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backup to multiple backup sets at same time?

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For some reason I was under the impression that you could backup to multiple backup sets at same time. But I can't find anything in the documentation. I thought I would set up a disk backup set and a tape backup set that would be perfectly in sync. I set a script to backup to those two media sets, but when I run the script it asks me which media set to back up to. What am I missing? Do I first have to do a copy media set from the disk to the tape?

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Yes, you can backup to multiple media sets at the same time - but not from the same source.

 

So if you want the same source on both the sets, you will have to set up a disk-to-disk-to-tape scenario. Disk-to-disk would be a normal backup. When that is finished, run a copy backups scripts to copy from the disk media set to the tape media set.

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jweisbin, there is a YouTube video on "staged backup" for Macintosh that is linked-to from the Retrospect:Tutorials web page.  Lennart Thelander, how could you have failed to mention this? (insert appropriate smiley here)  Mayoff would be so hurt!

P.S.: This is post #4 in the thread

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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David, I am too experienced to watch tutorials.  ;)

 

Anyway, it is interesting to see that he scheduled both scripts for 10 pm. The "Copy backup" should have been scheduled later, so that the backup to disk runs first.

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On 12/9/2016 at 4:48 PM, Lennart Thelander said:

David, I am too experienced to watch tutorials.  ;)

 

Anyway, it is interesting to see that he scheduled both scripts for 10 pm. The "Copy backup" should have been scheduled later, so that the backup to disk runs first.

 

 

But jweisbin isn't necessarily too experienced.  In any case, I think Mayoff—who always understandably tries to make his video tutorials as short as possible (sometimes too short, IME)—was tacitly taking advantage of two Retrospect scheduling tricks.  

 

The first trick is that, if you have two scripts scheduled for the same time on the same "backup server", IIRC the script with the name that alphanumerically sorts earlier starts running first.  Thus Mayoff's script named My Backup Schedule will start running before his script named My Offsite Backup Schedule.

 

The second trick is that, if the My Offsite Backup Schedule script uses as a Source a Media Set that is the Destination for the My Backup Schedule script and the My Backup Schedule script starts running even a second earlier, the My Offsite Backup Schedule script will not run until the My Backup Schedule script is finished running.  I've personally used a variant of this trick, although I don't remember whether I did so intentionally or accidentally.

 

It would be nice if Mayoff had explained these two tricks at the end of the video.  But Mayoff does not seem to believe it's wise to include lengthy explanations in videos, probably because he's afraid of losing the viewer.  Given Mayoff's experience, and the long-standing problem with getting Retrospect administrators to read the User's Guides, I can't say that I totally blame him.

 

Come to think of it, I may be wrong; the Retrospect "backup server" software may be designed to do a source-destination conflict analysis of all scripts that are scheduled to run at the same time.  But the result will be the same; the My Offsite Backup Schedule script will not begin running until the My Backup Schedule script is finished running.

 

P.S.: (Converted this into a separate post, for more visibility)

 

P.P.S.:  The "first trick", covered in my second paragraph, is mentioned on page 253 of the Retrospect Windows 11 User's Guide.  It says "When you open several run documents at once, the scripts associated with them will run in alphabetical order by script name, regardless of the run document file names". Don't worry about what a "run document" is; it's a Retrospect Windows thing.

P.P.P.S.: This is post #6 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.P.P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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On 12/9/2016 at 9:42 PM, David Hertzberg said:

....  In any case, I think Mayoff ... was tacitly taking advantage of two Retrospect scheduling tricks.  

 

The first trick is that, if you have two scripts scheduled for the same time on the same "backup server", IIRC the script with the name that alphanumerically sorts earlier starts running first.  Thus Mayoff's script named My Backup Schedule will start running before his script named My Offsite Backup Schedule.

 

The second trick is that, if the My Offsite Backup Schedule script uses as a Source a Media Set that is the Destination for the My Backup Schedule script and the My Backup Schedule script starts running even a second earlier, the My Offsite Backup Schedule script will not run until the My Backup Schedule script is finished running.  I've personally used a variant of this trick, although I don't remember whether I did so intentionally or accidentally.

