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Retrospect stops working in the middle of a backup or verify session


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Hi,

 

I'm running Retrospect as a local utility for writing Video project archives to LTO3 tapes.

 

My system is a powermac G5 with OSX 10.5.1. The LTO drive is a Quantum half height attached by SCSI 320 to an ATTO UL4s Host adapter.

 

All of my firmware and drivers are up to date.

 

So... My manual backups tend to work. They were stopping in the middle until I started shutting down the computer and tape drive between sessions. This is a PITA but seems to function.

 

However, I am having difficulties verifying my tapes. It seems that Retrospect hangs up in the middle of a verify and becomes unresponsive. I have taken to restoring the portions after it hangs to make sure they are readable. This happens even after I completely restart the system and tape drive between backup and verify.

 

Last night, leaving a backup overnight I came back to find execution errors with the code 205. I have also seen code 102 at times.

 

It seems as though my SCSI buss is losing contact with Retrospect, although when this happens I can still see the tape drive in my system profile.

 

Lastly, I believe these problems began when we upgraded to Leopard. Is retrospect just not compatible with OSX 10.5? I've already downgraded to 10.5.1 from 10.5.5, Id really rather not go back to Tiger.

 

Any thoughts on making this system stable?

 

Thanks in advance for your time.

 

David

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My system is a powermac G5 with OSX 10.5.1. The LTO drive is a Quantum half height attached by SCSI 320 to an ATTO UL4s Host adapter.

 

All of my firmware and drivers are up to date.

 

...

 

Any thoughts on making this system stable?

And what would those versions be?

 

You haven't provided any version information as to:

 

(1) what version of Retrospect you are running,

 

(2) what version of Retrospect Driver Update (RDU) you are running,

 

(3) what version of ATTO firmware you are running, or

 

(4) what version of ATTO driver you are running.

 

Other people have reported similar problems with Retrospect and Leopard, but those problems were fixed by updating the ATTO firmware and driver. Also, these posts in these forums stay for years, and responses by us other users are not just to help you, but to help others as well with the same problem. Months from now, "are up to date" is meaningless as to version information.

 

ATTO has some firmware and driver updates that are specifically to address Leopard issues.

 

We aren't seeing issues with our UL4D in our Xserve G5 to our autoloader/tape, but we aren't on Leopard for other reasons.

 

We did see some issues during Retrospect's device scan on startup if other devices were on the same SCSI chain (something Retrospect was doing, perhaps causing a SCSI bus init, seemed to cause a RAID 1 member disk of our boot volume on the same SCSI chain to hang, perhaps because a transfer was being dropped?).

 

Do you have any other devices on the UL4S HBA other than your tape drive?

 

It's not clear why you downgraded from 10.5.5 to 10.5.1, and I'm not sure that was a good idea.

 

Russ

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OK,

 

To answer these questions:

 

Retrospect v. 6.1.230

Driver update v.6.1

ATTO driver version: 4.3.1

ATTO firmware flash: February 18, 2008

 

There is nothing else running on the SCSI host adapter. The adapter is properly terminated and I have tried replacing the cable.

 

We have also spent time on the phone with tech support from ATTO making sure our HBA drivers and firmware were correct. Additionaly, we sent our Quantum drive back to the manufacturer believing it could be faulty. They sent us a bran new one and we are observing the same problems.

 

I downgraded to 10.5.1 because the system was extremely unstable and I couldn't even get a single tape to backup. Now it seems to be at getting through tapes. I believe it has something to do with the earlier OS.

 

I think my next step would be to downgrade to Tiger, as I believe we had a working system before we went to Leopard. The system has nothing else on it so I guess it wouldn't hurt anything.

 

I am starting to call our backup machine "nemesis." :eyes:

 

I've tried going through the forums and everything that seemed like it might help has not yet worked.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Dave

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Retrospect v. 6.1.230

Driver update v.6.1

ATTO driver version: 4.3.1

ATTO firmware flash: February 18, 2008

Dave,

 

Not enough digits on the RDU version. Current version is 6.1.15.101:

RDU version history

Update download is here:

Retrospect Macintosh updates

 

You don't say how much RAM you have, so I assume you have at least 2 or 3 GB so that you aren't running into issues there.

 

Otherwise, seems like you are doing all the right things.

 

Before blowing things away and going back to ground zero, I'd suggest attaching an external boot volume, installing current Leopard update, Retrospect, RDU, ATTO driver on that, and seeing if that works.

 

If it doesn't, you know it's a hardware issue.

 

Russ

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RAM...That's an interesting thought. I only have 2 gigs. I've paired this machine down so as to be only for backups.

 

We've tried the same config on another machine with more RAM, so I think that may not be it.

 

I actually bit the bullet this morning and downgraded to Tiger (too much wasted time.) The machine is performing a catalog rebuild from a tape now (also was problematic) and then I'll try a verification. If it proves stable then I will have to deduce that Retrospect 6.1 with a quantum LTO3 and a G5 is not stable on Leopard and wait for the new version to come out of Beta.

 

Thanks again for your time and help.

 

Dave

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I only mentioned that because Retrospect uses a bunch of RAM and so does Leopard. Some people try to back up huge numbers of files with small RAM, and the catalog sort just can't happen in small RAM. Who knows where the bug is?

 

It's made worse if you are running on an Intel platform (you aren't, so this isn't the issue) because Retrospect on Intel runs emulated under Rosetta, which has its own huge RAM footprint. It's complicated by the fact that Retrospect 6.x uses the Carbon APIs rather than the Cocoa APIs, and there are some Apple bugs for Carbon code running under Rosetta (e.g., the reason that ACL syscalls break for Retrospect), and Apple doesn't seem to have any motivation to fix them (perhaps to force developers to move to Cocoa native code without Rosetta).

