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kidziti

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  1. kidziti

    Automating a removable disk backup

    I am pretty sure that most cloud services offer the option of sending a drive with your data so that it doesn't all have to transfer via internet, but admit that I'd feel uneasy sending all my data on an external drive via UPS/FedEx or whatever else. While that would not address the concern in your last question, I cannot imagine a cloud service not having or at least offering an offline (protected) copy of what you can access online. One service that stands out in terms of affordability, security and upload options is Amazon S3 and they discuss the issue of large initial uploads here ("Send Us That Data") and in fact have an interesting option called Snowball where they have a quick and informative video that explains how it works.
  2. kidziti

    Automating a removable disk backup

    David - Thank you for your apologies and I do accept them with the same grace with which you wrote them. I read carefully your last post and wanted to clarify that I am very much like you - a LAN "administrator" in my own home. I am not a professional in IT administration - my professional degree is an entirely different field. But with another user in the house who deals with a plethora of emails, I know that we are one click away from the kind of thing most home users probably never think about. A ransomware attack happened to a business I deal with, so suddenly it became "real" instead of simply a theoretical possibility. I once bought an item on eBay and immediately got an email confirming it - but a detail was incorrect. Without thinking - and it was an expected email anyways - I clicked the link and signed in. Suddenly my account was shut down because I was illegally selling BMWs. I think about that now - and about how lucky I was it was not a malicious extortion attack. Probable? Perhaps not. Possible? Certainly. Data security is one of those fields that is likely well-served by embracing a bit of paranoia as a strategic component in the algorithm. Skip these next light-gray paragraphs if you wish - they are a little backstory of why I am here at the Retrospect forum. When I mentioned that I prefer forums over tech support, it's because I generally find a higher level of expertise and experience on the forums. I have found that 80 - maybe 90 - percent of my calls to tech support lines reveal I know more about solving my problems then they do. And so I come to places like this - with people like David, Nigel, and Lennart. I am far from God's gift to human intelligence (sometimes I swear I'm just here on earth to provide comic relief for the rest of you), but I have two synergistic qualities that make up for the brain power I lack: First, I'm a techno-geek and love learning the patterns of digital logic just "because" (but I don't wear flood pants, bowties, or thick-framed glasses held together at the hinges by white tape.) The second quality is that I'm amazingly stubborn. That was a shortcoming I had hoped to outgrow, then to unlearn. Unable to shake the curse, I've relented and learned to embrace it as a means to a better end. I'll figure out anything given enough time (often a significant variable, unfortunately) - not by virtue of my intelligence so much as simple relentless drive. I suppose it doesn't take more than a single mistake to bring someone to the learning curve of a program like Retrospect that - configured correctly - is a powerful security tool. Maybe it's losing the emails of your oldest and best friend who was like a brother to you - who committed suicide just three months before. That's a hell - sort of like losing him all over again - that I would wish on nobody. Or almost losing the last priceless videos of your mom laughing with the family because you trusted NAS redundancy too much and let your outdated backup program slide. Fortunately, SMB access saved 99.9% of my data. And it only took a year off of my life in stress and anguish. So as technical as this is - and especially for us home LAN administrators tending to digital kingdoms surrounded by a white picket fences far from glass buildings and cubicles and project management teams - it can get surprisingly personal very suddenly. And that's why I'm here. It reminds me of the new president of a foundering drill company who closed the factory for an afternoon, took his employees out to lunch and asked them, "So we're having a tough time selling our product. Do you even know what that product is? What do we sell here, folks?" The answer was resounding. "Drills!" the employees shouted. The new leader shook his head with a smile and said, "No. We sell holes." I think about that with Retrospect. It's a fun program to learn and discover. But at the end of the day, back-ups are only the means. The real product is simple peace of mind - knowing one's digital treasures are safe. Getting back to the nitty gritty - I have been thinking about the bank deposit box approach myself, David. I suppose there are so many levels that can be employed. Knowing me, I'll likely fail at some point to do that as my enthusiasm wanes and other things get in the way as they tend to do. I am thinking the cloud is probably a better solution but with hacks and data breaches happening to robust enterprises that should have been secure, I wonder if we put far more stock in cloud security than we should. You brought up an interesting point of making the removable backup a bit more historic by a day to add more ransomware security from more recent and perhaps yet unrealized attacks. I agree that would be a good strategy. And again, I think of the cloud. If you don't mind me asking, is there a reason you prefer walking your data physically every weekend to safe deposit storage vs just putting it in the cloud? Nigel - Windows scripting does sound intriguing. I also wonder if increasing scripting power within Retrospect is something that Storcentric is considering. That's a high hope, of course. I could probably figure Windows scripting out, but my obstacle at the moment is finding the time to do so.
  3. kidziti

