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karma

How to backup (once) to a large archive spanning multiple DVDs?

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Hi, using Retrospect 11. I have a video project that is about 40 GB of data. I want to archive it to 5 or 6 dual-layer DVDs using Retrospect.

 

How do I do this in Retro 11? I used to do this in Retro 6... but it's different.

 

Do I choose "Optical" Media Set Type? I tried making one, but when I try to run the backup assistant, it blinks and says "needs media", but I insert a writable DVD into the optical drive and nothing happens, pressing OK does nothing, it just keeps blinking "needs media". Or is the Media Set some other type?

 

There really seems to be nothing in the manual about backing up to writable CDs and DVDs anymore... I may have missed it...thanks.

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I did want to say thanks for responding. I had found that thread already. I ended up following it and it works to some degree although since we are now on Retrospect 12 (I'm still using Retrospect 11.5) and the article was written for Retrospect 8, the information is no longer entirely correct and you kind of have to fly by the seat of your pants.

 

I somehow managed to get my Apple Mac DVD drive configured to burn DL DVDs. But the whole process of getting a 40GB archive onto 5 of them was so convoluted and undocumented and trial-by-error that I ended up doing it twice - the first time was a failure for many reasons I won't go into. I documented for myself how I ended up making it work so that I can hopefully repeat the process (I don't do this very often), but it's nothing I want to publish.

 

It's amazingly bad that there is no support for this, no current articles, nothing really in the manuals - the ball has been totally dropped on backing up archives to DVDs. So what are you supposed to do in this case? Buy a hard drive for every video project you want to archive? Or simply use some other program?

 

See this thread:

 

http://forums.retrospect.com/index.php?/topic/28423-enable-optical-device-instructions-are-wrong/

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The longevity of DVD media is highly debated.

Especially since you need a working optical drive in the future to read back from the archive.

 

You could simply copy them over to USB-stick(s).

 

Or keep adding to a (set of) hard drive(s).

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The longevity of DVD media is highly debated.

Especially since you need a working optical drive in the future to read back from the archive.

 

You could simply copy them over to USB-stick(s).

Or keep adding to a (set of) hard drive(s).

 

That's kind of a strange answer - sure, I'll need a working DVD player to read them back in the future. If I had been backing up to hard drives 10 years ago, and keeping those around, I'd still need working SCSI interface cards or whatever the hell obsolete connectors were being used back then.

 

If it's "highly debated", that would imply that one camp thinks the longevity is fine.

 

Besides, let's say I store a bunch of archives on a single HD. Many different 50GB archives of projects. If the drive goes bad, I lose my entire collection of projects. If a single DVD goes bad, I might lose one project. I trust DVDs for archival more than I do hard drives.

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You are correct: Archiving for long periods of time is difficult. There is no simple answer. Hardware goes obsolete and hard to get in case of failure.

 

Some DVD disc manufacturers claims "archival grade" for some of their discs, whatever that means. 

I have seen reports on DVD discs becoming unreadable after as short time as five years.

 

You mean that your archive is your only copy? You don't keep the original files?

 

You should always have two copies of your files, stored at different places. (Those "copies" may be originals and one copy, or two copies with deleted originals.)

Think fire, theft, flooding, thunderstorms, hurricanes, hardware errors, software errors, user errors, you name it.

 

In addition to hard drives, I also suggested USB memory sticks. Those have no (moving) mechanical parts, unlike hard drives and optical devices. If a USB stick goes bad, you would lose just that project.

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You mean that your archive is your only copy? You don't keep the original files?

 

I generally make 2 sets of the archive onto DVDs - one for storing off site, and one for storing here. And then I free up the massive amount of space on my HDs that the files are taking up. Isn't that the point of an archive?

 

 

 

In addition to hard drives, I also suggested USB memory sticks. Those have no (moving) mechanical parts, unlike hard drives and optical devices. If a USB stick goes bad, you would lose just that project.

 

I must admit that I have not really examined that idea before. I'm so used to making DVD archives for years. But having thought about it (thanks for bringing it up), USB sticks do sound like a decent alternative - even preferable. They are not very expensive anymore, you can store a whole project on a 32GB or 64GB stick for around $20 or $40 (vs about $16 or $35 for dual layer DVDs, so it's only slightly more expensive) and you could store them in one of those plastic binder pages with the 9 or 12 little pockets and have multiple sticks in a single binder. The data on a USB stick would be far easier to access than a Restrospect archive spanning multiple DVDs. Although I do worry about the dependenbility of the USB sticks, as well. I was searching online for some to buy, and there are many reports of failures. Hard to know which brand to buy...

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I generally make 2 sets of the archive onto DVDs - one for storing off site, and one for storing here. And then I free up the massive amount of space on my HDs that the files are taking up. Isn't that the point of an archive?

 

 

 

 

I must admit that I have not really examined that idea before. I'm so used to making DVD archives for years. But having thought about it (thanks for bringing it up), USB sticks do sound like a decent alternative - even preferable. They are not very expensive anymore, you can store a whole project on a 32GB or 64GB stick for around $20 or $40 (vs about $16 or $35 for dual layer DVDs, so it's only slightly more expensive) and you could store them in one of those plastic binder pages with the 9 or 12 little pockets and have multiple sticks in a single binder. The data on a USB stick would be far easier to access than a Restrospect archive spanning multiple DVDs. Although I do worry about the dependenbility of the USB sticks, as well. I was searching online for some to buy, and there are many reports of failures. Hard to know which brand to buy...

I see: You do have two archives. Perfect :)

 

I have half a dozen of USB stick and none have failed. I buy them from dependable sources. Avoid the cheap China imports.

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