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LaunchCFMA and Stuck Processes

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Sat AM I woke and found my headless OSX 10.5.3 Server was not responsive to anything including ping though it appeared on and the ethernet light on the switch was illuminated. Forced a reboot and noticed that the failure seemed to occur after the nightly backup of the LAN by Retrospect Server (4 machines) and the backup period had ended. Now after rebooting, the machine goes through episodes of process getting "stuck" Using the "top -o cpu" command from another machine, I see the number of "stuck" processes climb from 0, 1 or 2 to 30 during periods of unresponsiveness. (Sometimes "top" becomes unresponsive.) When this happens, I see the first process to drop off the top of the list of CPU usage is LaunchCFMA. Then, when the machine becomes responsive, LaunchCFMA appears again. What should I do? I have no other Carbon apps running other than retrospect.


This AM I see Retrospect appears frozen. Killed the process from the finder (using Screen Sharing) but the cycle of unresponsiveness continues.


Not sure what the problem is. Disk Tools found no errors. Should I try uninstalling and see if the problem resolves.

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I am not sure if this makes a difference gut here it is:


Mini 2.0 Ghz 2GB Ram MacOSX 10.5.3, backed up to a USB 2.0 500 GB hard drive, Retrospect v 6.1.138 RDU I am not sure what to tell you about host adapter. I do not know where to get the firmware info.

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Mini 2.0 Ghz 2GB Ram MacOSX 10.5.3, backed up to a USB 2.0 500 GB hard drive,


Ok, a little at a time might work too...


- What Type of Backup Set are you using with the external USB hard drive? Is it a File Backup Set? Is it a Removable Disk Backup Set?


- What is the make/model of the USB drive?

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I am using a File back up set and it is a WD 500GB drive. It is the second time I have used this drive to back up my network (I filled it once and I started recycling it about a month ago). The other WD 500GB drive was filled about a month ago.


I just discovered this interesting tidbit. In Console I have noticed;


6/17/08 5:20:33 PM DirectoryService27 Potential VM growth in DirectoryService since client PID: 0, has 850 open references when the warning limit is 500.


The number of open references have been gradually climbing. I rebooted the server without starting retrospect this time and it appears to be working fine and no (or minimal) "stuck" processes in top and no VM growth messages in Console. Also, Interestingly, the last times I rebooted the machine, I first noted the delayed response when I started retrospect.


I have used this configuration of Retrospect with these external USBs for about a year without problems. This only started within minutes of finishing a network backup on Sat AM when I woke to an unresponsive machine. SystemAdmin showed no records of network or CPU use during the time after Retrospect backup and when I forced a reboot.


Darn. I take that back. I am still getting stuck processes....

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Interestingly, this morning when I woke, I found Retrospect had launched twice when the nightly back-up time started. (There were two instances of it in the drawer) and multiple statements in the log file stating:


Can't add to backup set My Book: The catalog is locked.


One of the 4 back-ups had succeeded after multiple failed attempts to write to the catalog.


Retrospect version 6.1.138 on 2GHz Intel Mini OSX Server 10.5.3

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I wonder if I should delete RetroRun


No, you should not. It's a binary that lives within the Retrospect application package. Not the sort of thing you should be messing about with. If yo don't want RetroRun to be alive when Retrospect is not running, you can disable it in the program's preferences.


The double-launch issue is something different, a long standing bug that hits some folks and not others. EMC has addressed it in updates, but it still bites sometimes.


You need to be working on an up-to-date system; that means the most current RDU.

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I went into Retrospect => Special => Preferences => Notification => and deselected "Automatically Launch Retrospect" disabled in the program's preferences and have rebooted the machine.


I should also mention that I had Retro Driver Update I will try installing the new driver.


What is interesting, I still have both RetroRun and RetroRunSL showing up in top. So far (5 minutes into it) no stuck processes. Retrospect started, Retro Driver Update installed and still no stuck processes. Guess I will wait and see. More later.

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Neither RetroRun nor RetroRunSL are Carbon applications; they're unix programs. LaunchCFMA is not used to get them to run, so I'm not sure how/why you think that they might have an effect on the symptoms you're experiencing.


RetroRun will always launch when Retrospect launches; with your preferences set the way you have them, it will die when the program quits.


RetroRunSL, on the other hand, might be launching on system startup if it's included in /Library/Preferences/com.apple.SystemLoginItems.plist


I'm not sure if RetroRunSL is even necessary for normal operation (but I could be wrong; it might be critical); I'd suggest that it would be safe to kill it and see how things behave (although I'm not suggesting that I think it will effect LaunchCFMApp).


