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Don Lee

Time machine data not supported?

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What is Retro complaining about?

 

 

 

+ Normal backup using Weekly_Virtue2 at 4/16/13 (Activity Thread 1)

To Backup Set v9_Virtue2...

- 4/16/13 2:01:25 AM: Copying VirtueHD

 

****** Warning: Copying Time Machine data is not supported. ******

 

4/16/13 2:05:50 AM: Snapshot stored, 93.9 MB

4/16/13 2:05:53 AM: Comparing VirtueHD

 

This is the machine running the engine. It's running 10.8 Mac OS X, and time machine is "off". I'm only backing up the boot disk. Where is Retro finding time machine data that it doesn't like?

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Interesting... I don't know the answer, but have a theory.

 

In the past, I had problems with Retrospect 8 crashing every few days If I had Time Machine running on the host machine running the engine and backing up to a time capsule. Very repeatable crash for me, happening every 1-7 days if TIme Machine was enabled, but RS would go for weeks if TM was disabled. This does not seem to be an issue with RS 10. So I would guess the Retrospect folks may have hard coded an exclusion for certain TM related data or temp files. If this is the case, you might have somehow created a TM "

Backups.backupdb"

file on your boot disk. Turning off TM would not delete the file.

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Thanks, but that does not appear to be it:

 

 

bash-3.2# find / -name Backups.backupdb -print

find: /dev/fd/3: Not a directory

find: /dev/fd/4: Not a directory

bash-3.2#

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It appears that it is not possible to back up a Time Machine volume.  I am running Retrospect v16.6.  For 3 years, while I was in Europe, I did not have access to my raid array or tape drive and all backups were handled by Time Machine to a 4TB USB portable volume.  No files were deleted and there is still space on that drive.  Obviously, now I am back and have access to my tape drive I want to transfer all those backups to tape.  I tried - after 14 hours or so Retrospect had identified 40 million files and was still running!  I canned it...

I guess I will have to restore the backed up files to another volume and then back up that volume with Retrospect...

😞

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15 hours ago, SunbeamRapier said:

It appears that it is not possible to back up a Time Machine volume.  I am running Retrospect v16.6.  For 3 years, while I was in Europe, I did not have access to my raid array or tape drive and all backups were handled by Time Machine to a 4TB USB portable volume.  No files were deleted and there is still space on that drive.  Obviously, now I am back and have access to my tape drive I want to transfer all those backups to tape.  I tried - after 14 hours or so Retrospect had identified 40 million files and was still running!  I canned it...

I guess I will have to restore the backed up files to another volume and then back up that volume with Retrospect...

😞

SunbeamRapier,

This was reported as early as this 2009 post.  If your 4TB USB portable volume was local to your Mac and was running 12 hours per day for 3 years, that would have been about 13,000 backups.  If an average of 3000 files incrementally changed between each of those hourly backups, that would come out close to 40 million TimeMachine files—only the weekly ones would be saved as hard links.  If your 4TB USB portable volume was networked to your Mac—which it probably wasn't—you wouldn't be able to back it up with Retrospect, because in that case the TimeMachine backups would be sparse bundles.

So buy another 4TB USB portable HDD for around US$100, or borrow one.  And just be prepared to leave your Mac running until the restore is done.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Amended first paragraph, to allow for longer daily use over 3 years and add links to TM mechanism

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As David intimates, the Time Machine format is pretty trick. Add to that the recent OS X security changes and it's hardly surprising that RS struggles to cope. And anyway, what are you asking it to back up? Every timepoint in Time Machine is a mish-mash of files and links, resolved on the fly -- would you like RS to revolve all those links for every timepoint and back up all the files, or just the latest and ignore "previous versions"?

I can see two possible solutions, depending on what you want:

  • Just the latest (or any single) timepoint -- use TM to restore that timepoint to an external HD, use RS to back that up
  • All the things -- create a disk image of your TM backup folder, use RS to back that up. If you ever need to access your old TM backups: Retrieve the disk image, mount it, use it as a TM drive

There may be other ways, eg a block copy to a second drive for a true backup of your Time Machine volume, depending on what you are actually trying to achieve here.

