Troubleshooting and Support Resources
  • 13 Nov 2023
  • 6 Minutes to read
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Troubleshooting and Support Resources

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  • PDF

Article Summary

This chapter offers solutions to problems you may encounter with Retrospect, as well as basic troubleshooting suggestions. You’ll also find procedures for getting help from our Technical Support staff.

Troubleshooting Retrospect

Most problems encountered while using Retrospect fall into a few general categories. Retrospect Technical Support follows some basic troubleshooting procedures for each of these categories. With a little effort, you can learn how to troubleshoot many problems on your own. This section suggests you the first steps you should try, then shows you where to get more help.

Tip: The very first thing you should do when you encounter an error is to make sure that your version of Retrospect is up-to-date. From the Retrospect menu, choose Check for Retrospect Updates. Install the latest updates to see if they resolve your problem. Don’t forget that you may need to install updates for both the Retrospect console and the Retrospect engine.

We recommend that you keep notes of your troubleshooting efforts. Even if you are unable to resolve a problem right away, your notes can establish a pattern of behavior to help us both understand the problem. If, after reading this section, you find you are still unable to solve a problem, try using some of the other Retrospect support resources. See Retrospect Support, later in this chapter.

Troubleshooting Process

The first step in troubleshooting a problem is to isolate the problem by identifying exactly when and where it occurs. Knowing when an error occurs gives you a point of reference to help you solve a problem. Retrospect has different phases of operation. For example, a backup typically includes scanning, matching, copying, and verification phases in that order. If you can determine the problem happens at a particular phase of the backup or restore process, you are on your way toward solving it.

Things to Try First

There are a few simple actions you can try that often solve problems.

On the Retrospect Server

Stop and start the Retrospect engine.

Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure all instances of the Retrospect console are closed, whether those are on the Retrospect server machine or on a remote machine.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences > Retrospect.
  3. In the System Preferences window, click Retrospect.
  4. In the Retrospect preference pane, click the lock in the lower-left corner, then enter your administrator password and click OK.
  5. Click Stop Retrospect Engine. Wait until the message in the window states the “Retrospect Backup Engine is currently stopped.” It could take several minutes to stop the engine in some cases. Click the button again, which now reads Start Retrospect Engine. You will need to authenticate with your password again.
  6. Check to see if the problem has been resolved.

Tip: On rare occasions, the Retrospect engine will not be able to be stopped using the preference pane. In this event, use Activity Monitor (found in `/Applications/Utilities/`) to Force Quit the RetroEngine process.

Restart backup hardware devices.

Backup devices such as tape drives and tape libraries can sometimes lose contact with the Retrospect server. If the backup device does not appear in the Retrospect console, stop the Retrospect engine. Then try turning the device off and on again. Then start the Retrospect engine again.

Note: SCSI devices should only be turned off when the computer is turned off. Hard disks should be ejected from the desktop before turning them off and on again.

On a machine running the Retrospect console

If the console does not see the Retrospect server:

  1. Make sure that the Retrospect engine is actually running on the Retrospect server.
  2. Make sure that the Retrospect server machine’s networking is correctly configured.
  3. Quit and restart the Retrospect console application.

If a client in the local subnet or in another Retrospect-configured subnet doesn’t appear in Retrospect’s Sources view, or appears intermittently:

Use the Test Address button in the Add Sources dialog to see if the client is on the network. Follow these steps:

  1. Click Sources in the console’s sidebar, then click the Add button in the Sources view’s toolbar. The Add Sources dialog appears.
  2. Click the Test Address button. In the resulting dialog, enter the address of the source you want to test. You can enter the IP address, the DNS address, or the local hostname. Click Test. If the client responds, Retrospect will show you the client’s name, address, and client software version. If the client is not reachable, Retrospect will display an error message.

On the Retrospect client machines

If a client machine does not appear in the Retrospect console:

  1. Open the Retrospect Client control panel on the client computer and check whether the client software was loaded at startup and whether it is turned on. Check that its status field says “Ready” or “Waiting for first access.”
  2. Make sure the client computer is connected to the network and its network settings are correct.

Getting more help

If none of these basic measures solve your problems, first refer to the Retrospect Knowledgebase (Help > Online Knowledgebase). If you still cannot diagnose and solve the problem, please contact Retrospect Technical Support.

Retrospect Support

Retrospect provides built-in access to a number of useful resources. From the Retrospect Help menu, you can access:

  • Retrospect website. Retrospect’s home on the Internet. To access Retrospect’s website directly, go to
  • Retrospect Support. Support section of the Retrospect website. Includes links to tutorials, user forums, etc. To access the support section directly, go to
  • Online Knowledgebase. Searchable database containing answers to frequently asked questions about Retrospect-related terms, error messages, and troubleshooting techniques. To access the Knowledgebase directly go to
  • Online Video Tutorials. Short videos detailing how to accomplish common tasks with Retrospect.
  • Supported Devices. Searchable backup hardware compatibility database provides information of which devices Retrospect supports. To access supported devices information directly, go to

All of these resources are available for free and can help you solve problems quickly and effectively to get the most out of Retrospect.

If you experience problems that you cannot solve using these resources, Retrospect Technical Support is available to help. To learn more about available support options, check Retrospect’s support matrix at

For information about contacting Technical Support in the U.S. and Canada, as well as internationally, see

Before you Call Technical Support

In the event you need to contact our Technical Support staff, we can serve you best if you gather some information first. We suggest that you follow these steps:

Have the following information ready:

  • The version of Mac OS X for the Retrospect server, the machine on which you are running the Retrospect console, and any involved Retrospect client machines
  • The exact version of Retrospect
  • The amount of RAM on the Retrospect server machine
  • The types of backup devices you are using that are connected to the Retrospect server

You should be at the Retrospect server and running the Retrospect console when you call.

You should also be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • Check the Retrospect Operations Log (View > Log). Are you getting a specific error message? Please note and report to the technician any error messages that appear in the log.
  • When does the error happen? During backup, restore, copy, compare, or working with the Retrospect console?
  • Is this a local backup, or is it a backup of a client computer?
  • What troubleshooting have you tried so far?
  • Has this worked for you in the past, or is this an ongoing problem?
  • How often does the problem occur?
  • Are there any crash logs or errors in the Mac OS X Console?

The answers to these questions may help you troubleshoot further by suggesting avenues you haven’t already tried. They will certainly help the Retrospect Technical Support Staff help you find a solution.

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