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Finally Gave Up on Retrospect 8


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After struggling for more than a year to get Retrospect 8 for Mac to work reliably, and wasting a lot of time, I have finally given up. The latest problem was that when I started Retrospect to do my weekly backup, it asked me to add a license. The license number I had was rejected as invalid. There were many other problems, too numerous to mention. I wish I had never upgraded to Retrospect 8. Retrospect 6 worked just fine. Is Retrospect 6 still available?

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Join the crowd! I'm nearly to that point. It's one thing when there's reliable, available technical support staff to help get through the crashes and new "features" of this version. However, since we "upgraded "to version 8 there have been at least two changes in ownership of Retrospect. I haven't attempted to contact a human via the support line since I read that others had attempted to do so and were being bounced around from one company to another. I simply do not have the time or resources to devote to debugging this software.

 

Since attempting to use this software, I've had kernel panics and application crashes at least four times per month. The crashes would be fine if it simply meant one had to reboot the system. However, I've lost the preferences along with scripts, rules, clients, and media sets each time. That meant redoing everything as if there had never been a backup. This software is about as reliable as my ex-husband. That's why a divorce occurred. Apparently I am at the point of ending my relationship with Retrospect.

 

It's very sad actually since the software was a mainstay of various companies I've worked for over the past 15 years. Unfortunately, this can no longer be said of Retrospect.

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I'm about to pull the plug on this software too.

 

I've been a loyal user for almost 10 years but had to upgrade this year because it couldn't keep up with my new fleet of hardware. Running multiple scripts at the same time has been a blessing but the reliability and the numerous bugs is a big let down.

 

I didn't pay all this money to be a Beta tester.

 

Question, if you guys give up the Retrospect brand, what is your alternative? I ask because I need to start shopping.

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Yes I did try 8.2. At the suggestion of the tech support staff two weeks ago I downloaded and installed. I installed it yesterday at a customer's location. New Xserve running 10.6. I can not do a single function. If I try to create a new script I get a spinning gear trying to create a media set! I have to go into Activity monitor and kill the process that's not responding. This customer has been using retrospect for years without problems. Please help! We can't even get thru to talk to tech support!@

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I've tried documenting errors and waiting for answers. It really is like beta testing. The interface is so poorly designed, and the unpredictability so persistent that it seems hopeless at this point. How many times can you tell a client you are waiting for the "new" release to be polished?

 

I have really developed contorted routines to work around the software. Creating script schedules is truly bizarre, proactive backups working intelligently with available media is a total FAIL, job previews and histories are not to be trusted, performance and responsiveness is dismal, communication with tape libraries is unpredictable, etc. etc.. I think all of us using this software are in the habit of treading softly and hoping things don't just disappear or change themselves.

 

Because everything else with data management is so iffy, you create a backup routines for peace of mind. Unfortunately, Retrospect is my least reliable component at this point.

 

So we wait patiently for the next beta, which only runs on 10.6. Not sure about others, but I have dozens of clients, and very few on are 10.6. So, there's a *beta* out for a fraction of the installed base. Huh? This is good news? No, seems like Retrospect is going the way of Now Software...

 

I hope I'm wrong! Mayoff - you are always quick to respond, and you're a great asset to the company - thanks for your work in the forums!

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The Beta does run on a Dual 867 MHz PowerPC G4 running 10.5.8. I have been using the Alpha and Beta for four months now and other then a few annoyances it has been pretty stable. Sure there are features that need be added but that is the way software is. Somebody always finds something that needs to be added.

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From the 8.2 beta 1 release notes:

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+

[NOTE: This beta is recommended for Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" only, though client computers may be any supported operating system. A future 8.2 beta will fully support Mac OS X 10.5, and with the engine only, Mac OS X 10.4.

 

WARNING: This is beta software that may contain unexpected DATA LOSS bugs. It is strongly recommended that you do NOT use this beta software in a production environment or rely on it for data protection. This beta software will expire and stop running on August 31, 2010.

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+

 

So, in light of this warning, if something goes wrong, I don't think my clients will be too understanding about using this beta in production.

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I've been saying this is going to happen for months. I think we are all tired of hearing how R8 is going to be fixed, yet nothing ever comes. Oh, except an iPhone app and a late in coming manual that doesn't match the functionality of the application.

 

EMC asked for another chance with Retrospect 8. It's become very apparent what their commitment is.

