Hi all --
I'm having some problems with BA/2 Pro 4.0d on eight or ten different
systems that I'm responsible for. Our company has a vertical-market
solution, and we supply all of the hardware and software for the product,
including a DAT drive and BA/2 Pro for backup.
If anyone has workarounds for the following problems, please let me know:
1. Command Line Restore fails on Compaq Server
BA/2 Pro works fine on our Compaq Proliant server, until we try to
restore files from a floppy boot. It will NOT restore files when
started from a floppy disk. First of all, the mouse interface is
completely inoperative, and the keyboard interface does not allow us
to excersize all of the features of the command-line restore program.
Additionally, even when we use the command-line parameters which
should restore the files, we get a "CRC error" on every restored file,
beginning with the first. The blocksize et. al. parameters are set
identically, the SCSI chain is properly terminated, drivers the latest
version, etc. Plus this same configuration works perfectly with the
2. Tapes Not Interchangable
I often need to take a fileset from one of our customer's systems back
to our office, or vice versa. Occasionally, I run into a combination
of SCSI cards which will NOT read one another's tapes under BA/2 Pro.
An example is a computer equipped with an Always 3000 (AMD based) card
at our customer's site, and Buslogic 930 (Flashpoint), Adaptec 1542,
Adaptec 1460, etc. cards at our office.
The tape I made at the customer's machine backed up perfectly to a
portable Conner 4324 drive I carried to the site. The tape was
verified after backup, and was fine. Back at the office, with the
_identical_ tape drive and BA/2 Pro 4.0d software, the tape looked
completely blank. No catalog... nothing. I tried two different
tapes, and even took the tape back to the customer's site, where it
appeared perfectly normal. I tried all combinations of blocksize,
compression, et. al. without effect.
3. CRC Errors On Good Tapes
If a tape has been used before, especially with a different backup
program, I often find it will give me CRC errors when used with BA/2
Pro. Bulk-erasing the tapes will make them suitable for BA/2 Pro,
but I have not had to perform this step with other backup programs I've
used (mostly BackupWiz).
4. "Initialize" Step Never Finishes
The "initialize" step (from the Tape Control panel) is said to be a
good thing to do for any DAT tape before use. It has something to do
with partitioning the tape for better QFA use, from what I understand.
I've tried this step on numerous tapes and drives, and it has never
finished this step. I've used Conner 4324 and 4326 drives, as well
as an HP C1533 drive. In all cases, I've waited hours for the process
to finish (even overnight once) and it has never finished. The tapes
seem to work fine without initialization, but I wonder if I'm getting
the best performance out of the software without it.
5. Verify "Can't Open File", but Backup Can
On all of my full backups, I get numerous errors from the Verify pass
where BA/2 complains that it can't open a file, and thus can't verify
it. However, these files are _already_on_the_tape_, indicating that
the Backup phase WAS able to open these same files, and was able to
read them fine. Examples are NET.ACC (always locked by the LAN
software) and LOG0001.DAT. Mind you, this is not a case where the
file has _changed_ between the backup and verify. Those errors are
only signaled after the file has been opened and compared to the data
on the tape. It sounds like a minor annoyance, but it makes it
difficult for me to create an automatic script that can reliably tell
whether the backup completed normally or with "important" errors.
6. Operation Errors Not Obvious
This morning I was beaten up by a user who had tried to restore a tape
and failed. He used the "recover catalog" feature to read the catalog
from the tape, and a CRC error had occured. However, after the CRC
error, the software told him "Catalog recovered successfully", which
of course was wrong. He spent a long time trying to figure out what
had gone wrong, because he did not at first see the CRC error message,
or thought the software had successfully recovered the damaged area.
Does anyone have suggestions for workarounds for these errors? If not,
do you have suggestions for backup software that might be more reliable
than BA/2 Pro 4.0d? Overall, I like BA/2's interface the best, and I
like the concept and execution of the package. It's just that these
problems have been dogging us for quite a while now, and tech support
does not seem to be capable of fixing them.
We've tried and discarded:
1. BackupWiz. Very nice reliable program with an intolerable user
interface. Users rejected this program as it's nearly impossible
to specify the files you want to backup and restore. (Esp. restore.)
2. Novaback. This program would not reliably function. In addition,
Novastor changed the tape format on us, rendering all previous backups
unreadable. Their suggestion was to "keep an old copy around, and
switch to it when you need it" (which requires a reboot, of course).
3. IBM ADSM. A truly upper-crust program, but not suitable for a
single-system backup and restore. IBM techs recommended we use BA/2
to backup the system that hosts ADSM itself! I thought it strange to
require a different backup program to backup the backup program. <g>
Thanks in advance for any help.
-- Joe Barnhart
Sr. Software Engineer
Roos Instruments Inc.