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DavidHertzberg last won the day on November 8

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About DavidHertzberg

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    Retired applications programmer, with a few Macs at home.

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  1. DavidHertzberg

    Grooming Policy Too Simplistic

    x509, Actually you may be smoking more-powerful stuff than you think you are.😄 How about having a one-bit flag in the Catalog for a Backup Set that marks a file as "transient" if it has been backed up N times in the last N days/weeks—which it would have been because its file size or contents kept changing while its name and directory stayed the same? It would be safe to keep only the latest backup of such "transient" files—regardless of legal requirements—so long as they aren't in certain directories known to possibly contain business-critical files. It would probably be safest to have the Windows/Mac variant of Retrospect automatically avoid doing "transient" flagging in such directories. There would no doubt have to be an additional checkbox for each Backup Set's Grooming Options , with a subsidiary checkbox specifying whether "transient" flagging is to be done on a daily or weekly basis. There could then be a Built-In Selector (see page 437 of the Retrospect Windows 16 User's Guide; the Retrospect Mac term is Rule), usable only in a Groom script—as opposed to a Backup or Proactive script, that would be used to Exclude all files marked as "transient" unless they have the date of the latest backup per the Backup Set Catalog. Such a Groom script could be run after the last of the daily/weekly backups to a Backup Set. However, for Backup Sets whose Grooming Options have the additional box for "transient" flagging and which has been Groomed for "transients", a Restore would have to use the Catalog File—rather than a Snapshot—for any files flagged as "transient" regardless of whether a previous Snapshot was chosen to restore an entire source volume. This would not be good for situations in which the source volume has been backed up and "transient"-Groomed since undetected ransomware encrypted it, or in which the latest versions of some applications files turn out to have been erroneously updated by the user—a situation which has happened to me. That makes this enhancement sound considerably less attractive. Here is why and how to submit a Support Case for an enhancement.
  2. DavidHertzberg

    Windows clients no longer accessible

    twickland, Here's the Knowledge Base article on the -519 error. "Error 519 means Retrospect had established a network connection with another computer and was communicating through that connection when something caused the connection to be severed." "This error is one of Retrospect’s most challenging errors to troubleshoot because networks involve a large number of variables. Causes of error 519 range from a simple software conflict on an individual workstation to a faulty network component that does not cause trouble during normal (non-backup, less intensive) use. Weak links can exist in the software or hardware level, on the backup computer or the client computer, or in the infrastructure of your network. This document aims to help you narrow down what might at first seem like an unwieldy problem to solve." When you say "They are all connected via direct IP", do you mean "clients" defined with Add Source Directly? I've had to do that to avoid -530 errors that seem to be somewhat related to changes in networking hardware. Yes, Retrospect still uses TCP and UDP port 497. Here's MrPete's post on comprehensive Windows trouble-shooting procedures. Here are some very cynical WildA**edGuesses: Your Professional IT Guys (sexist term, and naughty acronym when 't' is lower-cased, entirely intentional) installed an anti-virus product that interferes with Retrospect Windows Clients, one not yet fixed in this 2013 post. I'd add Windows Defender Firewall to the list of anti-virus products, except that "a newly-added Windows 10 client was able to be backed up once before going incognito"—which sounds like somebody did something to that machine's software after it arrived in the organization with a presumably-latest version of Windows 10 ( ask PIGs: What was arrival version?) . Your Professional IT Guys did something to the networking hardware/software with which your organization's Windows "client" machines are connected. Your organization's Mac "client" machines are unaffected because Mac users are isolated in one or more "leper colony" departments .đŸ€Ł The Retrospect "Inc." engineers messed up something in the Retrospect Windows 16.5.1 Engine. They've been doing that in the last two X.5.Y releases, IMHO because management is trying desperately to fully implement major features that were previewed in the corresponding X.0.0 releases. A known example (which unfortunately probably has nothing to do with your problem) from a recent thread in this Forum is connected with "Improved NAS support with auto-adding existing NAS share mounts" in 16.5.0. I happened to mention it in a short phone conversation with the head of North American Sales last week, and he said that is a known problem that will be fixed with a new release "within about a week". My candidate for the Engine "improvement" that caused your problem is "Networking: Retrospect now honors service priority when choosing a default interface (#7058)"—whatever "service priority " means—in the cumulative Retrospect Windows Release Notes (assuming carryover to Mac Engine). P.S.: The head of Retrospect Tech Support replied in my Support Case 3 weeks ago "You can try going to Network in the Retrospect Preferences and click Advanced. Change the network timeout from 300 seconds to 9,000 seconds and see if Retrospect is able to complete the backup". That Support Case was about my getting -559 errors after precisely two hours when running a Recycle backup of my MacBook Pro. He had also suggested "Inside your energy saver control panel, you may need to set the screen to never sleep (and use a screen saver) and check 'prevent computer from sleeping automatically when display is off'. Or try a combination of those options. In some cases Uncheck Put hard disk to sleep when possible can also help." Those latter suggestions are obviously for a Mac "client", but possibly Windows 10 has—as Nigel Smith said of macOS in my thread about the -559 problem—"tied computer-sleep and display-sleep together -- the default is that, when your display sleeps your computer does too." The combination of suggestions fixed my -559 problem.
  3. DavidHertzberg