 

 

....

 

Come to think of it, I may be wrong; the Retrospect "backup server" software may be designed to do a source-destination conflict analysis of all scripts that are scheduled to run at the same time.  But the result will be the same; the My Offsite Backup Schedule script will not begin running until the My Backup Schedule script is finished running.

 

 

 

(Converted this into a separate post, for more visibility)

 

It turns out that the first sentence of the final quoted paragraph is technically correct, at least for Windows server-class editions of Retrospect—but probably also for Macintosh server-class editions of Retrospect.

 

Page 288 of the Retrospect Windows 11 User's Guide says "Retrospect allows you to: ... handle resource conflicts (including serializing conflicting executions) ...."  Page 289 says "Retrospect server-class editions are unique in that they support a single write operation and multiple read operations simultaneously using the same disk Backup Set ....  Read operations include: ... • Transferring from the Backup Set."  It also says "The only limitation, other than execution units, is that none of the concurrent operations can require ... the same non-disk [my emphasis] Backup Set", but that means you can't do two concurrent operations to the same tape Backup Set (think about the read-write head shuttling back and forth, on a device that has no positioning index).  However page 290 says "Retrospect Desktop supports only one execution unit and therefore cannot take advantage of disk Backup Sets’ single write/multiple read capabilities."  

 

These sentences were in the Retrospect Windows 7.5 User's Guide—meaning before the great expansion of that document for Retrospect Windows 8, but not in any available edition of the Retrospect Mac User's Guide.  I have only a lowly Desktop Edition of Retrospect Mac 12.5, but I think my second and third quoted paragraphs would still apply. 

P.S.: This is post #7 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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DovidBenAvraham has just catapulted my brain into the 21st Century, by reminding me that—as he has now clarified here in the "Powerful new engine" item—Retrospect Mac 8 and above "is capable of simultaneously performing multiple Backup, Restore, and Copy operations in separate threads".  So, since jweisbin's previous posts show that he/she is running a Server Edition of Retrospect, he/she should be able to simultaneously run two backup scripts by designating that they run in separate threads.  And, based on what I quoted from the Retrospect Windows 11 User's Guide in my immediately-preceding post in this thread, there is a fighting chance that the two scripts could simultaneously backup from the same Disk Source in Retrospect Mac 13.

 

How, you may well ask, can jweisbin designate that the scripts run in separate threads?  I had a vague recollection that this is possible, but there is absolutely no mention of this capability in the Retrospect Mac 13 User's Guide.  So I thought of another undocumented capability for scripts that derek500 brought to my attention last year, which is the capability of rearranging the sequence in which Sources are processed by a script.  That is done by dragging Sources in the Details pane of the Summary tabbed view of the Console detail for the script.  So  I looked in the Summary view, and—sure enough—at the bottom of the left-hand Overview pane is a dropdown with "Use" to its left and "Activity Thread 1" showing!

 

However jweisbin must also ensure that his/her copy of Retrospect Mac 13 can run multiple simultaneous activity threads.  Page 184 of the Retrospect Mac 13 UG says that this is done with the "Allow Activity Threads" dropdown in the General tab of Retrospect Preferences, which are accessed from the Retrospect Menu.  Page 184 says this preference defaults to 4, but in my Desktop Edition copy of Retrospect Mac 12.5 it defaults to 1—which DBA says in the "Retrospect 8.0 Desktop 3-User" item towards the bottom of the WP article section linked to in the first sentence of this post is because it "thus simulated the operating limitations of Retrospect Macintosh 6, and was priced accordingly."  The same paragraph on page 184 of the UG says "In general, you should have one Gigabyte of free RAM for each activity thread you will run."  If the two scripts would be backing up more than one Source, I would also advise jweisbin to vary the Sources' sequence in the two scripts (per the method mentioned in the paragraph above this) in order to avoid having both scripts compete for positioning of the same Disk read heads.

