Jump to content

Selectors Headaches

Recommended Posts

i want to backup a handful of files from a volume. they are all in the root folder of the volume, and all have one of three file extensions (.xml, .itl, itdb). i don't want anything else from this volume backed up.


i have a rather large selector that includes everything, but excludes all kinds of things from the other volumes (temp files, build products, etc.), and to this i added the following exclusions:

 name matches pattern *.ilk
 name matches pattern *.idb
 name matches pattern *.pdb
(all the other exclusions... and now the new part)
 volume name is "\\NAS-00-91-AC\music" (the volume name)
 file name DOES NOT match *.xml
 volume name is "\\NAS-00-91-AC\music"
 file name DOES NOT match *.itl
 volume name is "\\NAS-00-91-AC\music"
  file name DOES NOT match *.itdb


then i used the Check Selector thing, WITH "\\NAS-00-91-AC\music" as the volume, to see what it was pulling in. five minutes later, after scanning the 30,000 files, it said the selector was going to include all the files i wanted. it also said the selector would include files with extensions of ".ITDB-MJxxxxxxx" (where xxxxxxxx is a bunch of hex digits). so, that's wrong.


and, here's the big problem. the root of that volume contains many subfolders, including one called "Album Artwork". it has subfolders "Cache", "Download" and "Local" and all of those contain files with the ".itc2" extension. the selector was including all of the .ITC2 files in the "Download" folder, but not the others. that makes no sense in multiple ways... first, i don't want any *.itc2 files, and second, why just that one subfolder and not the others.


what is going on?


i just want to include three file types, from one folder on a volume. this shouldn't be so hard.


also, changing the selector, after the folder had been scanned appeared to have no effect on the results. i have to save my changes, close the Selectors window, re-open and then make it re-scan to get any changes to appear. WTF?


(using Windows 7 x64, Retrospect 7.7.341 x64)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Retrospect's selectors are quite powerful, but sometimes not the easiest thing to get configured right. Without the complete selector and knowledge it's not possible to give you any useable 'selector-sollution'. However, maybe you can solve your own problem with some advice.


You probably need to create a separate selector that includes everything and excludes those three file extensions (.xml, .itl, itdb). Name this selector appropriately.


Test this specific selector (and not your 'regular' selector) by creating a test-script for the specific directory you need it to work on. Do not use any other selector or directory. This way you will find out if it's working or not. If not, it's back to the drawing board and try again.


If it works, add this specific selector to your regular backup selector where you plug it into a specific entry for the directory you need it to work on. The beauty is you can kind of nest selectors this way.


This should work, so if it doesn't you did something wrong. ;)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

sure, i can write a selector that works fine if i'm only using the one volume. the problem is that i can't see a way to write one that works if i'm using multiple volumes where most of my filter conditions apply to all volumes, and just a few apply to the one volume. there's no way to integrate my little one-volume selector into the larger one - the logic just doesn't work.


slightly different question: is there a way to select individual files from a volume without pulling in the entire volume ? if i only want 7 or 8 files from this one volume, it would be nice to just get them, and not have to worry about the other 20K files on the volume.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Backing up just a few files from a large volume with Retro, has it's challenges. I went through the same thing some time back.


The problem is not so much setting up the volume and selectors for what you want to achieve, but in the way Retrospects works with it's snapshots and progressive backup.


The key thing to understand is that whenever a backup runs, Retrospect takes a snapshot of the ENTIRE volume, and it does this first, BEFORE applying your selector. This can result in the "Scanning" taking a long time, and then the actual backup of the few files is quick.

The Session however will reflect only your "Few Files"


Further if you do a Replace Entire Volume restore for your "Few Files" backup, it will restore the entire (albeit empty) directory structure for the volume, along with your "Few Files". a "Files & Folders" restore should work as expected.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You also mention including selectors within other selectors, This is possible, if a little mind bending.
However once you get your head around it, it is very powerful, and flexible.

After much research and practice I have concluded the following

Nesting Selectors
Retrospect Selectors have sections to INCLUDE and EXCLUDE specified items

EXCLUDES always take priority over INCLUDES

One is able to use another selector in a selector item definition.
Doing this presents some subtleties.

Some experimentation suggest that it works like this.

Selectors intended for inclusion in other selectors should only specify INCLUDES OR EXCLUDES but not both {it gets too mind bending}


Selectors specified in the EXCLUDE section of the parent MUST specify the files to be INCLUDED {in the exclude}.
Selectors specified in the INCLUDE section of the parent MUST specify the files to be INCLUDED {in the include}

This behaviour CAN be reversed by using the IS NOT operator when specifying the Child Selector but this starts to get mind bending

Put another way if you include a selector which says EXCLUDE something, in an EXCLUDE section then those items will be EXCLUDED from the EXCLUDE and will be INCLUDED in the backup.

THUS it appears one can apply traditional mathematical sign rules to nesting Selectors

It pays to use the TEST facility. While EDITING a selector hit the BLUE TICK button and select a suitable (relatively small) volume or subvolume to try out your rule.

So in sites with more complex Selector Requirements I use the following approach.

Create Selectors Named for the types of files, and ONLY specify items in the INCLUDE section
EG 5-Xco-Server Temp; include tmp Temp etc etc
EG 5-Xco-Music; include *.mp3, m:\Artists etc etc.

Then Create a selector named for the Script or Function it refers to EG: 1- Xco-Servers. This Selector will only ever reference other selectors.
EG add EG 5-Xco-Server Temp to the EXCLUDE Section
and add EG 5-Xco-Music to the INCLUDE Section

You can then create many selectors for various files, types etc, and simply add them to your Script Selectors.
Using a good naming convention results in a very readable list of Selectors which indicates quite intuitively what they are doing.
Preceding ALL your custom selectors with a standard character or two ensures they are grouped together in the list and not confused with the standard Retro Selectors. (I use "Digit-Company or Site abbreviation-Description" which allows me to order & group logically.
I have found it best to NOT change the default selectors, rather Duplicate and Rename them, thus you always have the originals to refer to as examples.

Hope this helps

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now