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parent55

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About parent55

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  1. I need virtual DVD burner software that will let me configure multiple virtual dvd burners to support my backup software (Dantz Retrospect). I want to configure multiple virtual dvd burners to allow the backup software to "burn" many DVDs during the night. Then during the day I want to copy them onto real DVD+RW discs. Can someone please recommend a product that I can use? It seems to me that many people would use this solution to take advantage of cost effective DVD discs. I have Virtualcd, Vmware and Nero imagedrive and none of them provides a solution, here is why: Virtualcd provides a way to create and mount virtual versions of *existing* images that originated on a real cd or dvd. You can even consolidate several virtual cd images onto a dvd image and vitualize that. But the actual creation of the image takes place when you use burning software to collect files and burn a real disc. In the case of Nero you can collect the files and burn a virtual image, but they do not externalize the virtual burn capability so another program like Dantz Retrospect can think it is writing to the (virtual) drive. Vmware is providing access from one or several virtual systems to a real device. They also provide methods to allow the virtual machine(s) to access *existing* virtual images. But no way for the virtual system to burn an image that is not associated with a real burner. I really believe there is a good market for a product that provides backup software with access to several virtual burners. This would allow backup software to execute unattended and burn a number of virtual disks that can then be burned to real media during the day when it is convenient. I'd pay more than retail (say $100-$200) for an add-on to Nero that provided this capability. What I have found is the people who write good backup software do not write "good" device driver software and the people who really know how to make a device "perform" don't understand how to design reliable and efficient backup systems. For example, I just spent 24 hours sitting at my computer burning 31 dvd's worth of images using Nero Backup. The same 140Gb of tape would have cost as much or more than the DVDs, the tape drives cost about $2,000 (and up) and tape is not as reliable for storage as DVD. Furthermore Nero Backup gave me errors that it could not compress my images because they were too big so I had to store them uncompressed. And Nero made no effort to determine if I backed up the exact same image more than once (because there were multiple copies in my directory tree <we can zing Microsoft for that>) or because I had changed the directory name between backup activities. Dantz Retrospect handles both of these problems. But I still have to sit there and feed the dvds into the drive (this solution would also fix the Dantz reliablity problem working with real DVD drives, but that's another story :-). Another example, my son who is at school (or anyone) who has his computer set up to backup his system each night. This works fine when there is space on the dvd, but the backup does not finish when the dvd needs to be changed at 3 AM. He gets up and aborts the backup so he can use his computer. Then puts new media into the drive for the next night. This wastes the space from the aborted on the prior dvd and fills up the new dvd that much faster. To me there seems to be an obvious niche for a product like this that smart people would PAY GOOD MONEY for. A product that both the backup software vendors and drive vendors would have reason to bundle or refer people to because it makes their products more functional (I guess the tape drive guys would not like it :-) I think the issues is that the backup industry still thinks "tape" and doesn't yet understand that DVD drives and DVD media is cheaper, faster and more reliable than tape. It is particularly good for personal computers with dvd burners (more and more these around now :-) Well I hope a developer with a desire to MAKE SOME MONEY is reading these posts too. Please forward my musings to anyone you know who might kick start this effort. Thanks, Rich
  2. I need virtual DVD burner software that will let me configure multiple virtual dvd burners to support my backup software (Dantz Retrospect). I want to configure multiple virtual dvd burners to allow the backup software to "burn" many DVDs during the night. Then during the day I want to copy them onto real DVD+RW discs. Can someone please recommend a product that I can use? It seems to me that many people would use this solution to take advantage of cost effective DVD discs. I have Virtualcd, Vmware and Nero imagedrive and none of them provides a solution, here is why: Virtualcd provides a way to create and mount virtual versions of *existing* images that originated on a real cd or dvd. You can even consolidate several virtual cd images onto a dvd image and vitualize that. But the actual creation of the image takes place when you use burning software to collect files and burn a real disc. In the case of Nero you can collect the files and burn a virtual image, but they do not externalize the virtual burn capability so another program like Dantz Retrospect can think it is writing to the (virtual) drive. Vmware is providing access from one or several virtual systems to a real device. They also provide methods to allow the virtual machine(s) to access *existing* virtual images. But no way for the virtual system to burn an image that is not associated with a real burner. I really believe there is a good market for a product that provides backup software with access to several virtual burners. This would allow backup software to execute unattended and burn a number of virtual disks that can then be burned to real media during the day when it is convenient. I'd pay more than retail (say $100-$200) for an add-on to Nero that provided this capability. What I have found is the people who write good backup software do not write "good" device driver software and the people who really know how to make a device "perform" don't understand how to design reliable and efficient backup systems. For example, I just spent 24 hours sitting at my computer burning 31 dvd's worth of images using Nero Backup. The same 140Gb of tape would have cost as much or more than the DVDs, the tape drives cost about $2,000 (and up) and tape is not as reliable for storage as DVD. Furthermore Nero Backup gave me errors that it could not compress my images because they were too big so I had to store them uncompressed. And Nero made no effort to determine if I backed up the exact same image more than once (because there were multiple copies in my directory tree <we can zing Microsoft for that>) or because I had changed the directory name between backup activities. Dantz Retrospect handles both of these problems. But I still have to sit there and feed the dvds into the drive (this solution would also fix the Dantz reliablity problem working with real DVD drives, but that's another story :-). Another example, my son who is at school (or anyone) who has his computer set up to backup his system each night. This works fine when there is space on the dvd, but the backup does not finish when the dvd needs to be changed at 3 AM. He gets up and aborts the backup so he can use his computer. Then puts new media into the drive for the next night. This wastes the space from the aborted on the prior dvd and fills up the new dvd that much faster. To me there seems to be an obvious niche for a product like this that smart people would PAY GOOD MONEY for. A product that both the backup software vendors and drive vendors would have reason to bundle or refer people to because it makes their products more functional (I guess the tape drive guys would not like it :-) I think the issues is that the backup industry still thinks "tape" and doesn't yet understand that DVD drives and DVD media is cheaper, faster and more reliable than tape. It is particularly good for personal computers with dvd burners (more and more these around now :-) Well I hope a developer with a desire to MAKE SOME MONEY is reading these posts too. Please forward my musings to anyone you know who might kick start this effort. Thanks, Rich
  3. parent55