    Automating a removable disk backup

    kidziti, I'm concerned about the speed of large-scale recovery, not "seeding". Amazon started offering Snowball for "seeding" in October 2015, which was almost 6 months after I formulated my modern Retrospect off-site strategy and 5 months before Retrospect Windows 11—with cloud Backup Sets and a nifty facility for changing paths for a Backup Set between cloud and shipped disk (unfortunately only shown in this Retrospect Mac video Tutorial)—was introduced. Microsoft offers Azure Data Box and Backblaze B2 offers Fireball, but renting these devices or Snowball run US$200-300 minimum. All 3 of these services include encryption of your data. As far as affordability is concerned, the reason Retrospect Inc. offered Backblaze B2 as a cloud backup service in Retrospect Windows 12 is because it "is a business-class cloud storage provider with extremely low costs, at $0.005/GB a month." Overnight FedExing of a recovery physical device back to your installation would add more to the cost. That's why "Some applications offer seeding and large-scale recovery via third-party services, which may use a high-speed Internet channel to/from cloud storage rather than a shippable physical device."
  4. DavidHertzberg

    Automating a removable disk backup

    Nigel Smith, Thank, you've certainly proved my statement that you are "at the top of the pack here in terms of technical expertise on Retrospect". Two days ago I didn't remember that script hooks exist in Retrospect, even though I wrote the mentions of them in this Wikipedia article. I've never used them, but I'm wondering whether spawned scripts can kill the application that spawned them—which would satisfy kidziti's desire to have a Retrospect script that can't find its source or destination drive die without leaving disturbing messages in the Log. kidziti and Nigel Smith, I now understand that ransomware protection for a destination drive can be achieved by simply unmounting it. I had still been thinking about protection from installation fire or flood, which also requires taking a copy of the source data offsite. In 1995 I disciplined myself to taking a Backup Set's media (originally tape) offsite once a week, but I didn't have fast-enough Internet upload speed until 9 October 2018. It would still require several days to download a complete copy of my source data from the cloud at the realistic speed available from cloud vendors, whereas retrieving a backup drive from my bank safe deposit box takes at most overnight—except for Sundays when the bank branch is closed. Besides, I think I've read that ransomware perpetrators have developed methods of encrypting a victim's cloud backup data before he/she realizes it has happened. As for "increasing scripting power within Retrospect", the first two paragraphs of this post in another thread are my current speculation on the subject. I have further speculated that EMC Iomega employees realized that part of the adverse administrator reaction to Retrospect Mac 8 was that—besides being buggy— it changed the UI from what it still is in Retrospect Windows. IMHO the same developers—now Retrospect "Inc." employees—have the equivalent of a plaque on the wall that says (paraphrasing H. L. Mencken) "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the flexibility of some Retrospect administrators."
  5. DavidHertzberg

