope for, I downloaded and installed BRU. it took a little while for me to get it up and running but that's to be expected with any new software. however, despite the fact that Retrospect hasn't been updated for eons, Retrospect is still superior in many ways.

  • BRU doesn't have file filtering capabilities. even the .trash directory was getting backed up.

     

  • BRU does not have the ability to back up separately (and on schedule) to multiple hard drives although I understand that BRU was written with tape backups in mind.

     

  • BRU seems much quicker than Retrospect. it had backed up 2GB of data in just over a minute, but without the other features that Retrospect has provided us with for so many years, BRU is not worth using.

to be frank, Retrospect is still the best backup app out there, at least for networked Macs. it's just upsetting that the application for so long hasn't been updated to iron out the few bugs it still has, to revamp and improve the UI, to improve the work flow where applicable (it's not possible to re-link a client after the client software has been reinstalled; Retrospect reports a duplicate client id error and requires that you delete/re-configure the client and reconfigure all related backup sets) and to take full advantage of the current architecture of Apple's computers. I guess the Mac market doesn't matter to EMC.

 

if we're lucky, EMC is simply waiting until Leopard is released before releasing a brand new knock-your-socks-off upgrade of Retrospect for OS X.

 

regards,

Gregory

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.

Guest
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.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...