    Waiting for Media -- But it is there !!

    Just to give folks the answer on this problem. Dantz says it is a bug in Retrospect. When doing a catalog rebuild using DVDs and when a file being backed up spans across DVD volumes and when the second DVD has a read error. Then when you say skip the DVD with the read error and go onto the next DVD, Retrospect hangs waiting for media that is actually there in the drive. So you have to also skip the next good DVD in order to proceed with the recatalog. Sigh
  4. parent55

    Waiting for Media -- But it is there !!

    Hi, Thank you all for trying to help. AmyJ wrote: "A catalog rebuild is considered a manual operation and will always require you to select the next member and click okay to proceed." She then gave some reasons why this was so. Except it is not entirely so. When using multiple CD/DVD drives for the re-catalog, Retrospect does not give you a choice of which drive or media to use next. It only asks if one of the drives is loaded with the next DVD named "XXX" that it wants to use (something it could plainly see for itself). Once you say "OK" Retrospect goes and finds the drive with the needed DVD all by itself, you do not "select" it. Perhaps if you do as AmyJ therorized and 1) use the same name for multiple Backup Sets thereby generating multiple pieces of media with different content but the same name and 2) put the same media name from two Backup Sets into two drives at the same time, then I suppose Retrospect may give another dialog box for you to make a choice. Since I use different names for each Backup Set and thus my media is unique, Retrospect realizes that it doesn't need me to make a choice and so no selection dialog box. Rich
  5. parent55

    Waiting for Media -- But it is there !!

    Hi All, I just finished talking with Retrospect Technical support. The tell me that Retrospect always puts up a dialog box first to talk to the user before it looks to see whether what is needed is already available. "Retrospect is not designed to work with multiple DVD drives, it assumes there is only one DVD drive in a machine". Rich
  6. parent55

    Waiting for Media -- But it is there !!

    Hi All, I just finished talking with Retrospect Technical support. The tell me that Retrospect always puts up a dialog box first to talk to the user before it looks to see that what is needed is already available. "Retrospect is not designed to work with multiple DVD drives, it assumes there is only one DVD drive in a machine". Rich
  7. parent55

    Waiting for Media -- But it is there !!

    Hi Howard, Please read the thread, your suggestions do not appear relevant to the problem. Hi Amy J, Unfortunately, I do need to recatalog from scratch. Do you have any suggestions how to get Retrospect to look at the available DVDs before asking for one that is already available? The problem described above. Thanks, Rich
  8. parent55

    Waiting for Media -- But it is there !!

