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cfieldgate

Retrospect 8 - My experience (so far)

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Hi,

 

I just thought I would share my experiences to date with the new Restrospect Professional v8.

 

I Installed the Retrospect Professional 45-day Trial on my dedicated backup PC which runs Windows 7 Ultimate. Somewhat rudely it installed over my v7.7 installation – so there is no way to go back without uninstalling v8 and reinstalling v7.7- you don't get a choice to keep your licensed installation :-(.

 

I then had to do the usual thing of setting the login user for the Retrospect Launcher service to be an admin / backup account in order for Retrospect to be able to connect to my NAS shares when launched by the scheduler. The install (as always) overwrote this configuration :-(

I was able to install / update the new clients remotely - nice. But again, I will have to do an uninstall reinstall if I choose not to upgrade after 45 days.

 

All my Scripts and Catalogs (which I keep in a sub-folder under My Documents) worked fine :-), although a final Duplicate I run to copy the Catalogs to another location complained that the previous backup had not completed writing to its Catalog. However, this problem seems to have now gone away with subsequent backups.

 

I note that the clients should display backups that have run and be able to Restore them on demand. Despite performing backups they do not show up in the client notification area and cannot be restored by the user as it cannot find any backups - odd.

 

I attempted to use the Wake on LAN and shutdown features for a number of Backup Sets – has anyone got these working on Windows? I don’t run a domain but do run a Workgroup and have configured the PC registry settings so that a remote shutdown (from another PC with admin privileges on a target PC) can remotely shut down the target PC using shutdown /i. Is there anything else that needs to be configured? The latest manual (which seems to be a limited update of an old v7.5 vintage copy) says that Windows PCs can’t be shut down remotely – which is utter rubbish!!!

 

Overall then it does the same as v7.7. I can't say that any of the new features seem useful to me, except the improved Bare-Metal restore, which does not come with the trial so I can’t test this, and Windows 8 compatibility, which I have yet to prove (see other thread). That said, I will probably upgrade in an effort to encourage the new team to get some useful new features implemented: Hint - implement/fix the remote network startup/shutdown on Windows clients :-).

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I feel about as you do Colin. I was disappointed to lose 7.7. I don't need ProActive backup, nor the InstaScan. But I do want to support a rather fine piece of software.

I had thought of installing Windows 8, but after playing around with it in a store and reading a bit on-line - I don't think I will change anything in my Windows 7 system.

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OK, after having some issues with InstantScan I have disabled it on all my clients (manually) - it claimed to have file access privilege issues.

 

I do nightly backups and I want to be sure that the files on my PCs are actually backed up in the state they are in at the end of the day with no users logged in. So I can afford the lack of an instant scan and can now sleep soundly!

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OK, after having some issues with InstantScan I have disabled it on all my clients (manually) - it claimed to have file access privilege issues.

 

I do nightly backups and I want to be sure that the files on my PCs are actually backed up in the state they are in at the end of the day with no users logged in. So I can afford the lack of an instant scan and can now sleep soundly!

 

"Instant Scan" is not instant, it runs at unpredictable times, so by the time you do your backup, some of the files may have been deleted (hence the 1101 errors), and of course some files will have been created (and those don't get backed up). Clearly with this kind of misnomer, is must be an invention of their Marketing Department in order to justify a new major-version number, to generate lots of income from people upgrading.

 

This really p*sses me off, because I've been a long-time Retrospect customer, and had really hoped that with it being taken over by members of the original development team, they may actually fix some of the old bugs which have been in Retrospect since at least version 5.x. Instead they add something which may shave a few minutes off my backup, but also makes it a lot more unreliable. And it's difficult to turn off - you have to go to every one of the clients and disable the Instant Scan service.

 

Come on, Retrospect developers, this is basically a great product - please polish it and improve it in ways which improve the quality of the backups and related functions. Stop gouging customers for upgrade-costs with no benefit to the customers.

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I'm very pleased with the addition of Proactive backup and the extra client licenses (both features I requested a while back), but unfortunately, have already encountered a nasty problem when trying to groom my main backup set.

 

Both times I've attempted to groom it, I've received the message Assertion failure at "grx.cpp-1089", and been unable to do anything with the set without rebuilding the catalog. (I can't even view its properties!)

 

Here is another thread (over in the "Server" forum) started by someone else who has encountered this:

http://forums.retros...at-grxcpp-1089/

 

Not a promising start. I have created another set using version 8 (whereas the problematic one was created in 7.7), and will post my results after attempting to groom that one.

 

As I noted in that thread, I never encountered this issue (or anything like it) in over 2 years of using version 7.7. I hope this is resolved soon, as I'm currently reluctant to install v8 at my workplace (where I have much larger backup sets that will be less practical to recreate than my ones at home).

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I had similar experiences. Grooming of version 7.7 backup sets fails. After catalog rebuild you can use the backup set again but a groom operation will still fail and you have to do another catalog rebuild.

Only backup sets that are created with version 8 can be groomed without problems.

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I have had the same error. I had to delete the catalog and then rebuild it as Retrospect kept crashing over and over again when I restarted it because it would keep trying to complete the groom. I also tried uninstalling v8 and reinstalling v7.7 but the groom would still not complete. So I don't think this is simply a v7.7/v8 catalog grooming incompatibility.

 

EDIT:

 

I am now getting lots of errors like this:

 

 

tyceCheckDL: DL 9287 item '' bad chunk 1071, error -647 ( resource not found)

 

I have gone back to v7.7 now. It looks like I will have to recreate all of my recent backups to get round this issue - whatever it actually means.

 

I have made my decision now. I am now going to junk Retrospect and look for something else with better reliability and support.

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