 

Our Xserve G5, on Tiger, has 2 GB of RAM, and has never seen these issues. If/when Retrospect 8 become stable and if/when some of the Open Directory / AFP issues with Leopard get fixed, we will update. Stability matters more to us than the latest bugs.

 

Russ

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  • 1 month later...

I have the same Problem for many years.

 

A long time ago we bought a Tandberg SDLT320 and an ATTO UL3S. We ran Retrospect on an OS X 10.3.x and whatever we did didn´t help. It backuped fine, then, when verify startet, at some point the tape started to rewind and wind forward for some minutes. After that nothing happend. The machine works well, but retropect did not do anything anymore. Logs suggested some kind of SCSI-disconnecting or losing connecting or whatever. Forgive me not being near the machine.

 

After a lot of trying this and that we inserted an ancient time Adaptec290something in the machine, used a sick bunch of adapters to connect the Ultra-Something-Fast Tape drive to that very old SCSI card - but it worked. When I come to work, the backup is done, and I do not care if it has taken 30 minutes or 8 hours. It´s just ready in the morning.

 

Years have past. In the meantime we tried again with an ATTO UL4S and an ATTO UL4D. We tried different cables. We tried ATTO-Drivers and „Plain Apple“ and a billion versions of Retrospect. We tried nearly a dozen machines. We upgraded the tape firmware. We tried Mac OS X 1.3.x, 10.4.x and 10.5.x. We upgraded the ATTO firmware to every single version ever existed. My hardware dealer, a very reliable company, tells me he has THAT configuration running on dozens of customers. We returned the drive. I changed speed of the ATTO card from maximum to minimum.

 

Nothing helped except the good old Adaptec card.

 

Now, after some years, some days ago the good old silver G4 broke and I tried to end that terrible state. I had a remaining G5 1,8GHz SingleCore, which I cannot put the Adaptec Card into. To old.

 

 

I installed 10.5.6 with all updates, brandnew. I installed the final Retrospect 6.x.something. I got the latest ATTO drivers and Firmware. I set up a backup without taking ANY single file from the old machine, no configs, nothing. In the meantime every single configuration of our infrastructure has changed, we have different servers, switches, OSses,… I will not report any version numbers here. We had them all.

 

…guess what?

 

Retrospect shows up the same problem I had 5(?) years ago and that´s exactly the same as yours. And now it´s mine again.

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A long time ago we bought a Tandberg SDLT320...

 

...We returned the drive.

 

...I installed 10.5.6 with all updates, brandnew. I installed the final Retrospect 6.x.something.

 

 

So is there _anything_ about the configuration today that is the same as it was 5 years ago? Is it still the same tape drive?

 

I will not report any version numbers here.

 

All rightie then...

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...I installed 10.5.6 with all updates, brandnew. I installed the final Retrospect 6.x.something.

 

 

So is there _anything_ about the configuration today that is the same as it was 5 years ago? Is it still the same tape drive?

 

Everything has changed down to every single screw.

 

 

I will not report any version numbers here.

 

All rightie then...

 

I don´t wanted to sound offensive. It´s just pretty useless. I could report any Version number of Retrospect, Drivers, Firmware, OS Number… since OS X exists here (10.3.x). It´s not like “…I have a problem since I upgraded from X to Y…“

 

Bye, Jörg

 

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So, you mention you have tried 3 ATTO HBA cards over the years. Are you using any of these in the G5, or is yet another new card?

 

Have you spoken directly with ATTO's tech support? I have found them to be very helpful. For example, we had an issue they helped diagnose which turned out to be caused by an error that had occurred when we were updating the flash memory.

 

You also want to be 100% sure it's not the cable. With those high-density connectors, it's pretty easy to accidentally bend one of the thin pins out of alignment or even to break it off.

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So, you mention you have tried 3 ATTO HBA cards over the years. Are you using any of these in the G5, or is yet another new card?

 

I am not sure if I understood the questin correctly (I am not native english)

 

Two of the cards did work with a raid system for years later with a bunch of PPC-Mac-Servers (Always dedicated, not at the same time for raid and tape. I never use the servers itself for the backup software).

The third card was bought some days ago especially for the tape drive.

 

Have you spoken directly with ATTO's tech support? I have found them to be very helpful. For example, we had an issue they helped diagnose which turned out to be caused by an error that had occurred when we were updating the flash memory.

 

No, I didn´t.

Support Departments haver never been helpful to me („Is it plugged in?“ „We do not support mac OS.“), good to hear it´s different with ATTO, so this will be an option.

 

You also want to be 100% sure it's not the cable. With those high-density connectors, it's pretty easy to accidentally bend one of the thin pins out of alignment or even to break it off.

 

Rule 1: If SCSI doesn´t work it´s the cable. ;-)

Yes, in the meantime I have an expensive pile of cables in the IT room. ;)

 

Bye, Jörg

 

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Hello everybody,

 

possibly I have solved it. Wow. Years of pain an tears possibly lead to a solution… ;-)

 

I kind of misunderstood the ATTO admin tool. There one can limit the speed of the SCSI connection. However, this setting doesn´t apply to the complete SCSI adapter but is done per device. So I always limited speed for device 1, but the tape is device 3…

 

The connection is normally made with speed „320 DT“. The Tape is there, it works, but then, on verifying, it will start to sleep. Somewhere.

I went down to speed „40“, and it worked. I dared to increase to „80“, and still works. It is working slowly, rewinding a lot and it took me some days to even need Tape 3, but it works.

 

Since my tape drive is labeled „Tandberg“, but according to some web postings is a Quantum drive internally I´d suggest to try *very* conservative settings in the ATTO admin tool. I have changed some parameters and have no access to the machine atm, but maybe it helps.

 

Bye,

Jörg

 

 

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