    Hi, I stopped the recatalog and updated the driver as you suggested. I restared Retrospect and the recatalog activity. Now I am back where I was at the beginning. Retrosepct is reqeusting a DVD that is already loaded into one of the drives. The device window shows the DVD as loaded into the drive, but still says load the media. The status window just sits there blinking "waiting for media". The correct media is already in a drive and ready to use, Restropect reports that it is there correctly but will not use it. I opened and closed the drive drawer so the media would unload and reload. This happened, but Retrospect is still behaving like I descrived just above. The way I worked around this error as described earlier in this thread was to start the recatalog over from the beginning. I will do that now (although this means I loose 5 disks worth of recatalog time, about 10 hours) Ok I restarted, but the new driver had no effect on the problem. Retrospect behaves just like before. When you start a recatalog from the beginning, it asks for every DVD before it looks to see if it is there. However, it does see the disk once you hit the return key (unlike when you try to resume a recatalog effort and it just keeps asking without seeing). The automation value of having three drives is still wasted and recataloging 40 DVDs is very slow. Rich
  9. parent55

    Waiting for Media -- But it is there !!

    I'm using Retrospect Pro 6.5 the latest version download two weeks ago (however, it does not have the just released driver file)
  10. parent55

    Waiting for Media -- But it is there !!

    Hi, I'm using fully patched Windows 2000. I note that the new driver announcement includes a fix where Retrospect is looking for a new member of a tape backup and asks for the member prematurely (I guess this means before it has finished looking to see if it is available). This is kind of like my problem, except I'm using multiple DVD drives, not a tape carousel. If Retrospect would first look to see if the next DVD is already available on one of the drives before it asks for it, that would fix my problem. Do you think NT passthrough will do this? Thanks, Rich
  11. parent55

    Waiting for Media -- But it is there !!

    Problem improved after I deleted the catalog and started the recatalog over. Now Retrospect sees the DVD and uses it. But then even though it recognizes the next DVD needed is in another drive, will not go on to recatalog the next DVD until I hit the return key. This kills the automation value of having three DVD drives. Sigh.
  12. I'm running the most current version of Professional on W2k (fully patched). I use three Plextor 708A DVD drives that I just moved from the IDE controller to a SIIG PCI controller card. I'm trying to recreate my DVD catalog. The Retrospect media window pops up and asks for DVD X and I put it into the drive. The Retrospect media window shows that DVD X is in the drive and ready, but at the top of the window it still shows waiting for DVD X. It reports that the requested media is loaded and ready, but at the same time does not recognize it is there. The main window continues to wait for media. How do I get Retrospect to recognzie the media and continue ? Thanks, Rich
  13. I'm having the same problems you report. I'm trying to back up a server with only one (mirrored) disk. Since the C drive has the operating system on it, I'm not sure that the disk inactivity threshold of 5000 ms will ever be met. Note that Multi Server backup has backed up most of the information on the disk without using Open File. I'd just like to finish the job for the remaining files. My question is how short can we appropriately make the Open File disk inactivity threshold? Would 1000 ms be ok? Shorter? What are the consequences? FYI, I already have >500 Mb free, NTFS, am running backup in the middle of a weekend night to minimize activity and did turn off multi-volume data set protect. Rich
  14. The importance of verifying each backup set member *as it is written* is particularly compelling when you realize that the dominate backup medium is becoming the 4.7 Gb DVD drive. This media is much more reliable that tape, as fast as tape, and less expensive. I currently use two HP DVD 200i drives and would have a very efficient backup system if I didn't have to go back and run every DVD through the system twice. As disk drive capacity heads toward 200 Gb the importance of only handling the media one time is even more important. As I write this I am backing up 46 Gb of data on 8 DVD+RW discs (cost $2.50 each) and just finishing the first pass of the 8 discs through the machine. Now I will have to run all 8 discs through the machine again. Since I come and go in my work and feed discs as time permits, doing this twice adds significant time to the backup process. The company that understands the potential for DVD backup to replace tape backup based systems for SOHO use, has the opportunity to lead the SOHO backup industry in the next generation of backup systems. The key to success is efficient handling of DVD media for the operator.
  15. parent55

    DVD+RW Erase?

    I have made the same discovery about the 25 minute delay writing blank media using the HP DVD200i. I agree there is a tremendous waste of time erasing blank media. I also note that Retrospect is using the HP DLA packet driver, so the format of the disk is not controlled by Retrospect. Now I will quote the December PCWorld article "DVD Burners Hit Prime Time" which says: "the much faster times of the DVD+RW drives compared to the DVD-RW units are also partly due to a function built into DVD+RW drives that lets them format rewritable discs in the background. This allows you to start writing data to a DVD+RW disc much quicker-- generally within a minute of inserting the blank, unformated disc." Based on this information, I believe that the problem here is in the Retrospect software which is probably treating the +RW drives like the -RW drives which do not have this fast write capability. Rich
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