    Automating a removable disk backup

    Thank you to David and Nigel for taking the time to answer. I have gleaned good information from both of your answers. And yes, David - the fourth paragraph is a redundancy for me. My solution to alternating between my two perpetually-connected external drives was simply to schedule each on an every-other-day schedule and start them a day apart - easy peasy and they've been humming along fine for the past week. I apologize that the third drive confused you - it is simply an external drive to add an unmounted redundancy to the two alternate-day backups. As such, I'm fine with a transfer backup to it from either drive and was simply looking for a more elegant way to do it than plugging it in and starting a manual backup - then unplugging it. I suppose if I scripted a dismount of that drive after the transfer backup, then I wouldn't have to physically unplug it from the USB port to keep it safe? To your many questions, David, I am also aware that I have 45 days of free technical support but (1) my work hours completely lock me out of available support hours and (2) I generally have found the best help via shared forums than directly from technical support. And so you know, I have Windows Desktop version 16.5.1.109. I've obviously caused some serious consternation for you, David. Please understand that was not my intent. I am also quite active helping other users on a different forum and certainly know what it means to volunteer time to do that. I have not had too many people abuse my time, fortunately, but when it seems they do, it is often because they are just finding their way and I try to be patient and polite. So I think I understand where your frustration comes from when someone like me who is not as smart as you in this field stumbles about, failing to even know how to phrase the question correctly. While you are undoubtedly at the top of the pack here in terms of technical expertise on Retrospect - something I do respect - I might suggest refining the way you address people you do not know and would presume to help. I would never phrase a response to anyone in such a personally targeted and public way as the quote above. It's targeted when "you" appears 20 times in the first seven sentences. And it's personal when the answer to my question is three consecutive "do you realize" questions right back at me, followed by two statements describing how my question is a "problem" for you. And just in case I have not been talked down to enough, I am described in rather prurient terms ("strip tease") - a not-so-subtle way to shame me. And that is topped off with a salient suggestion that I metaphorically undress completely. Perhaps you might agree that is a rather humiliating way to address anyone - especially someone you do not know.
  4. kidziti

    Error -1104 (device not ready)

    Do you have a recommendation for a program that can do a surface scan and mark the sectors?
  5. I have two external drives which I use as backup destinations on alternate nights. I am using a third drive which will only stay connected during the backup and them I would disconnect it (as protection from ransomware attacks.) I'd like to do something that is essentially an inverse of what I have with proactively backing up my laptop - but for the destination, not the source. I'd like a situation such that when I plug in the destination drive for this backup, Retrospect sees it and runs the backup script that I designed for that destination. I suspect that is not possible but figured I would ask anyways.
  6. kidziti