    Automating a removable disk backup

    kidziti, I owe you three apologies for this post above. First, I apologize for not having read your OP carefully enough to have realized that you had already solved the problem of alternating-destination Backup scripts. When I finally reread the OP and realized that you had, I considered deleting the fourth paragraph in my post. However I had spent a lot of time rewriting that paragraph, and was rather proud of it—muddily-written though it is. In addition, it may in the future be useful for linking-to to help an administrator not as smart as you. Second, I apologize for not having read your OP carefully enough to have realized that you had fairly clearly described the purpose of your third drive. That said, IMHO what I wrote in my third paragraph is pretty good advice for an administrator who really has to worry about ransomware—which I don't (my LAN is within my one-person apartment and has only 3 computers, so all I have to do is be very careful about clicking on any links in e-mails or Web articles); I instead worry about flood or fire. Therefore I've never learned enough about Mac Automator to know how to detect or dismount a drive, but I shouldn't have assumed you might not know enough about Windows scripting to do so. I do a Recycle Backup of all my sources to one of my 3 weekly-rotated destination drives every Saturday morning, and take that drive—by then also containing 6 incremental daily backups—to my bank safe deposit box around noon every Friday. IMHO you should think about whether it might be better to let the contents of that third drive lag a day behind the contents of either of your source drives, to keep quickly-discovered ransomware-encrypted files off it; if that turns out to be true, Transfer Snapshots would be a good tool. Third, I apologize for not having been empathetic enough about your possibly being an administrator who suddenly has to worry, after many years, about ransomware. That explains why you started half-a-dozen threads in a few days; your thinking was evolving as you did so. So it wasn't a "strip tease", and I've now eliminated the term—which was meant to give you my impression of your multiple threads—from that post. That impression made me feel you needed to at least slow down and organize your thoughts before posting, which is why I phrased the first two paragraphs "ï»żin such a personally targeted and public way as the quote above"—which I don't remember having done before on these Forums. I'm not "undoubtedly at the top of the pack here in terms of technical expertise on Retrospect", as Nigel Smith and Lennart_T and Scillonian are. They have more OS -related expertise than I have and have used more Retrospect features; I just answer the easier questions, based on 19-out-of-the-last-24-years experience and the ability to search manuals and Forums and to think like a systems analyst.
  6. DavidHertzberg

    Automating a removable disk backup

    Nigel Smith, What you suggest in your first quoted paragraph is precisely what I suggested in the fifth paragraph in this post above. In that paragraph I questioned whether a "media timeout" window actually exists in Retrospect Windows; I guess you're saying it does—even though it's not documented. What you suggest in your second quoted paragraph about "a Windows script/utility that regularly polls mounted volumes for the drive and, if it is there, executes the appropriate Retrospect 'Run Document'" may be beyond kidziti's Windows-scripting abilities. That's why I suggested, in the fourth paragraph of the post linked-to in the first paragraph of this post, using Retrospect Windows' own scripting capability. The disadvantage of what I suggested is that he'd have to consult the Retrospect Activity Monitor or a marked-up calendar to see which drive he is scheduled to mount for tonight's run, instead of relying on a Windows script to back up to the drive he happens to have mounted. OTOH that could be considered an advantage, in that it would force him to follow a routine in taking a drive off-site and bringing it back the next day—which is why I assume he wants to establish these alternating-between-two-Backup-Sets scripted Backups—probably to protect against ransomware as he says in his OP. I see now that I misunderstood kidziti's OP. I presumably didn't need to write the fourth paragraph of the post linked-to in the first paragraph of this post, because he may already have the alternating-between-two-Backup-Sets scripted Backups under control. Its third paragraph—as revised—is still valid.
  7. DavidHertzberg

    Automating a removable disk backup