 

So why is the capability of designating which activity thread a script runs in not documented?  My favorite hypothesis is that various enhancements to the Summary tabbed view of the Scripts detail were done by a programmer who then left Retrospect Inc. without reminding his/her boss to include the enhancements in the next edition of the UG.  A more macabre hypothesis is that the body of that programmer will eventually be found buried near where the body of Hans Reiser's wife Nina was found, which is actually not far from Walnut Creek CA (insert appropriate smiley here).  However the most likely hypothesis does not involve the programmer leaving, but merely the famous Retrospect Inc. documentation committee getting tripped up by a terminology  difference; an "activity thread" in Retrospect Mac turns out to be an "execution unit" (it took me some time to figure this out) in Retrospect Windows (we shouldn't expect those ignorant Windows administrators—insert appropriate smiley here— to know what a "thread" is), and setting it for a script is documented up the wazoo in the Retrospect Windows 11 UG (and, FWIW, in the Retrospect Windows 7.5 UG).   Naturally I intend to belatedly file a Support Case requesting Retrospect Mac UG documentation of both Console Scripts category Detail Summary enhancements, which will constitute a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa present for Mayoff.

 

P.S.: In final paragraph, a Retrospect Mac "activity thread" is a Retrospect Windows "execution unit"; its specification for a script is thoroughly documented in the Retrospect Windows UG.

 

P.P.S.: It turns out that the capability of rearranging the sequence in which Sources are processed by a script—mentioned in the second paragraph of this post—has also been thoroughly documented from the Retrospect Windows 7.5 UG onward (I just had to search for "drag").  So, insofar as the non-documentation in the Retrospect Mac UG of this capability as well as the one discussed in this thread is concerned, it seems as though a variant of my "most likely hypothesis" is the correct one.  Because rearranging the sequences in which Sources are processed has no terminology difference between Windows and Mac, the variant is that the committee was not tripped up—but instead ran afoul of the Retrospect Mac 8-and-after UG non-expansion imperative hypothesized by DBA in the first sentence of the last paragraph of this section in the WP article.

P.P.P.S.: This is post #8 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.P.P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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On 12/23/2016 at 1:25 AM, David Hertzberg said:

DovidBenAvraham has just catapulted my brain into the 21st Century, by reminding me that—as he has now clarified here in the "Powerful new engine" item—Retrospect Mac 8 and above "is capable of simultaneously performing multiple Backup, Restore, and Copy operations in separate threads".  So, since jweisbin's previous posts show that he/she is running a Server Edition of Retrospect, he/she should be able to simultaneously run two backup scripts by designating that they run in separate threads.  And, based on what I quoted from the Retrospect Windows 11 User's Guide in my immediately-preceding post in this thread, there is a fighting chance that the two scripts could simultaneously backup from the same Disk Source in Retrospect Mac 13.

 

How, you may well ask, can jweisbin designate that the scripts run in separate threads?  I had a vague recollection that this is possible, but there is absolutely no mention of this capability in the Retrospect Mac 13 User's Guide.  So I thought of another undocumented capability for scripts that derek500 brought to my attention last year, which is the capability of rearranging the sequence in which Sources are processed by a script.  That is done by dragging Sources in the Details pane of the Summary tabbed view of the Console detail for the script.  So  I looked in the Summary view, and—sure enough—at the bottom of the left-hand Overview pane is a dropdown with "Use" to its left and "Activity Thread 1" showing!

 

However jweisbin must also ensure that his/her copy of Retrospect Mac 13 can run multiple simultaneous activity threads.  Page 184 of the Retrospect Mac 13 UG says that this is done with the "Allow Activity Threads" dropdown in the General tab of Retrospect Preferences, which are accessed from the Retrospect Menu.  Page 184 says this preference defaults to 4, but in my Desktop Edition copy of Retrospect Mac 12.5 it defaults to 1—which DBA says in the "Retrospect 8.0 Desktop 3-User" item towards the bottom of the WP article section linked to in the first sentence of this post is because it "thus simulated the operating limitations of Retrospect Macintosh 6, and was priced accordingly."  The same paragraph on page 184 of the UG says "In general, you should have one Gigabyte of free RAM for each activity thread you will run."  If the two scripts would be backing up more than one Source, I would also advise jweisbin to vary the Sources' sequence in the two scripts (per the method mentioned in the paragraph above this) in order to avoid having both scripts compete for positioning of the same Disk read heads.