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EMC no longer owns Retrospect as they sold it to Roxio. In retrospective yes I agree that EMC's was not very committed to developing Retrospect and as a result they released a version that was not ready and this is why we have 8.2 Beta. The more people who test the product and find the bugs the sooner we can have next release. It has also been stated that 8.2 Beta is more stable than the current 8.1 release. I would give the Retrospect team a little more time since the transtition between companies can be trying and they are trying their best to give us a well designed product.

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From the 8.2 beta 1 release notes:

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+

[NOTE: This beta is recommended for Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" only, though client computers may be any supported operating system. A future 8.2 beta will fully support Mac OS X 10.5, and with the engine only, Mac OS X 10.4.

 

WARNING: This is beta software that may contain unexpected DATA LOSS bugs. It is strongly recommended that you do NOT use this beta software in a production environment or rely on it for data protection. This beta software will expire and stop running on August 31, 2010.

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+

 

So, in light of this warning, if something goes wrong, I don't think my clients will be too understanding about using this beta in production.

Make your own assessment. However, if you start clean (with new preferences - delete the config80.dat and config80.bak files if necessary) and reconfigure from scratch, and if you don't have local volumes or "favorites" on 10.5.x clients, you won't see this bug, which, if you had posted the warning with its context, would be clear. I suggest that you read the entire thread for the Beta Read Me to understand the significance of this warning.

Retrospect 8.2 Beta Read Me thread

 

The 8.0 and 8.1 "releases" were premature. The 8.2 Beta, while not perfect, is a great improvement, and you should try it.

 

Russ

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I've used Retrospect since version 3 and thought that EMC Insignia was the lamest owner I've ever seen.

 

I installed 8.1 on a Snow Leopard server test bed. I always found it to be a PITA. Crashes, bugs, slow response to simple tasks, and forgetting it's configuration were a daily joyride. :angryred:

 

Then one of the disks in the raid croaked and dragged the whole machine down. There was nothing I could do but rebuild from scratch. By that time, 8.2 came out, so I DL'ed and installed it.

 

What a difference. It's very stable and hasn't locked up on me once in the last 10 days. It wasn't often I could get through a day without a lockup in 8.1.

 

Since I've been a Roxio fan since Toast first came out, I have a lot of belief in the company. I'm going to keep going with 8.2 as it's now getting fun.

 

The one thing I haven't yet tried is test-restoring an entire system, but I plan on doing that next week.

 

To sum up: I had faith in Retrospect for about 15 years, then I lost faith with EMC Insignia, and now my faith is slowly getting restored as I push 8.2 more and more.

 

I'll give this a solid try as Roxio tries to get in the groove and builds it into a solid product.

 

If not, I'll go back to 6.x or something else.

 

Right now, however, I'm hopeful and optimistic.

 

If you haven't done a clean install of 8.2, I suggest you try it before tearing all you hair out. Since I got rid of 8.1, I'm on the road to recovery with help from Rogaine.

 

Good luck.

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Reading through threads like this confounds me.

 

I took a pass on Retrospect 8 until about April when I decided to give it a go on my own network. Been using Retrospect since the late 1980's.

 

I had good luck with the demo of Retrospect 8 right up until the point I found out there wasn't yet a manual. Then I dropped the whole endeavor.

 

A couple of weeks later a customer's old & frail Retrospect 6.5 backup G4 Mac died.

 

So I set up my crash-test-dummy Mac Pro for this customer with the remainder of my Retrospect 8 demo. And with luck on my side the manual had just been released!

 

It was a successful demo lasting about 60 days. Along the way the original demo expired and sales was kind enough to allow an extension.

 

Earlier today I set up a brand new Mac Pro with disk based media and again all is good. With perhaps the exception of performance. On the test Mac Pro I thought I was getting about 1 GB/minute when backing up the Mac server. On this new Mac Pro I'm getting about 440 MB/minute.

 

The test Mac Pro was running Leopard, the new one is running Snow Leopard.

 

The other difference is on the test Mac Pro I used a striped media set using old hard drives (and SoftRAID 3), and on this new Mac Pro I use new 1TB enterprise grade drives and I individually formatted the discs using the Finder. Those were made into a Media Set with Retrospect.

 

I'm backing up a G5 Tiger Server with 1.5 TB of data on a RAID 5/0, and about 15 mixed Mac & Windows clients.

 

My impression is that with a Mac Pro and disk based media sets, Retrospect 8 is a success, with a some warts with the Console that I expect will be eliminated.

 

If the speed isn't corrected with the upcoming update, I'll have my crash-test-dummy Mac Pro back by then and I'll see what I can come up with.

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