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Everything posted by mbennett

  1. mbennett

    Another New Windows User, advise on DR

    Click Backup | Disaster Recovery. This will probably require that you download and install a huge free library of Microsoft utilities before you can continue. There's documentation in the manual. Try it and get back in touch if you have problems. I think there is also a Youtube video on this which will help explain. Good luck
  2. mbennett

    Cant update catalouge

    Stephen123, You need to contact Retrospect support and get them on this. Retrospect can create much more detailed logs than you see in the defaults, and they'll tell you how to jack up the log level. I would do that instead on uninstalling. However, if you're determined to uninstall, download the Revo Uninstaller and launch it. The free version will do. Start the uninstallation process from within Revo and after the standard Retrospect uninstallation program has completed, Revo will present you with lists of left over files and registry entries. I would not do that myself in this situation. I would email support now with as many details as you can give them.
  3. mbennett

    New Windows user wants advice

    Here is the link to the earlier thread on this subject. The last long entry in the thread is the solution I continue to use. http://forums.retrospect.com/index.php?/topic/151793-backup-jobs-dont-run-unless-logged-in-and-retrospect-is-started/
  4. mbennett

    New Windows user wants advice

    iComputer, If it says another user is running Retrospect that means the service is running. You should launch the Retrospect Dashboard. If you don't see the information you need there, click the "Relaunch" link in the top right corner of the window and the Retrospect program will run without the message and you can make any changes necessary. The alternative is to stop the service and remember to restart it. I personally find it easier to use the dashboard to get access. If you're logged in as an administrator on a domain, or a user with administrator privileges on a non-domain Windows system, the service will run but it's very twitchy. There is a solution to running the "Retrospect server" PC while logged in as a non-administrator, and it is kludgey. I posted it about a year ago and I'll find it and provide the link. Mark
  5. mbennett

    Backup sets missing

    Are you sending both backup sets to a single USB drive? If so and browsing to that drive shows it's empty, you can either pay somebody to recover the information which will probably not be successful, or format the drive and start over. If I were using USB drives to backup, I would use at least four of them in rotation, knowing that this day is coming and at some point in the near future one of them is going to disappear. You need to switch to more reliable media. Just my opinion, but I've seen a lot of USB drives do this. They should only be use for temporary storage. Good luck.
  6. mbennett

    Cannot Access NAS Drive: Error 1019

    There is this in the Knowledgebase: https://www.retrospect.com/en/support/kb/1019_out_of_resource_errors_with_multiple_executions_on_a_local_windows_server Doesn't mention WinX specifically, but it does say all versions of Windows. I looked for an option to safe start Retrospect, but I don't think there is one.
  7. mbennett

    Upgrade Retrospect Desktop to version 12

    I've started my own private KB for Retrospect issues for frequent problems, and this is what I have. Maybe it will help fix your problems. First, run 'chkdsk c: /f' on any volume when you receive this error for more than two sessions in a row. If you get the error: Can't backup System State Error 1101 Start the services.msc and start VSS. Set VSS to start automatically. This is the knowledgebase from Retrospect. http://www.retrospect.com/en/support/kb/what-causes-error-1101-file-or-folder-not-found-on-an-unattended-backup-of-a-microsoft-networking-volume Where a registry key is mentioned, read this: http://www.retrospect.com/en/support/kb/cant-access-registry-for-s-1-5-21-1482476501-854245398-1708537768-1003-error-1101-file-directory-not-found I understand your problem with paying an annual support fee. This is something that has appeared throughout the computer industry, beginning with IBM in the mid-1900s, and is now prevalent. Software companies like 'recurring revenue'. The reason they like it is because it shows that they have a fairly constant revenue stream which is not directly related to new product sales. That is a much-loved feature by auditors and bankers. If they can't show recurring revenue, they can't assure the bankers of their financial stability and can't borrow money, or can only borrow at higher interest rates. If they don't have a sufficient line of credit at a reasonable rate, then they run into big trouble if sales hit an air pocket, they run out of cash, and they can't meet payroll. Recurring revenue is absolutely critical to any software company. I realize this isn't your/my/our problem, but if Retrospect goes under where will you be? Or if they are forced to sell themselves to another EMC to simply survive as a product? How did that work out when it happened before? The software is not trouble-free, but I still think after trying to get some major competing products to work Retrospect offers features that are outstanding. I would like them to make version 12.5 a fix-it release that adds NO new features, but addresses the considerable backlog of problems that come up all the time on this forum, and probably on their support line as well. These problems are things that engineers need to devote time to solving, and they can't get the time if they're always adding new features. Just my opinion.
  8. mbennett