Your reports of VM and DirectoryService is interesting, but you have continued to avoid providing a completely thorough description of your configuration, so it's impossible for readers to draw a conclusion. For example, you have written "...I have used this drive to back up my network..." but we don't really know what your Sources are. How are you utilizing your network?

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I will do my best to describe the network. LAN with 5 Macs total. Mixture of ethernet and wireless. All macs and the airport base station have a fixed 192.168.1.x IP. Airport base is in bridge mode. Server is also local DNS, a web server, mailserver and an OpenDirectory master. AFP and Firewall are enabled. No changes had occurred in the configuration of the network for weeks. Server logs in automatically to a user account on reboot to allow Retrospect to run. Retrospect was set to autolaunch to back up the hard disks on each of the machine for a certain interval over night. Now the autolaunch is disabled. Server connects to the Internet via DSL with a fixed IP. Server is in the DMZ. No unusual network activity. No entries in the system log that I can find of relevance when the machine experiences stuck processes.


I believe the VM growth was a red herring. That apparently is a known issue on the Apple forum and was not the cause. LaunchCFMA is no longer visible in the list of processes (at least of the ones I can see sorted by CPU utilization) so I do not think it is the issue either. I would change the title of this post if I could.


I began to suspect RetroRun and RetroRunSL may be the cause because of other posts I read on this forum. Just guessing. Both these processes show in "top" after rebooting the machine without ever launching Retrospect. I see that RetroRunSL is in the SystemLoginItems.plist. I would like to try eliminating that to see if it improves things. Can I just delete that file?


It is frustrating to work on a machine where it will not respond to me for minutes at a time and I have to wait. Aargh!



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Well, looks like there were more herrings out there than I thought. Decided to go into my day job late and spend more energy tackling this. Disconnected the USB drives and checked them with a separate Mac, but problem still occurred. Disconnected the server from the network, issue still occurred. Turned off all services and poked around. Though mailq showed nothing, ServerAdmin showed something of 0 size in the queue. Deleted it. Now, as I add services back, things seem to be running fine. Not sure if that was it but so far all is well.


Thanks for your help.

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we don't really know what your Sources are

And we still don't.


What has been provided:


- Mini 2.0 Ghz 2GB Ram MacOSX 10.5.3 (Server?)

- Retrospect v 6.1.138 RDU (apologies for one of my posts about an "up-to-date system." I was confusing your post with another who was using no RDU at all)

- Server acts as (at least) web server and mail server

- Source(s): [color:orange]Unknown[/color] other then "4 machines." Retrospect OS X Clients? Client software version?

- Destination(s): File Backup Set(s) stored on external USB 2 drives.


RetroRun is launched by a shell script in /Library/StartupItems/RetroRun/

If you've disabled Auto-Launch in the Retrospect preferences, that script will not be there, and RetroRun will not launch on startup.


As I noted earlier, RetroRunSL is launched by a different (depreciated under Leopard) method. If you don't need/want Retrospect to auto-launch on a schedule, you don't need RetroRun and I doubt that you need RetroRunSL (afaik, which is not far).


> This AM I see Retrospect appears frozen...


2 Gigabytes of RAM for Mail Server, Web Server and Retrospect scanning and matching multiple Sources is pretty slim. And in normal use, there are periods of time where Retrospect does not give much of any feedback, and can be listed by OS tools (such as Activity Monitor) as unresponsive.


I'm really not clear about why you think Retrospect is misbehaving (other then the double-auto-launch, which is a painfully frustrating software defect). Are you getting backups?

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Pardon my ignorance, but I did not know what you meant by sources. Each device has Retrospect Client 6.1.130.


As of this point, I do not believe it is retrospect, so thanks for attempting to help. I apologize for being ignorant of what you were asking and what you needed to know.


I still do not understand why RetruRun is still showing as using processor cycies after turning off autolaunch and rebooting the machine. Could it be that this Server was upbraded and migrated over the years from 10.3.x to 10.5.x so some old processes may still be resident? At this point, I doubt it matters.

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Look in /Library/StartupItems/ and see if there is a "RetroRun" folder there, with anything in it.



There was an item in there so I removed it this morning.


Since I had concluded that retrospect was not the problem, I had turned autolaunch on again last night. I awoke this AM to find two copies of Retrospect running and both attempting the automatic back up. I took screen shots if it would be of value. We will see if things improve now that RetroRun is no longer in the Startupitems. Thanks again for your help.

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Since I had concluded that retrospect was not the problem, I had turned autolaunch on again last night


With the preferences set to auto-launch, Retrospect will re-populate the StartupItems folder. So the item you removed will likely be there again now.


The issue of the double-launch should be tracked in its own thread, since it's a different problem.



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