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Mark_G

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Mark_G last won the day on May 20 2014

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About Mark_G

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    Aptos, CA
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    Deploying a reliable backup system for my Mac's!
  1. Retrospect: 11.0.1 Mac OS X: 10.9.3 While running a backup script, Retrospect's grooming routine started at what looks to be about 3:00AM. This was expected behavior, as I have grooming enabled for that Media Set. Three hours later it's still at it. It's reporting "Remaining 30,067 files 14.4GB 00:09:59", but has been for at least the last hour, maybe more. The file it's working on has not changed in that time either. I should point out that I was anticipating the groom, as the Media Set was close to full. And I should add that this Media set had not been used for months, not since before I upgraded from Retro 9 straight to 11. (So the last time I backed up to it I was running Retro 9 on Snow Leopard.) The media set was over 800GB. The Status is reporting "Grooming..." with the spinning activity indicator. And sometimes alternates to "Matching <name of backup set>", so it appears to be doing something. The interface is otherwise responsive: I can select menu items and click buttons, etc, with the expected result. Is this a hang, or normal? And more importantly: If it is a hang, can it be safely stopped without compromising the integrity of the backup destination's files? If I do have to stop the process, will it pickup where it left off after restarting Retrospect? Or after I restart the computer? Or after I repeat the script that initiated the Groom to begin with? OR, am I just being impatient: Does the interface report "Remaining..." info for the groom while grooming is executing? Or is my "Remaining..." info just indicating at what point the script was when grooming interrupted? And now grooming is happening, but not indicating progress, and just needs to complete before the backup resumes? If that is the case, anyone's guess how long it might take to groom 800GB (external drive, over Firewire 800)?
  2. Oops, I may have just answered my own question. I just rechecked the Locate Media Set's dialog and one of the missing local volumes is now there. I'm still missing the boot drive, which has the catalog I'm trying to locate, but I now have a clue. I'm currently running a script that is backing up the two "missing" local drives. The script just finished one of the drives, and that drive showed up in the dialog. Perhaps when the script is finished, I'll find the missing boot drive in the Locate Media Set's dialog, too.
  3. Mac OS X 10.9.2 Running trial version of Retrospect 11. I have long forgotten how I set up my original Media Sets. There are password and encryption settings for a Media Set. How do I determine the Media Set Security settings for an existing Media Set?
  4. Mac OS 10.9.2 Running a trial of Retrospect 11. I've installed Retrospect 11 on a clean install of Mavericks. I restored all the Application Support files from a previous install of Retrospect 9 (from the same machine's previous Snow Leopard OS). Retro 11 picked up all my Retro 9 settings, catalogs, media sets, etc. So far, so good. I've even ran a large backup, everything's working. But for some reason I inadvertently deleted two of my four previous Media Sets. I was doing some house cleaning and got a little carried away, I guess... So the documentation describes how to add an existing Media Set. I was able to restore the catalog of the deleted set to its default location, no problem there. But when I click the Locate button on the Media Sets Tool Bar, two of the local machine's volumes do not appear in the resulting dialog box. Other local volumes do. And one of the missing volumes is the OS boot drive, where Retrospect's Application Support folder resides. Hence, I cannot "Locate" the catalog I want to add! What's up with that?
  5. Interesting, and I can't fathom the logic either. Unless it is because Retrospect's mechanism is resource intensive and every five minutes is their solution to the performance hit. Sounds like lazy programming to me. The last five minutes of any given day is not work I would care to gamble with. And if this omission is not clearly documented?!? Or at all. Kinda inexcusable. This is the kind of stuff that worries me about Retrospect. And I'm no expert on the OS's file-change tracking mechanism, but it seems to me that Mac OS does indeed do this tracking, at the system level. So why not just tap into that database, at the beginning of each backup, scheduled or manual? Why have RetroISA at all? Who knows. I'll just ignore it. Never having used it, I won't miss it! Maybe they'll fix it. What I do miss, however, is the Retrospect Event Handler. Ever use that? It could fire AppleScripts based on the progress of a backup. I used it to shut down systems when backup was complete (among other things). I never cared too much about how long backups would take, I just let them go and the Retrospect Event Handler would close up shop when everything was done. Worked pretty good. But they axed it some time ago. Again, too lazy to keep it active. Or maybe I was the only one that ever used it!! It was kinda obscure, I'll admit. Bummer. I did devise a work-around for the missing Handler, but it is kludgy and untested in 10.5. Hope it still works. It's basically an AppleScript that polls Retrospect's inner files every few minutes until it "figures out" that Retrospect is finished. Something like that. Then it fires its "nighty-night" routines.
  6. Ah, thanks for the clarification. As I do not use scheduling, but instead initiate backups by selecting the desired script, I assume that means I do manual back ups. So that also means my backups will be as slow as ever (in terms of Retrospect figuring out what needs to be backed up)? Bummer. Though it might be just as well, as: 1) RetroISA seems to be a bit problematic, and 2) Is that method of determining files to back up all the reliable? CrashPlan uses a similar scheme, but regularly runs a routine to verify that all files are actually backed up. I believe Time Machine does the same thing: using an OS-maintained "quick list" for the most part, but periodically checking that all files are actually backed up. This seems to me to be a big red flag that the "keep track of which files change" method for quick backups, whether CrashPlan's, Retrospect's, and even Apple's, doesn't work 100%. Computer law dictates the file that inadvertently gets missed in a backup is the one you'll need to restore!! Thanks again for the feedback and tips.
