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NOT happy with 6.5Pro


davidwkerr

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I am getting consistent catalogue/Backup set sync errors when adding backups to a tape. There are no disk errors, no crashes, no verify errors, no tape read errors etc etc. Disk is fine. Windows has all the latest patches. Disk totally defragged and scanned.

 

The product is almost unuseable as is. I note a similar problem, but this is with XP and presumably for different reasons.

 

I can recreate the catalogue a couple of different ways with no improvement. I have NIL problems with Novabackup, Veritas or Stomp.

 

I have other problems with clients [2 adaptors on server/ only polls the ADSL NIC & appears non configurable]. The client is also incompatible with Soho 4.3 client [internet sharing] hence I am unhappy with the product so far.

 

The manual references crashes and disk errors as the cause for out of sync, but that is not the problem here.

 

a. What does the out of sync message mean? [This might help me track it down].

 

b. What can I do to get rid of it? Tried deleting catalogues, uninstalling/re-installing, new media and several such things all to no avail.

 

Win98 Server. AMD 1,800Mhz. Exabyte Eagle TR4 IDE/ATAPI. 40Gb HDD with 8Mb buffer.

 

Dave

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Hi

 

Run the ASPICHK utility from within the Retrospect program folder. Make sure all of the versions are 4.6 or higher. If not run the ASPIINST.exe installer.

 

The out of sync message means the data on the tape is not in line with the data in the catalog file that is stored on your hard drive. That can be caused by buffereing issues so make sure you have the latest drivers for you IDE controller and motherboard. (This is especially important because you have windows 98)

 

I responded to your client questions in your other post

 

Nate

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Hi Nate,

 

Many thanks for the very prompt responses. The client is working now (see other post) but no success with the catalogue sync errors. Here is some extra information:

 

a. ASPICHK shows all as 4.6

 

b. I re-installed the ATA/IDE drivers (incidentally, the tape is on its own IDE channel). No change.

 

c. First backups on an erased tape/s ALWAYS work regardless of size. I have now done many backups from 200Mb to 15GB, single and multi tape, with NO problems or unsynced catalogues on the FIRST backup. Verify works fine.

 

d. The SECOND backup onto a tape ALWAYS fails with the sync catalogue problem! Even if the second backup has zero files to write.

 

So, maybe there is some gremlin with the IDE TR4 Eagle and Retrospect (even though the compatibility chart shows it has been extensively tested?)

 

Any further ideas?

 

Cheers,

Dave

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Further information:

 

1. I forgot to mention that repairing the catalogue is no benefit. I still cannot add a backup because of the SYNC error.

 

2. I upgraded the ASPI interface from 4.60 to 4.71A2. The behavior is unchanged.

 

3. I installed Tapeware which uses the identical interface. Works flawlessly.

 

I would prefer Dantz as (1) the performance is higher and (2) the functionality is good, however it is useless if I cannot add to backups.

 

Anyone out there successfully using the product with Professional 6.5 or 6.0? I suspect I am seeing a real bug in the product.

 

Cheers,

Dave

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Further information:

 

A doh.giffter reading that someone else has the identical problem, but with CD-RW & the problem only happened if verification was "ON".

 

If I turn OFF verification, I can do as many backups as I like to the same media (ie the problem disappears).

 

As soon as I do a verify, the verify completes with no errors, BUT the next backup added to the tape FAILS with the out of sync message!!!!!!!

 

I have now done this repeatedly with a small trial backup of the same files on top of the same piece of media and it is totally repeatable. If there is a verify done, either manually or automatically initiated, the next backup fails.

 

So, I can now do appended backups, but the price is no verification. This really seems like a Dantz bug.

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

 

Incidentally, I have tried removing the "fast cataloge rebuild" option, no improvement. also tried deleting the config files, also no improvement.

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Hi Dave

 

I have an IDE travan drive that works fine in 6.5 so I doubt this is a bug. Incidentally I also have an IDE HDD with 8MB of cache on its own controller.

 

No verification is not an option I agree. We should take a look at your system details a bit more closely:

What make and model IDE controller is the hard drive connected to?

How about the tape drive?

Is DMA enabled on both drives? If so does turning it off on the tape drive make any difference?

 

Do you have another disk you can try saving the catalog file on?

 

Thanks

Nate

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Hi Nate,

 

The Motherboard is a very recent Gigabyte Via-chipset-KT400 model with 4 on board IDE channels. Promise Ultra DMA ATA133.

 

Ch1 Western Digital 40Gb with 8Mb cache- Master

Ch2 DVD- Master

Ch3 CD/RW- Master

Ch4 Exabyte Eagle TR4 IDE ATAPI- Master

 

I have been running NovaBackup 6.7 on this config for a year without problem.

