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Retrospect not communicating with Exabyte Magnum 224

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I am having a major issue with Retrospect v6.1 communicating with my Exabyte Magnum 224 Tape Library.


Here's the specs:

Retrospect v6.1.23

Retrospect Driver v6.1.16.100

Device Access v1.0.107


Apple Xserve

OS Tiger 10.4.11

2 x 2 GHz Dual Intel Xeon

2GB - 667Mhz DDR2

80GB hdd


Connected to an Apple XRAID (2007)


The Exabyte is connected to the Xserve via Fiber.


Here's the issue - last week Retrospect froze while trying to run a backup routine. It eventually crashed the server. Brought everything back up online and when I opened up Retrospect to check the Device connection to the Exabyte, it could see the Magnum drive but not see any of the 24 tapes.

So I rebooted the Magnum library and the Xserve. When I opened Retrospect again, all 24 tape slots showed up, BUT all of the existing catalogs were displaying as UNKNOWN.

Even the cleaning tape was UNKNOWN.

Did a lot of testing on the Magnum (pulling all tapes out, putting in blank tapes with barcodes, just putting in the cleaning tape, putting in older catalog tapes, etc).

The Magnum displayed the tapes and their respective barcode numbers on its own display window, but if you tried to view them in Retrospect, they would come up as UNKNOWN.

If you tried to move a tape within Retrospect it would get hung in a Reading loop and you would need to force move it out of the drive through the Magnum interface.


Right now all of my legacy catalogs are unaccessible. I am running a make-shift backup routine through another BU software to an external TB drive.


I can really use some help to try and rectify this.

Thanks in advance for any solutions.

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Ok, Ron. Because you had things working at one point, let's assume that the hardware is still working. If, however, during your troubleshooting you did any recabling, cable disconnects/connects, etc., then that assumption might not be correct.


So I rebooted the Magnum library and the Xserve. When I opened Retrospect again, all 24 tape slots showed up, BUT all of the existing catalogs were displaying as UNKNOWN.

Even the cleaning tape was UNKNOWN.


There seems to be a bit of terminology confusion here. The tapes are "members" of "backup sets", and the "backup sets" are databases and have the same names as the "catalog files". The "catalogs" are Retrospect's database index into the backup sets, and the catalogs are stored on your disk drive, not on the tapes (well, the tapes could hold a backed-up copy of catalogs, but that's a different issue).


I think that what you are saying is that the tape members are reporting as "unknown", not that the catalogs are unknown. This could have several causes. One would be if Retrospect's barcode database (contained in the config file) became corrupted. Another would be if Retrospect's preferences (in the config file) are so horribly corrupted that Retrospect is confused.


As a digression, I believe that it was a design mistake to have all of Retrospect's various preferences in a single preference file, and I also believe it would have been better to have the preferences stored in human-readable format (XML, perhaps), but I didn't make those design choices. Sadly, those same choices were made for Retrospect 8. Sigh.


My guess would be that Retrospect corrupted its preferences (config file) during the crash.


Here's how to test:


(1) quit Retrospect;


(2) move the preferences file to your desktop so Retrospect can't find it on startup. The preferences are at:

/Library/Preferences/Retrospect/Retro.Config (6.0)


(3) launch Retrospect - you will have to re-enter your license code.


Retrospect will have forgotten all of your scripts, catalog locations, sources, destinations, preferences, etc.


But see if you can access the tape members. When you load a tape into the drive, Retrospect should read the tape header that Retrospect writes at the beginning of the tape and then report the tape member name.


If you can get that far, then yes, your preferences file is corrupted.


If you have an older preferences file backed up (surely you do, don't you?), then you could restore that backed up preferences file somewhere, quit Retrospect, then move that restored preferences file to the /Library/Preferences/Retrospect folder.


If you don't have a backup of that file, well, you will have to reconfigure all of your preferences and scripts, sources, etc., from scratch.


As far as the catalogs (they are on disk), see the "Moving Retrospect" section of the user's guide (page 162) for instructions on how to tell Retrospect where your catalog files are. Here is a link to the user's guide:

Retrospect 6 Users Guide


Report back on your success (or lack thereof) and we can go from there.



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