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Slow Compare Problem and... SOLUTION!

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If you don't want to read the whole thing: IT WAS A BAD SCSI CABLE THAT WAS THE PROBLEM


I have a dual processor Mac G4 500 with an Advansys Ultra 2 wide SCSI card and an Ecrix VXA-1 tape drive. I have been running Retrospect 5.0.238. All had been well until the Compare started running incredibly slow, sometimes .1 mb per minute! Copy speeds were normal.


This is a multivendor multi-level nightmare. It could be Retrospect, Mac OS X, its SCSI drivers, Advansys software drivers, Advansys host adapter firmware, Ecrix driver or firmware, or the tape drive itself. Symptoms suggested the drive internally thought it was doing fine. This was confirmed by a tape read-write test. I updated some firmware for good measure and the symptoms were the same. The symptoms were also the same using my old OS9 setup. That eliminated a lot of suspect software levels since the OS9 software configuration had not changed.


Finally I sent a session log to Ecrix. The tea leaves read, Ecrix tech support said that the SCSI adapter repeatedly aborted data transfers because of bad data received. They recommended trying a new SCSI cable. It has been working fine ever since. 100 points and a huzzah for Ecrix/Exabyte tech support!


Interesting notes: The cable has been in use for years. The equipment doesn't get moved. Initially, the problem was somewhat intermittent.

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