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General Regular Backup Failures

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I use Retrospect 7.5 (Single Server, SQL Agent, Exchange Agent).

It regularly breaks down with one of the following:

1. Backup Set Format Inconsistency (x 1000s)

2. Can't write to file/can't access network volume/volume doesn't exist (which is not true...)

3. Request for new (disk) media when there is 200GB+ available to it.

4. Catalog File damaged


It happens so regularly (2 times a week at least), that I'm at the point of giving up with retrospect.

But before I take this drastic action I'm wondering if its worth buying a new tape drive. The one I have is 4 years old now and has been used heavily. Could a bad tape drive cause all of teh above problems?



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Is there a reason why you do not update Retrospect to the latest version (now 7.6.123)?


Breaking down your errors (by their numbers):

1) Could be tape device related.

2) Could be permission related (so might be a user setup problem).

3) A Disk Backup Set can be limited to a certain fixed size/percentage. Thus leaving room on the storage device (which is a good thing as it is never a good idea to fill up your disk to the max). Check your Backup Set Member settings.

4) Where do you store your catalogs?


Hardware failure could conceivably be a reason things go wrong as well. Pinpointing these is difficult by means of this forum. Are you sure your system is running 100% error free? Did you check your system logs? Remember Retrospect is a very I/O intensive program, so certain hardware problems may only arrise when using Retrospect.


Hard to say if your tape drive is worn or not. Tapes themselves wear too. Did you consider that? To check if the tape drive has an issue you have to remove it from the equation and test with a different storage medium, for example an external harddisk.


It's probably a good idea to post your system specs here as well. Also post relevant copy & paste's from your backup log so we might get a better idea what is going wrong.

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Appreciate reply.

Actually, it is up to latest version 7.6.123.


1) OK

2) Don't think so, always the same user and issue is not permanent but random

3) Yes, and I set size to "plenty" but it reverts to Free 0% for no apparent reason even when there is still "plenty" left. By plenty I mean in most recent case 305GB of which free 0% until I cancel the backup then click the percentage button in the settings and the available amount will revert from 0% to 299GB, say. This "feature" appears random.

4) On same machine as backup tape drive in C:\RetrospectCatFiles





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Follow up questions:


Error nr 2)

- Can you explain in what situation this error occurs? Please add log.


Error nr 3)

- Where and on what type of device is this backup set located? Clearly it's not a tape device. Is it a network volume, maybe a NAS?


Error nr 4)

- Did/can you run a checkdisk on your system? It's possible the boot disk has defective sectors...

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2) Following is part of operations log. No record of it in assert log, guess because this is for software errors? Anyway, the first part, autoabackup, is happy, the second part, autobbackup, is not. Their folder/backup locations are pretty much identical.

- 11/08/2009 22:02:05: Copying autoabackup on bruce28

11/08/2009 22:26:47: Snapshot stored, 51.7 MB

11/08/2009 22:27:49: Execution completed successfully

Completed: 280 files, 1.7 GB, with 75% compression

Performance: 180.0 MB/minute

Duration: 00:25:43 (00:16:31 idle/loading/preparing)



- 11/08/2009 22:27:50: Copying autobbackup on bruce28

Additional error information for Disk Backup Set member "1-AOL Daily DMZ5",

Can't write to file \\JET53\Backups\Retrospect\AOL Daily DMZ5\1-AOL Daily DMZ5\AA002955.rdb, error -1116 (can't access network volume)

Trouble writing: "1-AOL Daily DMZ5" (3402584064), error -116 (volume doesn't exist)

- 11/08/2009 22:55:06: Verifying autobbackup on bruce28

Reported missing by user: "1-AOL Daily DMZ5"

12/08/2009 12:37:02: Grooming Backup Set AOL Daily DMZ5...

12/08/2009 12:59:50: Groomed zero KB from Backup Set AOL Daily DMZ5.

12/08/2009 14:10:15: Execution stopped by operator

Remaining: 123 files, 5.5 GB

Completed: 1 files, 3.6 GB, with 0% compression

Performance: 87.0 MB/minute

Duration: 02:00:31 (15:00:32 idle/loading/preparing)


12/08/2009 14:10:24: Execution stopped by operator

Total performance: 101.6 MB/minute with 6% compression

Total duration: 16:10:09 (15:18:05 idle/loading/preparing)


I've tried both the "report missing" and groom for more space. But both are hopeful rather than successful. Often at this point its a catalog file problem that says the specific rdb file is damaged. End result the same, I rebuild backup set.


3) Retrospect and backup location are on separate machines. I do both disk and tape back ups. Tape backups are snapshot transfers. Backup Set inconsistency issues are only when backing up to tape. All other issues are when backing up to disk (naturally).

Is separate machines a mistake?


4) Didn't think of doing this. Will start check disk now and let you know.





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About nr. 2 and 3)


You are using a CIFS path (\\JET53), so your storage target is a network volume. What kind of system is this? Is it a computer/server (and what OS does it run on) or is it a NAS?


In this case Retrospect needs to talk 'Samba' with its networked target. However Samba implementation with NAS devices isn't always perfect as these devices are mostly linux-based and not always 100% speak the version of Samba Retrospect needs. Besides that, grooming a network volume is quite slow and should better be used with real local storage or iSCSI appliances. Grooming is very I/O intensive.


I also noticed you use software compression. I don't know your system's specs, but this can have quite an impact on performance. Don't think it will help you with this problem though, but if you need speed and if the ratio is low you might as well turn that off for your Backup Set.


Just an idea... If you would do those regular scripts and use your tape drive as a target instead of that CIFS target, what results would you get? Just wanting to exclude current storage from the equation.

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