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What does "bad backup set header found" mean in terms of data integrity?

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If you are doing a verify on a catalog, and you get some "bad backup set header found" errors, what does that actually mean about the integrity of the backup set and the data on it?

 

Does it mean that some specific files would not be recoverable, but most of the rest of the data would be? 

 

For example, the following results came from doing a verify on a 1.1TB File Backup Set that has about 6 months of incremental backups in it. Does this mean that just a few files would be non-recoverable, or that the whole thing might have much greater problems?

 

 

Retrospect version 6.1.230

launched at 11/11/2014 11:49 AM

+ Retrospect Driver Update, version 6.1.15.101

 

+ Executing Verify at 11/11/2014 11:58 AM

To backup set OWC(3TB)1-042414…

Bad backup set header found (0x6e332921 at 52,823,569).

Bad backup set header found (0x7583eca7 at 52,823,633).

Bad backup set header found (0xaa6ed908 at 52,823,695).

Bad backup set header found (0x3a0c0000 at 52,823,789).

Bad backup set header found (0xc305249c at 52,823,822).

Bad backup set header found (0x64ff62d9 at 52,823,855).

Bad backup set header found (0x68e1fcf8 at 52,823,916).

Bad backup set header found (0xfadbeefb at 52,824,010).

Bad backup set header found (0xffffffff at 52,824,043).

Bad backup set header found (0x8acb103f at 52,824,076).

Bad backup set header found (0xfec7ff2c at 52,831,957).

Bad backup set header found (0x5118c400 at 52,832,021).

Bad backup set header found (0x020e9c21 at 52,832,054).

Bad backup set header found (0x4e6a99cf at 52,832,083).

Bad backup set header found (0xffffffff at 52,832,116).

Bad backup set header found (0x27c97b00 at 52,832,179).

Bad backup set header found (0x8be2355e at 52,832,212).

Bad backup set header found (0xd01f3c9a at 52,832,274).

Bad backup set header found (0xdc004f40 at 537,266,176).

Bad backup set header found (0x093bfebc at 690,352,949).

Bad backup set header found (0xa90be000 at 690,353,045).

Bad backup set header found (0x01d4c028 at 690,353,172).

Bad backup set header found (0x0e0ff2c0 at 690,353,259).

Bad backup set header found (0x11300060 at 690,353,611).

Bad backup set header found (0x077002bf at 690,391,057).

Bad backup set header found (0x30cc0f26 at 690,391,217).

Bad backup set header found (0x73e00a20 at 690,391,377).

Bad backup set header found (0xe0019881 at 690,391,473).

Bad backup set header found (0x76100c47 at 690,392,838).

Bad backup set header found (0x40060011 at 690,392,902).

Bad backup set header found (0xc0067002 at 690,393,542).

Bad backup set header found (0x8012600f at 690,395,449).

Bad backup set header found (0x31c00490 at 690,395,576).

Bad backup set header found (0x20048ab0 at 1,087,348,235).

Bad backup set header found (0x01e40255 at 1,087,348,298).

Bad backup set header found (0x20004730 at 1,087,348,360).

Bad backup set header found (0x810ef06f at 1,087,348,393).

Bad backup set header found (0x28067003 at 1,087,348,456).

Bad backup set header found (0x173c8204 at 1,087,348,518).

Bad backup set header found (0xd00ec402 at 1,087,348,581).

Bad backup set header found (0xf8049ce0 at 1,087,348,644).

Bad backup set header found (0x0c386c14 at 1,087,348,739).

4 files were not verified.

11/11/2014 11:38:56 PM: 43 execution errors.

Remaining: 4 files, 0.0 TB

Completed: 6011558 files, 1.1 TB

Performance: 1581.9 MB/minute

Duration: 11:40:09

 
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"what does that actually mean about the integrity of the backup set and the data on it?"

 

That's bad news. You should (if possible) recycle the backup set to start over fresh.

 

"Does it mean that some specific files would not be recoverable, but most of the rest of the data would be? "

 

Yes, that is the current status.

 

"Does this mean that just a few files would be non-recoverable, or that the whole thing might have much greater problems?"

 

Yes, a few files are non-recoverable. The whole thing might evolve into greater problems, but currently only a few files are non-recoverable.

 

By the way, version 6 of Retrospect is not supported on Mac OS X 10.6 or later. Are you really still running 10.5 and older?

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Yes, a few files are non-recoverable. The whole thing might evolve into greater problems, but currently only a few files are non-recoverable.

 

Thanks for the info.

 

By the way, version 6 of Retrospect is not supported on Mac OS X 10.6 or later. Are you really still running 10.5 and older?

Really? I am quite behind the times here, but I have been using it for years in the following configuration:

 

10.4.11 - The Retrospect "server" (running the software)

2 clients running 10.4.11

2 clients running 10.6.8

 

In Retrospect 6.1, are Retrospect Clients not supported that happen to be running 10.6.8? I've been able to backup (and occasionally restore files from) 10.6.8 client machines, seemingly without issues...

 

(I did notice it fail spectacularly when I accidentally tried to back up another HD with an installation of Yosemite on it.)

 

Anyway, I am actually finally biting the bullet - I am in the process of transitioning to Retrospect Mac Desktop 11.5 (now evaluating the trial version, and finding it much-improved.)

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"Not supported" isn't the same as "not running". It means that Retrospect has found something that isn't working with 6.1 and 10.6 (or later).

I think data files works fine, but you can't restore a working system with 6.1.

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