    Using RDX backups

    I recently switched to using 2TB RDX cartridges to backup my in-house system. When I setup the Backup Set, I selected "Removable Disk" since it specifically mentioned RDX. After the turmoil of transferring my backup sets, I finally have everything settled down. Today I watched a Youtube from Retrospect about using RDX backups for Windows, you can watch here: https://youtu.be/fH1IoWOPvAI In it, the presenter says the recommended method is to identify the RDX drive as a disk, not as a removable device. This exasperates me more than a little. Does anybody know why the RDX should be setup as a disk? TIA
  9. mbennett

    Using RDX backups

    After working with RDX cartridges for a few months, my very firm advice is to ALWAYS define as a disk, not as a removable disk. There is absolutely nothing to be gained and much to be lost. I found that, since the program sops up all of the free disk space as a single huge file, it's impossible to run chkdsk because there is no space left to move bad clusters. It's also complicated to know how much free space is actually available, since Windows and the program show there is none. You will probably get fictitious "drive not ready" errors when defined as a removable disk, but not when defined as a disk drive. It's just better and there seem to be no reasons not to define as a disk drive.
  10. Good Morning, I finally have a solution for this, and it does work. It is probably outside security standards for some environments, so be cautious about where you install this. My scenario is a network with a Windows 7 Pro system running the Retrospect administration program, backing up other systems on the network. The normal user on the host is a domain user, not a domain administrator. The key to the whole thing is creating a runas command with the /savecred flag. If you don't have a domain, but rather are on a workgroup, you'll need to enable the user named Administrator, which exists but is disabled by default. Follow these steps: Using "Run as administrator", launch a command prompt. To enable the user named "Administrator", at the command line, type and enter this:net user administrator /active:yes If that command completes successfully, close the command window. If it doesn't complete, you're probably not running the command window with the "Run as Administrator". In Control Panel | Users, assign a password to the Administrator. For all systems, do this: On the desktop, right-click to open the context menu and create a new shortcut. In the shortcut box, enter one of the following: 1a. If you have a domain: runas /user:Administrator@Domain /savecred "C:\Program Files\Retrospect\Retrospect 11.0\Retrospect.exe" (Adjust the administrator name, domain and path to match your system requirements.) 1b. If you don't have a domain, but are in a workgroup: runas /user:SystemName\Administrator /savecred "C:\Program Files\Retrospect\Retrospect 11.0\Retrospect.exe" (The PC name is the first variable for the /user.) Click Next and finish creating the shortcut. 2. Now double-click the shortcut and you will be prompted for the password for the above user. The system will save that password (I suspect in the registry) and supply it in the future when that shortcut launches, without a UAC prompt. Retrospect should launch and run normally as soon as you enter the password. 3. On the shortcut you created, change it to run minimized if you want. Change the icon to the Retrospect icon if you can find one. I had to make one since there are no *.ico files that Retrospect supplies. 4. Double-click your desktop shortcut again to test it, then minimize the program so it continues to run. 5. Drag the shortcut to the user's Start-up folder. Now when the PC reboots and the user logs in Retrospect will start minimized, logged in as the user you provided in the command line above, and the scheduled Retrospect jobs will launch as desired. I frankly don't think this is any more dangerous than manually launching Retrospect as an Administrator and leaving it open and running on the taskbar. It's certainly not as secure as having it launch from a service. This will apparently not run on any of the lesser versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 Home. Only use Professional. Always test it extensively to make sure it's working as you expect.
  11. mbennett

    Using RDX backups

    Scillonian, I get that, but why the ambivalence of specifically mentioning RDX drives as removable devices, then recommending that that not be selected? There must be a reason that escapes me.
  12. mbennett

    Open File Backup

    Yes it's required, unless you can figure out a way to stop all running and open Windows O/S programs while making a backup at the same time. It takes the Open File option to properly utilize the VSS service. The good news is there are now three upgrades available on the Retrospect price list and at least when I evaluated the prices they give you a substantial discount. All three of them provide both the Open File and Dissimilar Hardware options bundled with an ASM renewal, depending on the exact server configuration you originally installed. Contact Retrospect or a dealer. I will never sell a Server level program again without the Open File option included.
  13. I also have this issue with one of my client's systems. The trouble is, I had gotten it working after some effort on a Windows Server 2008 9.5 system, and lost it when I upgraded to 10.5. I had some notes, but apparently not enough, so I'm back to testing and experimenting. If I come up with a solution that works I'll post it here and make plenty of notes. I also cast my vote for Retrospect programmers permanently fixing this at the earliest opportunity. As a competitive issue, it's impossible to look an experienced in-house admin in the eye and tell them it's impossible to automatically launch a defined backup job if the program isn't already running. I can't say things like that without blushing, and I have too many gray hairs to pull off an innocent neophyte act.
  14. mbennett

