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laternser

9.0.0: Great! but perhaps a caution or two: Incremental fails me..

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Retrospect has been my mainstay defense against the catastrophe of data loss for around a decade. Well over 1000 optical disks stored in multiple legal size boxes ... never a failure, file corruption, or accidental erasure where Retrospect did not save me.    Store data in fireproof file plus offsite.

Retrospect Rule number 1: Keep a backup copy of your catalog files on an optical drive. At least you will know what you lost. Recreating a catalog from optical media is just as time consuming as the original backup. Helps if Catalog filename includes Date. Optical media that is not easily erased.

My Comments and Problems with Retrospect 9.0.0 (go to #5 for the problem.)

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Platform: Windows 8.1 Dell multiprocessor quad core xeon. Have not gotten to Linux yet. Running Retrospect (runas /user:Administrator C:\...retrospect.exe)

1) Retrospect 9.0.0 easily recreates older (6.5) catalogs from optical media and restores data from previous versions stored on optical disks. I could not make 8.5 do this, and others had a similar experience. Retrospect 8.5 would just churn on my 6.5 media and failed for me even when I had the backup set catalog. 9.0.0 worked flawlessly on 10 year old DVD+R media. A great relief to me. What good is a backup if you cannot access it years later? Note that Retrospect 6.5 did not want to install on windows 8.1 but could be used to restore files. I kept a copy going to solve this problem.

2) Retrospect 9.0.0 removed my older versions of Retrospect while installing (to a different install location). Be sure you have the original install of your older media.

3) Retrospect 9.0.0 repeatedly placed the media80.dll file on a drive other than the boot disk. media80.dll his is a MS C++ redistributable. It (media80.dll) should be located on the boot disk, especially if you are going to expect a system recovery to provide you with an operable copy of Retrospect etc. Search your registry and be sure it points to media80.dll on the boot disk and that media80.dll is on the boot drive in the root directory.

4) Retrospect 9.0.0 backed up to an Asus DVD drive without having to be configured first. This was a real problem for me with Retrospect 8.5. 8.5 required sacrificing disks to a compatibility test ... which repeatedly hung until I learned to follow a DVD+R with a DVD-R and then a DVD+RW in compatibility test section of Retrospect. Why ... I don't know. Just know that I went through more than 10 disks of expensive media to get Retrospect 8.5 working on just one computer.

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Now, the problem: Incremental Backup of an entire volume onto a Flash Drive is not (always/ever) incremental for me.

5) Retrospect 9.0.0 onto a 32GB Kingston flash drive. Backup works great. Then when I rerun the backup OF AN ENTIRE VOLUME after a few or NO changes ... retrospect made a duplicate copy of every single file onto the backup set. I ‘forgot’ the backup set and created a new one with the same name ... same result. Ended up with 32GB from 16Gb of data. Quit Retrospect, started it up again and backed up to optical media (of a subvolume) and Incremental worked perfectly. So I ‘forgot’ the flash drive catalog and created a new one with a different name of a created ‘subvolume’ and ‘Incremental’ backup to flash seems to work. So I made again tried a new backup of an entire volume ... and the second time I backup (incremental) it again selects all the files.   

Any solution / explanation / comment?  There must be an explanation.


 

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3) Retrospect 9.0.0 repeatedly placed the media80.dll file on a drive other than the boot disk. media80.dll his is a MS C++ redistributable. It (media80.dll) should be located on the boot disk, especially if you are going to expect a system recovery to provide you with an operable copy of Retrospect etc. Search your registry and be sure it points to media80.dll on the boot disk and that media80.dll is on the boot drive in the root directory.

There is a fix for this. The orphaned msdia80.dll is the result of a bug in the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 64-bit redistributable package that is used by Retrospect (and many others) at installation.

 

There is a Microsoft KB article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927665.

 

Although dealing with the installation of ATI graphics software, an article at http://www.blindnero.com/forums/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1288 details another approach.

 

Now, the problem: Incremental Backup of an entire volume onto a Flash Drive is not (always/ever) incremental for me.

 

5) Retrospect 9.0.0 onto a 32GB Kingston flash drive. Backup works great. Then when I rerun the backup OF AN ENTIRE VOLUME after a few or NO changes ... retrospect made a duplicate copy of every single file onto the backup set. I ‘forgot’ the backup set and created a new one with the same name ... same result. Ended up with 32GB from 16Gb of data. Quit Retrospect, started it up again and backed up to optical media (of a subvolume) and Incremental worked perfectly. So I ‘forgot’ the flash drive catalog and created a new one with a different name of a created ‘subvolume’ and ‘Incremental’ backup to flash seems to work. So I made again tried a new backup of an entire volume ... and the second time I backup (incremental) it again selects all the files.   

Any solution / explanation / comment?  There must be an explanation.

I can't see any reason why Retrospect should behave differently for a sub-volume and a root volume. Looks like you have found a bug since the behavior appears repeatable. Contact Retrospect Customer Support by 'phone or e-mail at http://www.retrospect.com/uk/support/phone with your findings.

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The release of Retrospect 9.0.1(110) has solved the issue of incremental backup selecting all 

files instead of just changed files when backing up to flash media.  

 

What a relief.

 

I have not found any bugs or experienced any problems with this release.

 

I can recreate catalogs from prior releases and restore prior releases (like 6.5).

But I would again suggest and stress that the catalogs be 'Copied' (not backed up in a

compressed mode) to removable media (a flash drive or optical drive).  This is especially important for data

sets on optical media.  The time spent to recreate a catalog is substantial.

 

Retrospect is still the best software I have found to protect the time investment in configuring a system.

 

Use removable media like standard dvd (Verbatim high quality ... not the low end stuff purchased in

your local store) ... or m-disc media.  Don't rely on an on-line hard drive.  

 

I once serviced an Architectural company that had every system wiped by a cleaning staff with

a floor machine with an excessive magnetic field.  They had nothing left.

 

I serviced an Industrial company whose building was hit by lightning on a gutter.  Lost every 

computer in the place.

 

I have now tested a stack of 9 year old optical media that has restored flawlessly with 9.0.1.

Not found a failure yet.

 

If you own Retrospect ... I recommend an upgrade .... the modest cost is worth it.

 

---- a happy camper

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