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parent55

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Everything posted by parent55

  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. 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
  5. 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
  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 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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)
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  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
  16. Hi, Although I am now successfully using the HP200 DVD drive, I discovered that there is a glitch in HP's DLA software that assists Retrospect to access the DVD drive. I have discovered that if your Retrospect backup session terminates abnormally (particularly with a system hang or crash) that you will subsequently get a message from DLA when you try to use the DVD disk that was in the drive. Although DLA claims to fix the problem it discovered, I have found that if you proceed to use Retrospect it is likely to hang in the middle of the backup. When you next used the DVD disk (that was in your machine when the earlier problem occurred), then DLA shows a dialog box with a message that says that it has fixed a problem with the DVD disk and cautions you to shut down your system correctly in the future. Although you respond "OK", I have discovered that the fix to the DVD disk is not completed until you restart your system again. The workaround seems to be: Before starting Retrospect you should have the DVD disk in the dirve and if you get the message from DLA, restart with the DVD disk still in the drive. The "fix" to the DVD disk "takes" at this point. Then when the system starts up and you log on again, you should not get another message from the DLA software. You should then be able to proceed successfully with a Retrospect backup. Regards, Rich 6-30
  17. Hi, I would like to know how to implement the following media strategy (in other words will Retrospect operate this way)? I propose two backup sets, each completly covering about 15 Gb of data. Each backup set initially uses say 5 DVD media. I do an incramental backup daily using alternate sets. I don't want to keep both sets on-site all of the time. So, I would like to keep one set completely on-site (no problem here) and the other set mostly off-site. For the set kept off-site, I would like to send 4 of the 5 DVD discs off-site, and then have a rotation for the 5th disk. This means multiple copies of the 5th disk, one on-site, one in the mail, one off-site. The three "5th" discs would rotate until the 5th disk is full and a 6th is added. Then the full 5th disk goes off-site and a 3 disk "6th" disk rotation starts. My questions are 1) whether Retrospect will properly deal with updating the 3 disc rotation of the last disk in the set; and 2) In the event of a Restore (assuming the on-site set is not avalialbe and after recovering the off-site set) will Retrospect be able to restore from the off-site discs plus any one of the three rotating last discs? The completness of the Restore would of course be limited by which disc in the three disc rotation was used. Thanks, Rich 7-10
  18. parent55

    Pioneer DVD-RW A03

    Hi, I've seen the hang problem on the HP 200i DVD drive. My current view is that Retrospect has some fragile code in its interface to the driver for these drives. It does not seem to recover from internal problems in situations like you describe. I would at least like to see some error/diagnostic information rather than just hang forever. My 2 cents :-) Rich 7-1
  19. The Hardware compatibilty information for the HP DVD 200 drives shows firmware version 1.06. This firmware does not allow a second DVD to be added to a backup set and therefore should not be listed as qualified. On June 25 HP released firmware version 1.27 for the drives which corrects this problem. This should be shown as the qualified version. Regards, Rich 6-29
  20. Hi again, On June 25 HP posted a new 3.5 Mb Firmware/Driver Download EXE installer file. This contains critical updates for for the HP DVD 200. With these updates you will be able to successfully use Retrospect to create a multi-DVD backup set. However, still unresolved is the problem about what HP DVD 200 drivers need to be put on the Disaster Recovery CD. This critical information is needed in order to install a recovery OS on a disk that can read the DVD backup disks. A critical problem if you actually need to restore from the backup :-) Hopefully someone (Dantz??) will come forward with guidance about this problem. Regards, Rich 6-29
  21. Hi, Some help for any folks using the new HP 200i DVD+RW drive. Yes it does work with W2K Professional. Once the drive and software is installed, and Retrospect updated to the latest rev's, you will be able to create the backup as expected. However, the restore is a Brutal process !!! You will find half way through the restore process that Retrospect cannot read the backup DVD media in the DVD drive because the restore process does not include the DVD driver software needed for Retrospect to recognize the DVD in the drive. You will need to abort the Restore and load the HP software from the HP CDROM. Then reboot twice (aborting Retrospect again along the way). Then after the 2nd reboot, restart the Retrospect Restore process. I was lucky and got it to work, but there may be ways that it would not. My suggestion would be for Dantz to include the HP200i drivers on the Emergency Recovery CD and place them correctly as part of the temp W2K OS install process. Another odd item. During the temp OS install it asked for a grapic driver called "iAlmColn" that was not in the Drivers directory on the Emergency Recovery CD. I finally "canceled" to skip it and went on successfully. Not sure if I'll miss it later, but things look ok now. The good news is that it does work. Now I just need to do something about my grey hair :-) Regards, Rich
  22. Hi, On 6/25 HP posted a DVD 200 Firmware/Driver upgrade from the shipping version 1.06 to the new version 1.27 for both internal and external models. This is particularly important to users of Windows 2000 Professional. I have been struggling to make the internal drive work correctly with Retrospect. With the upgrade the drive runs more than 5 times faster and handles the media correctly. You need this update. Regards, Rich 6-28
  23. Hi, Good suggestion, however the relevant part of the CD has 223 files in 16 folders, some of which are large CAB files. There are no obvious driver files that I see. I could be wrong but I am concluding that there is a required windows based install process needed for this to work. Keep in mind that the drive supports standard CD ATAPI functionality "out of the box" with no drivers needed to allow the Win 2000 install CD to function properly. It is only the DVD functionality needed for Retrospect that requires the software to be installed, which creates the brutal situation I described in my original post. I think this needs attention by the Dantz Retrospect folks. Thanks again for your interest, Rich 6-28
  24. Hi, I am familiar with the W2K additional driver proceedure (I've added RAID to other machines). However the HP 200i comes only with a CD and install software (which runs under Windows). I could not find a way to move the needed drivers to a floppy and install them correctly using the proceedure you suggested. Probably I missed something. Can you please tell me how to set up the HP 200i drivers on a floppy to use as you suggest? Then your approach would work and be much better than the process I had to follow. Thanks, Rich 6-26
  25. Windows 2000 Professional, fully patched
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