    kidziti, Do you realize that questions on these Retrospect Forums are almost exclusively answered by volunteers? Do you also realize that you've never said what major version of Retrospect you are trialing, although this post implies that it's Retrospect Windows 16? Lastly, do you realize that you are entitled to 45 days of free personalized Technical Support when you upgrade? I suggest you take advantage of it, because what you've been doing in this Forum since 30 October is conducting a multi-thread "concern-of-the-moment disclosure" in which you selectively define and then re-define what you want to accomplish.â˜č If you want to get other administrators to keep responding to your posts, IMHO what you now need to do is to "organize your concerns" in a thorough back-and-forth conversation with someone in Retrospect Tech Support.🙄 The main problem with your OP in this thread is that you never define whether your third drive is to be an independent Backup destination every night, or whether the third drive is supposed to have some source-destination relationship with whichever of the other two drives has been a Backup destination that night. Another problem is that you are apparently talking about source drives that you won't back up with Proactive scripts, but you haven't bothered to say so. If the third drive is intended to be an independent destination, go ahead and back up to it every night—you'll just get a -1204 error if the destination drive isn't mounted (see the fifth paragraph about using the Media Request Timeout box). If OTOH the third drive is intended to be a cumulative copy of what's been backed up alternately onto the other two drives, there's a simple solution named Transfer Snapshots discussed on pages 213-220 of the Retrospect Windows 16 User's Guide. You'll need to run two Transfer Snapshots scripts each night—unless you do fancy scheduling per the next paragraph, one of which will fail because its designated source Backup Set wasn't mounted. It will help your education if I don't tell you which options to use to make sure that that only the new backups are copied from the Backup Set that was mounted that night. The advantage of this approach, possibly better protection against ransomware, is that it won't access your actual source drives—only whatever Backup Set drive(s) you happen to have mounted. As for alternating backups onto the other two drives, I'm afraid my remote ancestors messed things up by popularizing a week with an odd number of days in it. Retrospect "Inc." and its predecessors never made the effort to put automated alternating-destination scheduling capability into Retrospect Backup scripts, but you can achieve that by creating two pairs of Backup scripts per "Using the Day of Week Scheduler" on pages 230-231 of the UG. Each script in a pair will be scheduled to run on either Sun-Tues-Thurs-Sat or Mon-Wed-Fri, repeating every 2 weeks starting on the applicable Sunday or Monday date of two successive calendar-weeks. Each script in a pair will designate the same destination Backup Set—which will not be the same destination as in the other pair of scripts that start in the same pair of successive calendar-weeks with an earlier applicable start date one day after the earlier applicable start date used for the other pair of scripts. That means if Backup Set A is the destination in the Sun-Tues-Thurs-Sat script and the Mon-Wed-Fri script in the first pair starting 1 December 2019 and 9 December 2019 respectively, then Backup Set B is the destination in the Mon-Wed-Fri script and the Sun-Tues-Thurs-Sat script in the second pair starting 2 December 2019 and 8 December 2019 respectively. You may already have solved this, but it'll be useful for others. If this is too complicated for you, you can instead create a single pair of scripts scheduled to run every day of the week; each script in the pair will designate a different destination Backup Set. Each night one of the two scripts will fail with a -1204 error, because you intentionally haven't mounted that Backup Set's drive. Make sure to checkmark the Media Request Timeout box per page 404 of the UG; I'm fairly sure that Preferences option includes a number-of-minutes timeout box (Retrospect Mac includes one, so I suspect its omission is merely a long-standing typo in the Retrospect Windows UG). The features needed to do this were all in Retrospect Windows 7.7, so I guess that ransomware is making you rethink what you've been doing for years. P.S.: I see now that I misunderstood your OP. I presumably didn't need to write the fourth paragraph of this post , because you may already have the alternating-between-two-Backup-Sets scripted Backups under control. The third paragraph—with the revised first and added last sentence—is still valid.
  8. DavidHertzberg