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Nigel Smith,

At this point SunbeamRapier has pretty well solved his problem, as described starting with this post in a Product Suggestions-Windows thread he hijacked.  The solution was a full-fat version of your first suggestion: to first restore the entire TM backup to an external HDD, then to back up that HDD onto a Retrospect Media Set.  That Media Set was intended to be a Tape one, but SunbeamRapier was confused by inexperience and created a Disk one instead.

IMHO SunbeamRapier is eminently correct; the impossibility of backing up a TimeMachine volume directly with Retrospect should be officially documented.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
SunbeamRapier's name is Stephen, so he's male

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Except he did back up his Time Machine disk -- there's no mention of an initial TM restore. And I've done it before, too. It can be horribly slow, but so can a TM restore if you have a lot of time points on the volume.

Will he be able to restore a TM volume backup to an external disk and have it seamlessly become a TM volume again? I don't know, haven't tried it, but the log warning that "Copying hard-linked directories (such as those created by Time Machine) is not supported" suggests not (which is why I suggested the disk image route if that's what he actually wanted to do). Does that matter anyway? You can still restore files/folders from each TM time point, so the data TM has backed up can be "made safe" with RS.

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8 hours ago, Nigel Smith said:

Except he did back up his Time Machine disk -- there's no mention of an initial TM restore. And I've done it before, too. It can be horribly slow, but so can a TM restore if you have a lot of time points on the volume.

Will he be able to restore a TM volume backup to an external disk and have it seamlessly become a TM volume again? I don't know, haven't tried it, but the log warning that "Copying hard-linked directories (such as those created by Time Machine) is not supported" suggests not (which is why I suggested the disk image route if that's what he actually wanted to do). Does that matter anyway? You can still restore files/folders from each TM time point, so the data TM has backed up can be "made safe" with RS.

Nigel Smith,

SunbeamRapier wrote in this post Sunday at 12:54 a.m. "I tried - after 14 hours or so Retrospect had identified 40 million files and was still running!  I canned it..."  The well of your pure English may not have been defiled by a presumed Americanism which our troops no doubt transmitted to the Australians, which is "canned" as a euphemism for "s**t-canned"—which in this case I take to mean his emphatically abandoning any attempt to do a Retrospect backup directly from a TimeMachine disk.  I assume he then did a TM restore onto another external disk, because in a post made at the same time to a different thread SunbeamRapier wrote "In my case, I am backing up a large set of files from a portable USB drive for the first time.  After 4 hours, Retrospect is only one third of the way through creating the .rdb files with 8 hours left to go before it even think about writing anything to tape."  I doubt that he returned from Europe with the Einsteinian secret of backwards time travel.🤣

IMHO it's clear between the two threads that SunbeamRapier wants to switch to tape backups, which are certainly beyond TM's capabilities.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
SunbeamRapier's name is Stephen, so he's male

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3 hours ago, DavidHertzberg said:

I assume he/she then did a TM restore onto another external disk

I guess he did, though now I'm even more confused -- that means he posted about his problem 4 hours after he'd started backing up a restored volume, and at least 4-plus-however-many-hours-a-TM-restore-takes after he encountered it. It's also strange that the backup required 1TB for 844GB of data -- I'd assumed that was RS trying to cope with the TM hard links, but obviously not.

Point still stands -- you can back up a TM volume with Retrospect and you can then restore files/folders from that backup (though I doubt you can restore the entire volume and still have it working as a Time Machine volume). Agreed that you can't seamlessly switch from TM to tape -- but you could (probably) back up the TM volume to tape, then continue backing up the client while taking advantage of the deducing of any files already migrated from TM (assuming "exact path match" is turned off).

Personally though, I'd just duplicate the TM volume with CCC and put that copy in a safe place, carry on using the TM volume as-is, and start also backing up with RS. Whoever said we must only use one or the other, and not both?

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