    How I Added Cloud Backup Capability to Retrospect

    No, I'm getting nominal monthly charges from Amazon. I don't think the charges have even exceeded $1/month, but I'm only backing up extremely critical files to the cloud, and compressing them. About the only options for you would be to change your settings. You could also scout around for a service other than Amazon's which should also work if you can come up with a technique to use the cloud drive as a URI on your system. Within Retrospect there's a utility to copy a backup. I haven't played with it or even read up on it. You might explore simply copying a backup that is already made and verified to the S3 service, which should reduce the network traffic significantly. Sorry I can't be of more help. Let us know what solution you arrive at.
  15. I have documented this process thoroughly and carefully, because there either is no specific information regarding backing up to the cloud on the Retrospect website and in the documentation, or I’ve been unsuccessful at finding it. I have tried to be extremely thorough and detailed in documenting this, and it’s intentional. Get impatient and start trying to skip steps, and you’re on your own. I know this works. Here is what I did, and what you will need to do to duplicate my project: Retrospect 9.5 [Please add replies as to whether it works with earlier versions.] A third party application called TNT Drive [see notes] An Amazon S3 cloud account [see notes] These are the steps I followed. 1. Sign up for Amazon Web Service. If you already have an Amazon account, you’re ready to add the AWS service. [see note at bottom for the link.] In any event, you must supply a credit card number. 2. Install TNT Drive on the Retrospect server system. TNT Drive runs as a service, so you’ll need Administrator credentials on most Windows systems when you install it. 3. Once your AWS account is established, login to the Amazon Management Console. You’ll get an email from Amazon with links. 4. Go to the S3 section. 5. Create a bucket, which must be a globally unique name, in much the same way a domain name is unique. I used the Oregon repository, which is several thousand miles from my physical location. Use your own judgement here. [in my example, I’ll use a bucket named ‘wxyzwxyz’ which isn’t a bucket that I own. Please don’t use that name in real life. Make up a name that’s meaningful to you.] Write down the name of your bucket. You’re going to need to know that. 6. Back to the Amazon Console Home, start the Identity & Access Management program. 7. Work through the following sections to secure your account. a. Click the down arrow next to “Delete root access keys”, then click the “Manage Security Credentials” button. b. On the box that pops up, click “Get Started with IAM Users” c. Click “Create new users” and create at least one user. For this example I’ll call the user “Backup”. Make sure you check the box to generate an access key for each user. Click “Create”. d. Click “Download Credentials” in the lower right corner. Make sure you can open the CSV file that is downloaded to your system, then Close that window. e. For each user you create, create a secure password. Amazon will generate a very good password for you, and I recommend you use it, or use a program such as LastPass that generates a complex password. Simple passwords make it easy for the bad guys to break into your account and steal your confidential information. Again download those credentials in a CSV file, then close the window. 8. I chose NOT to create roles, which I believe are unnecessary for our purposes. 9. I also chose NOT to setup MFA (multi-factor authentication). I suspect enabling MFA would break the ability of TNT Drive to successfully connect to the cloud server. 10. You must setup a Group, and assign the user you created as the Retrospect backup user to have “AmazonS3FullAccess” rights, by checking the box next to that policy. For this example, I call the group “BGroup”. a. If you have more than one user (for example an Administrator and the Backup user) you can fine tune who is allowed specific functions. b. Now go back to the Users screen to assign users to the Groups which have rights to functions to which they should be allowed. 11. I did create a password policy just to make sure a policy exists. 12. To summarize this section: At minimum you need one user who belongs to one group. In our example the user Backup belongs to group BGroup. That group must have AmazonS3FullAccess rights. You must generate and download security credentials and a password. 13. Log out of the Amazon site. 14. Now start the TNT Drive program. Click the “Add a new mapped drive” button. a. Open the CSV credentials file you downloaded and select the account (“Backup” in our example) that has permissions for full access to the S3 service. Copy and paste the Access ID Key and the Secret Access Key to the setup screen. b. The “Amazon S3 Bucket” will be the name you assigned in Step #5. In our example this is “wxyzwxyz”. c. I assigned drive R:, but it is important to note that this drive will NOT be used when you create the Retrospect backup job. Just assign a drive letter and move on. d. Click “Add New Drive” and if you did everything right, you should see a box indicating that you’re connected to the drive. You now have a cloud file repository. Celebrate if you wish, then continue. e. You may close the TNT Drive program. Unless something changes regarding your credentials, it’s unlikely you’ll need to run the program again. f. You may now look in “My Computer” to see the Amazon drive, which is mapped to drive R: This drive will show free space of 16 terabytes. Yikes! Review the Amazon price list link in the Notes below to see if you want to pay for this much storage, but we’re addressing that issue later. 15. Start the Retrospect program and take a deep breath. 