    Drop the Dashboard

    kidziti and everyone else, I had a telephone chat with the head of North America Sales for Retrospect "Inc." this morning (his time), in which I suggested just that. My suggestion, which he seems to like, is to simply actively market the Web-based Management Console in its no-extra-cost view-only form. You can get a brief view of the Retrospect 16.1 version of this facility in the first of these four interconnected videos. You can skip the second video (unless you want to learn how to sign up for the Management Console), and view the third video to see how to integrate the Management Console with a running Engine. The fourth video, which is designed for "Partners" (consulting organizations) shows additional two-way features available with the Add-On—which is US$49 for the Desktop Edition. The Retrospect 16.5 Add-On version of the Management Console moves the list of "backup servers" to a column on the left-hand side of the Dashboard window. Its Granular Remote Management also adds Activities and Sources and Backup Sets panels that the administrator can drill down to, as well as Scripts Management displays and the ability—for individual "backup servers"—to create and edit scripts and create destinations. Here's a 43-minute webinar that demonstrates the Retrospect Windows 16.5 version of Granular Remote Management—designed like the Retrospect Mac GUI. At minute 27 the head of Retrospect Tech Support recommends leaving Retrospect running all the time—using the Management Console. At minute 29 he says that they're moving towards having Retrospect run as a service with an HTML-based GUI. Is server column in non-Add-On Web Dashboard too? As the first video itself states, the Dashboard in the Management Console is basically an enhanced version of the non-Web-based Dashboard that kidziti and other Retrospect Windows administrators have a love/hate relationship with. That non-Web-based Dashboard is a poorly-implemented feature of Retrospect Windows. It was implemented in Retrospect Windows 8 because a Retrospect-Mac-like Console proved to be impossible, but had glaring bugs that weren't supposedly fixed until 4 years later in Retrospect Windows 12.5. See this 2017 Forums post by me, which quotes the applicable Release Notes but also quotes a reply from Retrospect Tech Support. Also read the remainder of that thread.
  9. sjmills and everybody else, I just had a phone conversation with the North America head of Retrospect Sales. Retrospect "Inc." is coming out with a new bug-fix release of Retrospect Mac in about a week. The engineers are aware of sjmills' problem; my interpretation is that whoever was implementing "Improved NAS support with auto-adding existing NAS share mounts" in Retrospect Mac 16.5.0 didn't coordinate with whoever was implementing Catalina support.🙄 As for the "promised 'detailedï»ż document providing directions for doing a Catalina Disaster Recovery operationï»żï»żï»ż'" that amkassir is waiting for, he has no word on that—although I brought it to his attention.
  10. amkassir (and others), The "promised 'detail document ...'" is no doubt referring to what Retrospect Tech Support replied to you on or before 11 October 2019. Give the engineers time; this sounds like a tricky Apple-generated problem, and the last sentence of Tech Support's reply at least gives you a hint of what to do if you have to. My guess—as an outsider—is that the time of at least some engineers is currently being occupied with figuring out how to convert the Retrospect Mac (because it's more Unix-related) Engine to run on a Drobo. P.S.: It's good to know, per your post directly above, that you can back up your Catalina installation with Retrospect 16.5. amkassir, do you or did you have external drives cabled to your "backup server" machine—as sjmills does? If so, why does he have problems that you don't? P.P.S.: It sounds—per your post directly below—as if the short-term solution, until the "detailed document" is released, is to restore using CCC and then overwrite files with previous versions—if needed—using Retrospect.
  11. All administrators upgrading to macOS 10.15 Catalina, This Knowledge Base article and this KB article were added on 5 November 2019. The first of these appears to be a duplicate of this earlier KB article on macOS 10.14 Mojave, with a different URL and minor wording changes; in fact the second article links to that earlier article instead of the first article. As of 6 November 2019, there haven't been any updates to the Retrospect Mac downloads since 16 October 2019, Therefore, if a fix to the Retrospect Mac Engine is required because of sjmills' problem, it is still in the future.
  12. sjmills, My "backup server" is booting macOS 10.12 Sierra, and it's running Retrospect Mac 16.1. All other bootable local drives would boot under macOS 10.12 or OS X 10.6. When I click the Sources entry for one of my local drives, I can click the Options Tab, but everything on that dialog is grayed-out. That makes sense for the checkboxes above "Volumes", since they have to do with options that apply to machines being backed up with a Retrospect Client application. Greying-out also used to make sense for the "Volumes" section of the dialog, but with "improvements" in macOS it no longer does. IMHO the dropdown should now default to Startup Volume if the local volume is bootable, with the boot volume automatically checkmarked. So here's why and how to file a Support Case, in the event you don't already know. Another example of great beta testing by Retrospect "Inc.".🙄
  13. sjmills, Assuming your problem is with a "client" machine, what is your "Volumes" dropdown setting on the Sources -> Options tab for that machine? When re-Adding my MacBook Pro as a "client", I have the problem that that dropdown defaults to All Volumes—and for a couple of macOS releases that has included some garbage-named mirror volume. I have to remember to change the dropdown to Startup Volume. If I had an external volume cabled to my MBP, which I did during one re-Add, the default would include that also. OTOH this may be due to Retrospect not having been fixed to compensate for a change in macOS. I submitted a Support Request for the problem described in the paragraph above, and Tech Support just told me to change the dropdown.
  14. DavidHertzberg

    Half the time I get the Dashboard

    kidziti, Dashboard is a poorly-implemented feature of Retrospect Windows. It was implemented in Retrospect Windows 8 because a Retrospect-Mac-like Console proved to be impossible (third paragraph of mbennett's post), but had glaring bugs that weren't supposedly fixed until 4 years later in Retrospect Windows 12.5. See this 2017 Forums post by me, which quotes the applicable Release Notes but also quotes a reply from Retrospect Tech Support. Also read the remainder of that thread. I suggest installing the _one-way_ Web-based Management Console, which is included for free in Retrospect Windows 16.5, as a substitute for the Dashboard if you're going to have Retrospect always running . I also renew my suggestion of paying US$49 for the Add-On that enables the _two-way_ Web-based Management Console, especially if Sales tells you it has the capability of starting and stopping the Retrospect Engine on a particular "backup server". Here's a Product Suggestions—Windows post with some more information and links. I have 7GB RAM (7 giga-bytes, not giga-bits; small 'b' = bits not a RAM measure) installed in my Retrospect Mac "backup server" machine. That's sufficient to run the GUI-less Engine, which is ordinarily always running when the machine is booted, and also the non-Web-based GUI Console—which can be stopped and re-started separately. You may need more RAM than that, both because Windows 10 is Windows 10 (sneer, sneer 😀) and because the Web-based Management Console may use more RAM than the non-Web-based Retrospect Mac Console. But extra RAM is comparatively cheap these days. P.S.: In the meantime, try this suggestion from mbennett.
  15. DavidHertzberg

    Administrator account has insufficient permissions

    kidziti, My vision (as well as other abilities) was never good enough for me to have pitched in the Major Leagues, so I have trouble reading the screenshots in your OP. However it looks as if you've been getting -1017 errors. Have you read this Knowledge Base article? Disclaimer: I'm a Retrospect Mac administrator.