    Purchase decision question

    I am a week into the trial period with Retrospect Desktop and with an intention to purchase. It has come down to this or Cloudberry - and I'm likely sticking with Retrospect (despite the frustration of a clunky and inescapable dashboard.) I'm a Retrospect Professional 7.7 owner currently and dashboard almost made me stick with that to wait out another version, but I like Proactive backup too much and suspect I'll be connecting with the cloud for backups as well. My question has to do with the ASM (annual service and maintenance agreement.) Normally, I don't purchase service agreements with software after the initial period of included tech support, because most of my learning curve and shake-down work is done in that period. So I have little need for extended tech support. But there are other variables here. I was told by Retrospect sales that a new version is coming out in March or thereabouts and I'd be very interested in that especially if it fixes some of the current issues (ASM = free upgrades during that year of tech support.) But even more to the point is that Retrospect is now owned by Storcentric (they purchased it I think this past August.) That's my real question here. I've been reading up on Storcentric. They also bought Drobo (DAS and NAS machines) and seem to be focused on creating a new integrated (software + hardware) approach to data storage and security. Storcentric seems innovative rather than just a company that wants to buy and sell without investing much in R&D. Given that Retrospect seems in relative decline among a fast, new pack of more elegant interfaces and solutions to backup data, it hardly seems like something worth buying just to ride the dropping sales profits. It would seem a more rational reason to purchase Retrospect is to develop what is a fundamentally sound solution and making it better. I don't know that I trust my insights into these things, but I see that plus I look at Storcentric's intent of redesigning an integrated software-hardware product with Retrospect and Drobo and can't help but think that would translate to a more meaningful overhaul of Retrospect. For that reason alone, I think it might be worth the ASM and - heck - maybe I should buy a few shares of stock in Storcentric while I'm at it? I'm far from a financial guru so please don't take that too seriously, but I'd still be interested in anyone else's thoughts on this.
  7. Dashboard actually got me excited- a more friendly user interface! But it is dog-slow (okay - I LOVE dogs, but this thing is a Basset Hound in Greyhound race.) It often hangs, gobbles resources, hangs again when trying to simply scroll, and ultimately gives little useful information. It's everything short of what we've come to expect from Retrospect - a lean, efficient, business-like and functional application. When Retrospect is invoked by a scheduled script, dashboard is the only option that comes up when you want to monitor the program itself - and the fact that there is no escape from dashboard only adds to the frustration. I get that it is well-intended - but it was executed poorly and ends up detracting from the program. I'm in the trial period (Windows 16.5) and likely will invest in Retrospect based on the last ten years of functionality and reliability with 7.7. The dashboard is the single biggest negative in my pluses and minuses column as I decide on making the purchase. Just my opinion here, but instead of the dashboard, might I suggest this approach: Develop a user interface that finally leaves the '90's behind. It would probably meet dashboard's intent with more digital elegance. Add a tray monitor - something we can mouse over and see the basics, or open and get more detail. Perhaps that goes to knowing your customers. Face it - this is a techie's software that requires a greater learning curve than the prettier faces like Cloudberry. I could be mistaken, but I suspect most Retrospect users (certainly me) would appreciate a backup solution that provides ease of both interface and access - and a tray monitor would be a simple, performance-oriented way to do just that.
  8. Great idea! I've been trying to get those permissions through the Windows OS when in fact maybe I can do it through user permissions on the NAS. It's too late for me to check into that tonight but perhaps tomorrow night or Thursday. I'll report back if I can do it. PS - it's an old Linux (Sparc) based NetGear NV+ (version 1) and I deleted the pre-installed backup share. Otherwise I'd just explore those permissions.
  9. kidziti

    Half the time I get the Dashboard

    I had an opportunity to speak with tech support and it was suggested that the best way around dashboard is to always have Retrospect running. At least that is the solution directly from Retrospect via their technical support. It seems a poorly implemented feature but it defaults when Retrospect is running a backup. I know I need to at least double the 8 Gb Ram on my Xeon-based OptiPlex, but he did not think it was a resource bottleneck on my end - which to me sounded like an acknowledgment that Retrospect knows dashboard is a resource problem. I told him the only way I know if Retrospect is running is to open Task Manager and see the process running, and that it would be nice to at least have a tray icon. As a techie-oriented software, I imagine Retrospect appeals to people like me who like to get their digital fingers dirty. So how could a user in the Retrospect fan club ever appreciate not having at least a tray icon gauge to keep digital tabs on the process? He said he would relay my thoughts to R&D.
  10. Hi folks and especially David and Nigel and mbennet - Just to update you all, I finally had a moment where my free hours lined up with California and I could speak with tech support. I spoke with a very helpful tech there (Kyle) and we went over everything in pretty granular detail. The setup to him seems perfect, and so we are ascribing the 1017's to a fluke (although in the digital world we all know that such an autonomous binary does not exist.) I suspect that somewhere along the line I had something misconfigured, but at this time everything is running perfectly. I'll let it continue and if any other errors pop up, I'll let you know so other people struggling as I have might also find a clue. Thanks for your help.
  11. Thanks, Nigel. I was thinking of making an account specifically for Retrospect but unless I can figure out how to give it the same broad access as Administrator, I'm not sure it will work and don't see any advantage of that over using the logged-in user account. I'm still curious how I can designate the Administrator as the specified user, have Retrospect acknowledge it by asking me to reboot, and then have it be completely ignored by Retrospect without even an error message. It is either a serious flaw in the design of the program, or (more likely) there is something I simply do not understand about setting it up. If I could figure that out, I think it would open up another avenue of understanding this software. In any case, I'll be struggling with this the rest of the day and hopefully will get a bit further than I managed to over the weekend.
  12. kidziti