I have also put through about 100Gb with Veritas, no problems

I have also run 120Gb and 8 tapes through the same config with Tapeware 7.0; set up with client and multistreaming. Have read and written several hundred million blocks to the tape with ONLY ONE error, a recovered Underrun. I note that Yosemite seem to have their own ASPI drivers, but these might simply be re-badged.

 

Now, back to Retrospect.

 

Tape: Windows Device Manager says that there are no special drivers loaded and the only options available are SYNC, DISCONNECT and HW compression. The IDE controllers are loaded with the latest drivers off the Via Chipset CD. There is no option to turn DMA on or off for the controller. Incidentally, the DMA controller is set with maximum buffer size of 64K. It was originally lower, but the catalogue sync errors were still there. There is no other spindle for the catalogue file other than across the network. I will give that a go but really do not expect it to make any difference.

 

Just to eliminate the IDE channel, I swapped the DVD and tape so that now the Tape is on the secondary master. The BIOS identifies it just fine and Retrospect still functions, BUT I still get the catalogue sync errors, same as before.

 

So, I'm not sure what else I can do other than to move to Tapeware which is not as good as Retrospect in functionality, but in comparison its behavior seems to be rock solid.

 

Dave

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Hi Nate,

 

a. Moving the catalogue file to a networked drive makes no difference.

 

b. Performing repeated backups with verify to a partition on the hard drive works PROPERLY.

 

c. I am pretty certain that the Eagle TR4 does NOT support DMA. The Via toolkit says it is running PIO 120. Now I have heard of PIO 1, 2,3,4,5 etc but never 120---unless it is modes 1, 2 or 0.

 

So, at the moment we are no further.

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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Hi Nate,

 

I have been testing backup solutions for eventual deployment in the Solomon Islands on a Seagate Travan 40Gb drive. The Solomons are a long way away with very limited phones, internet etc so I have been testing here in Australia on my Exabyte Eagle TR4 to be absolutely certain that the solution we deploy in the Solomons works.

 

I just double checked the compatibility matrix and found that the Travan 40 is there but the Eagle TR-4 is not- a very similar drive the NS8 which uses the same cartridge IS there, but not mine! I think the only difference is hardware compression. So, it looks like this TR4 drive is NOT qualified so maybe I should not expect it to work or indeed to have the sort of problems I am experiencing? If this is the case, I apologise for wasting your time and thank you for your prompt responses.

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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Hi Dave

 

I think this should be working. Travan drives are pretty standard - much like DAT drives are. I had some wierd problems with my drive not being recognized by the BIOS on an intel 810 chipset desktop board. In the end I figured it was that the IDE controller was too fast/ new for the tape drive.

 

On my current system I have a built in ATA 33 controller for the tape and CD drives (plain intel) and a separate promise controller for my hard drives. That works beautifully.

 

My hunch is that there is a data cache problem somewhere along the way. On a Win 98 system drivers are always a likely candidate but it sounds like you have covered that. I hate to give up but Retrospect may just not function properly with this drive on this particular hardware setup.

 

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Nate

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Hi Nate,

 

Thanks for the help. It seems like Retrospect and the Eagle TR4 are just not compatible. Yes, the Travan drives are very similar, however it is probably something really simple in my case like a buffer being cleared when it should be or before it is written to the tape.

 

It seems significant that Dantz do NOt list this drive on their supported list.

 

Looks like I will be going with Tapeware, which is a pretty good package and is rock solid so far.

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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  • 2 months later...

I was able to correct similar trouble in my configuration. ("Similar trouble" = _very_ frequent 'catalog file out of sync' errors that could not be fixed via Tools/Repair Catalog nor by recreating catalog from media. "My configuration" = Retro 6.5 Single Server, Windows Server 2003, Ecrix VXA-1a packet tape drive.)

 

Cause turned out to be presence of MS or OEM (not sure which) driver for the Ecrix. Fixed by disabling the drive in Device Manager (My Computer > Properties > Hardware (tab) > Device Manager (button)).

 

Not too surprising that the driver needed to be removed, but it took me awhile to feel certain that it was deterministic cause-and-effect with the "out of sync" issue. At this point I've tested extensively and do feel certain - in my configuration (your mileage may vary).

 

Notes:

(1) Uninstalling the device is not a substitute in most cases, since plug-and-play will reinstall the next time you choose to or have to reboot. Use Disable from the drive's context menu (right-click) in Device Manager.

(2) This is unrelated to disabling the device in Removable Storage Manager, which according to the docs you should also do (and which had already been done in my case).

 

Hope this helps,

Mike

 

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