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Excessive idling times mean no backup

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Hi everyone


I administer a network of OS 9 Macs for a client of mine. They currently use Retrospect 4.3 and a DDS3 DAT drive for backup attached to a G4 server via an Adaptec SCSI card. All has been well until recently.


A typical log entry is as follows:

? Retrospect version 4.2

launch at 6/2/2003 4:39 pm

+ Retrospect Driver Update, version 1.9


+ Recycle Backup using TS Tues, Thur Backup at 6/2/2003 9:00 pm

To backup set Thursday?

6/2/2003 9:00:17 pm: Recycle Backup: the backup set was reset


- 6/2/2003 9:00:17 pm: Copying Books on Server HD

7/2/2003 9:00:01 am: Script execution terminated at specified stop time.

7/2/2003 9:00:01 am: Execution incomplete

Remaining: 19543 files, 11.4 GB

Completed: 0 files, zero KB

Performance: 0.0 MB/minute

Duration: 11:59:44 (11:56:06 idle/loading/preparing)

As you can see, the backup set is reset, but no backup takes place! The correct tape has been inserted in the DAT drive, the heads are clean and Retrospect can see the tape drive. Any ideas why this is happening - it is a mystery to me.


I have tried deleting the scripts and recreating them, but problem persists. Occassionally (say once a fortnight or less) the script will execute successfully and the backup will go as planned, but more often than not these days, it fails to do anything.


Just one thing I have thought of that might be a problem, but I would appreciate any advice from anyone with more experience. The server hard disk is currently running at near capacity (frequently up to 19-19.5GB used of a 20GB drive). As the disk is probably extremely fragmented, I am wondering if Retrospect is trying to create temporary files and is unable to find enough space??


Any advice would be gratefully received - my client is becoming increasingly worried for their data!!



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You should turn off the option to stop at the specified stop time. This will allow you to see what is on-screen when the problem happens. Because Retrospect is scheduled to stop at a specific time, you are prevented from seeing what is stalling the backup.


I have a feeling that the script is not happy with the currently inserted tape and a Media Request dialog is being displayed most of the night.

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OK, I let Retrospect have an unlimited schedule time and the discovered the cause of the problem. As you suspected, it is issuing a "Tape unrecognized" error.


Now these tapes were new 6 months ago and it seems to me that they should last a bit longer than that. We operate a set of 5 tapes, one for each weekday, and do a recycle backup each day. So each tape has only been used around 30 times, admittedly for a recycle backup each time. What would you expect the life of a tape under these conditions to be?



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