16. Click Configure, then open the Volumes selection. a. Click the “Network Places” name in the tree one time, so it turns blue. b. Click the “My Network” button on the right. c. Click the “Advanced” button. d. You should see a box and the instructions “Please enter the UNC or HTTP path for the volume or subvolume.” e. The name should be the UNC of the Amazon S3 bucket, relative to your computer system. See the Notes if you don’t know the name of your computer. If your PC is named “WorkPC” you will enter \\WORKPC\wxyzwxyz f. Click OK, and you will return to the Volumes Database with your drive displayed. g. Note that if the folder symbol has a red dot you’ve done something wrong, and it won’t work. Delete the folder with a red dot and carefully repeat this step. You must be successful before you continue. 17. Now select the Backup Sets configuration program. a. Select Disk as the type of media. b. Give the set a name, such as “S3 Cloud”. c. Click the Select button to choose the disk. d. Select My Computer. e. Click the Advanced button, and enter exactly the same UNC as you did in the above step. f. A new window will open displaying the properties of the backup device, including the maximum volume size of 16,384 GB. Truncate this, depending on your needs and how much you want to pay Amazon. This will effectively impose a quota on your S3 storage. g. A window opens prompting for backup set security. I personally set my security to the highest level, AES-256. This insures that all data transmitted across the internet is highly encrypted, and is also encrypted on the server. Using AES-256 requires you to create a long password, and whatever you do in this entire process, DON’T LOSE THAT PASSWORD, or your backups will be impossible to restore in a disaster. Be careful and deliberate when creating and documenting this password. Allow Retrospect to store the password, but be forewarned that any time you edit this Backup Set, you must know and enter that password manually. Click Next. h. The next window will ask about the policy to follow if the drive fills. I recommend that you select the “Keep according to Retrospect Policy” button. Read the manual about Grooming for more information. Click Next. i. Click the catalog file location. I used the default. j. Click Finish. Now create a backup script to utilize this resource, which I’m not going to try to document. I figure you’ve already done that at least once. I will note that I used data compression as well as Block Level Incremental Backup, which I did to minimize storage usage as well as bandwidth. I strongly encourage you to run the backup right now by leaving that option checked. The reason for this is that Retrospect is going to balk the first time and give the “Waiting for media” message and stop. Force it to run once. Setup the schedule for execution and you’re done. See the additional Notes at the bottom. That concludes today’s lesson. If I documented everything well, and if you followed my instructions correctly, we have jointly passed the test. Make lots of backups, because you can never have too many, and good luck. Mark Notes: Disclaimer: I know this all works now, on 3/1/2015, but can’t guarantee that it will work if features and functionality change in any of the three programs and services which are used. I’ll try to revisit this if something changes, as soon as I figure it out. There may be more that can be done to secure this service, but I can’t see what that might be. I welcome suggestions and comments from those who are more well-versed and/or paranoid on the subject of security. TNT Drive can be downloaded here: http://tntdrive.com/ At this time, the personal use license is $39.95 and the commercial use license is $59.95. There are pretty good volume discounts. I wish this functionality was built into Retrospect, but as far as I can tell it is not. There are also competing services if you want to shop, but setup is on you. Amazon Web Services is here: http://aws.amazon.com/ Amazon’s S3 price list is here: http://aws.amazon.com/s3/pricing/ I have experienced a fairly frequent occurrence of getting bogus messages when the cloud backup job starts, saying the job is waiting for media. I believe this is a network latency issue. After the job has run the first time, in nearly every subsequent run the backup job has thrown the message, then continued and completed successfully. Don’t panic the first time you see it. Realizing that some people don’t know the name of their computer, the simple method is to find the “My Computer” icon on your desktop. Right-click and select Properties from the context menu. The computer name will be shown there. Windows 8 systems will probably not be able to use this method. Google for instructions.
  16. mbennett

    How I Added Cloud Backup Capability to Retrospect

    You're more than welcome. It's gratifying to know that somebody is taking advantage of this. There are no Amazon service points that are close to me. I'm in Missouri hitting the Oregon server. It would be interesting to find out if the latency for S3 is indeed affected by distance. I've learned a couple of things after using this technique for a few months. 1. TNTDrive runs as a service, and as with all services under Windows it can die suddenly without explanation. So when troubleshooting, the service is the first thing to check. 2. Amazon S3 runs pretty reliably, but infrequently it will crash and leave a deep trench. (Figuratively speaking.) If your cloud backup fails, and you can't seem to resolve it, my advice is to leave it alone for 24 hours. I have this running on three systems, and one day all three of them failed! I wasted time trying to figure out what was wrong, changed some settings, and finally decided nothing on my end was wrong. I canceled the jobs and that night it ran perfectly on all three systems. Good luck.