  7. Thanks, Maser. I'll implement Retro 10.5 on Mavericks this weekend and post results. Guess I'll have to study up on RetroISA to see what that is, and if I need it. I don't recall needing it in the past (if it existed before v10). I back up 5 computers to a rotating set of external hard drives, swapping on- and off-site sets periodically. One of the five computers runs the Retrospect server, to which I connect the external drives. Four with the same OS (Mavericks), one an old Leopard Machine I maintain for legacy apps and docs. No WAN stuff, no tape, no Windows. Pretty simple (I hope)...
  8. Thanks, Wendy, for weighing in. That's good news. I'll heed the info about RetroISA (though I don't yet even know what that is). The permissions issue is "non" for me, as, right or wrong, I'm always logged in as admin. I have to say, I am surprised at the number of responses I've received. I would have thought this to be a bigger, more active topic: v10 and Mavericks. I didn't see any other threads about it. Am I wrong? Or it this forum just not that active? Oh, well, I guess I'll have to roll the dice eventually. I must rely on Retrospect, as I've yet to find a better solution, and I'm now on Mavericks and am not going back... Hmmm, come to think of it, I guess I knew all that before I posted!! Thing is: I'm still stinging from my experience with Adobe CC. Adobe's website touted completely Mavericks compatibility. And I couldn't Google any problems. It was only after I upgraded to CC and Mavericks, and the nasty problems ensued, that I was able to conjure up Google results (because now I was searching for specific problems.) Turns out there were big problems with CC and Mavericks, acknowledged by Adobe in the forums, but not on their compatibility web page. I find this practice reprehensible, even actionable. [End rant.] I'm just trying to be more thorough this time with Retrospect... Thanks again for your help.
  9. Thanks iCompute for your response. One vote for "OK to go from 9 to 10!" Anyone else have thoughts and/or answers to the other specific questions I asked? 1. Anyone with specific Mavericks (OS X 9.1) compatibility experience? Good or bad? 2. Will Retro 10.5 make use of Retro 9 backups, or will I be starting from scratch? 3. Can one now control the order in which clients are backed up in 10.5?
  10. Very long-time Retrospect user here. Since v6. Last version used was v9. I was extremely comfortable using v6, both in terms of proficiency and trust. But was pushed into v8, then v9, probably because of OS compatibility (can't remember now). I found v9 to be somewhat lacking. All kinds of weird (even buggy) UI elements really lowered my trust in this product. And this very forum was rife with complaints about versions since v6. But I continued to use it as no competing solutions (at a reasonable price) emerged that were suitable for my need. Despite the UI issues, backups and restores have so far shown to be reliable (but I'm still not "100%" as I was with v6). That was all running on Mac OS 6.8 (Snow Leopard). I've now migrated all my computers (five in total) to Mac OS 9.1 (Mavericks). So here are my questions, to any that would care to weigh in: For those of you with an understanding of the UI issues of v9, would you say I can expect an improved experience with v10.5? Have they fixed everything? Some things? Nothing? Can I now, at least, control the order in which the clients backup? Does the log actually work (while the backup is in progress)? Do the controls available to the clients (via System Preferences and the menu extra) actually work now (never could get that stuff to work)? Etc... Will v10.5 running on Mavericks utilize my v9 backups, or will I be starting from scratch? Would you say the v10.5 is completely compatible with Mavericks? Any known issues? In other words: if you had done a complete clean install of OS (to Mavericks), and restored all data files from cloned HDs, on five local Mac computers, would you upgrade to v10.5 and continue to use Retrospect, and trust it completely?* *By "completely" I mean: I'm not crazy: I also use CrashPlan plus Time Machine plus Dropbox plus clones plus all mission critical drives are raid-mirrored, so Retrospect is only a part of my backup strategy, but I still expect, and want to know, that each component of that strategy is as near-100% reliable as is reasonable to expect. Any/all comments appreciated!
  11. I found a work-around in v8. I'm not using v9 yet, so you'll have to experiment yourself. (It's been a while since I developed this, so I'd have to go back and see what I did.) v8 writes to a temporary file (I think it is some sort of log), while it's backing up. When the back up completes, v8 deletes this temporary file. Once v8 starts its backup up, I just launch an AppleScript that loops every few minutes testing for the existence of the temporary file. When my script discovers that the file no longer exists, it fires off its "shutdown" routine. Of course, the routine could be anything: sleep, quitting v8, unmounting drives, email alerts, etc. I even have it read the log and "rewrite" it to my liking (Raw v8 logs are not particularly human-readable, so the script extracts just what I'm after and writes that to a text file on my desktop. Each morning I get a Text Edit mini-report of what happened during last night's backup). Sound's cludgy, I know, and it is. But it does work reliably. When I'm ready to go to v9, I'll have to revisit this to see if my script still works. I'll repost my findings at that time. Of course, if Retrospect could add some AppleScript support, or at least restore the Retrospect Event Handler stuff v6 used to do, that would be ideal. Hint, hint!
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