    Ignore this one

    Unable to delete so ignore.
  13. kidziti

    Suddenly Error 1116 Decides to Happen

    While user-level access works like a charm with respect to Windows access via file explorer, it seems to have only confused Retrospect even more. I was hoping it would help but I get permission access errors (1017) on all four NAS shares now. Interestingly, I only get them on a scheduled run of the script. If I do a manual run, Retrospect completes with no errors - but then says it successfully backed up zero folders and files. Some day I'll figure out what is going wrong with my setup.
  14. kidziti

    Half the time I get the Dashboard

    Thanks, David. It looks like the last option is probably the way to go, but I put in a support ticket just to be sure I'm not screwing something up that I am unaware of.
  15. After spending most of the only free day I had trying to configure permissions to back up a NAS that badly needs redundancy protection, I've managed to only make things worse and am obviously going in precisely the wrong direction despite reading the manual and researching the forum responses. The first step was migrating share-level access to user-level access mode on the NAS. While share-level was end-of-life, migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 further exacerbated the incongruities, but it was really about making things as perfect as I could for Retrospect to smoothly see and backup that NAS with no errors and no issues. It took some time and a bit of trial and error to figure out, but the NAS runs beautifully now on user-level and access via Windows 10 explorer is flawless. I then enabled the Administrator account in Windows 10 specifically for Retrospect to use. Again, there was a learning curve when I tried to assign it to "specified user" in the security section of preferences. It would give me errors telling me that something was wrong - yet stop short of telling me what it was. So I hit the curve again - figured that while Windows default when enabling the Administrator account is no password, I needed to add a password because Retrospect cannot have a "blank" in the password box. It took me some extra time to understand what to put in the log on to prompt - and realized it was the computer name. Once I got that done, it told me that the new access would be effective after a reboot. So I rebooted. No errors. But the logged-in user is what shows in the title bar. Yet when I open Preferences -> Security, it shows me it's the Administrator account running the show. So Retrospect apparently doesn't even know who is running the backup - or if it does, it is telling me something that is not true. I even added a login as to each volume I am backing up (also as Administrator) in an effort to make it crystal clear to Retrospect that that is the access I want it to have. In all, it's this disconnect from Retrospect that has me so circumspect. I am including a screen shot that pretty much says it all - the specified user that Retrospect says is the user while at the same time whispering in the title bar that it's really the logged-in user, the access to the PC's hard drive while showing total permissions denial on all four shares of the NAS. The back story to this is that our NAS crashed last month. Retrospect 7.7 was not backing things up as I thought it was. I almost lost everything - irreplaceable memories, documents and data - but managed to recover 99.99% of it all over several slow days of SMB access. A rigorous testing showed the NAS was perfectly robust but rapidly rising ATA errors on two of the four drives crashed the NAS (if only one disk was bad, the redundancy might have preserved the data better.) So I purchased 4 new 1 Tb WD red drives (made specifically for NAS environments), and two external WD 4 Tb drives. I reloaded the NAS and the external drives are in place. The only thing missing is a reliable backup program. The idea is to use the NAS as a home network file server and back up alternatively to each of the two external drives. I upgraded Retrospect to the latest version (16.something) and with the new drives, updated program, etc. I think I 'm doing everything right. But after that experience last month, it is a huge priority for me to get Retrospect running as it is designed to do, and with every unexplained error, I am losing confidence in the very program that should be all about building confidence.
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