 

....

 

More than a fighting chance; I did it yesterday.  I shouldn't be able to do that in my lowly Desktop Edition of Retrospect Mac 12.5, but this thread shows that the only problem is that every restart of the Engine in Desktop Edition resets the "Allow Activity Threads" dropdown in the General tab of Retrospect Preferences to 1.  That was obviously forced on the Retrospect Inc. engineers by a grinch in Marketing per the quote from the WP article, but the engineers didn't do more than the minimum; once the Engine had been started by rebooting my Mac Pro I was able to reset the "Allow Activity Threads" dropdown to 4.

 

I then simultaneously ran two Copy Media Set scripts as described here and my immediately-following post in that thread.  In both cases the Source was my "Media Set Blue", the "Media Set of the week"—"G-Drive White" containing "Media Set White" now being ensconced in my bank safe deposit box.  The first script, with its Activity Thread set  = 1, had as its destination a "Media Set Violet" with its single member on a spare FireWire 800 portable drive; it ran in 3:15 hours including Verify.  The second script, with its Activity Thread set  = 2, had as its destination a "Media Set Purple" with its first member in the available space on USB3 drive "G-Drive Red" and its second member in the available space on USB3 drive "G-Drive Blue"; it ran longer including Verify, because the Source for both scripts is also on USB3 drive "G-Drive Blue".  This meant that, in the latter half of the second script's Copy (as opposed to Verify) stage, two sets of reads and one set of writes were being interspersed on "G-Drive Blue"—speaking of "serializing conflicting executions" per post #7 in this thread!

P.S.: This is post #9 in the threaad.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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I was curious what would happen if I submitted the two scripts from yesterday's test before resetting the "Allow Activity Threads" Preferences dropdown to 4 from 1, so I tried it late this morning.  One thing I learned is that, in the Summary tabbed view of the Console detail for the script,  the dropdown with "Use" to its left and "Activity Thread 1" showing is grayed-out so long as the "Allow Activity Threads" Preferences dropdown is set to 1.  So the Retrospect Inc. engineers did what the Marketing grinch forced them to do in a prevent-administrator-errors fashion.

 

 I re-submitted the Copy Media Set script that had had its Activity Thread set to 2, and it immediately started executing without the log showing an Activity Thread.  I then re-submitted the other Copy Media Set script that had had its Activity Thread set to 1; it was made to wait.  I then killed that waiting activity, set the "Allow Activity Threads" Preferences dropdown to 4 from 1, and re-submitted the other Copy Media Set script with its Activity Thread set to 2.; it started executing immediately.

 

The conclusion I draw from this test is that, if you want to execute multiple scheduleable (as opposed to Proactive) scripts simultaneously in Retrospect Desktop Edition, you should first set the "Allow Activity Threads" Preferences dropdown to a number greater than 1 and then set the scripts' Activity Threads.  If you previously set the scripts' Activity Threads but then subsequently re-started the Engine, I wouldn't rely on those scripts' Activity Threads being remembered without resetting them.

P.S.: This is post #10 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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I posted the contents of my last three posts in this thread as Support Case #52765.  Today I received the following reply from support@Retrospect .com (with Mayoff's name on it):

 

"Agent Response:

The original forum thread makes reference to a very simple question and it looks like Lennard Thelander already answered the question.

All server editions of Retrospect support the ability to back up using multiple executions at the same time. If a user wants to write to 2 different tape drives at the same time, you must use the Advanced Tape Support add-on license."

 

To which I replied in the support case—which is now marked Closed:

 

"In his/her OP in the thread, jweisbin said 'I thought I would set up a disk backup set and a tape backup set that would be perfectly in sync.' Based on my tests, there's no reason he can't do that with simultaneously-running scripts. I actually have an old HP DAT drive that worked in June 2015, when I tested Retrospect 6.1 on my Digital Audio G4. I would rerun the test Copy Media Set scripts simultaneously using it for one Destination Media Set, but unfortunately my Mac Pro doesn't have a SCSI card. So I guess we'll just have to wait for jweisbin to try it, which I'll urge him/her to do.

 

If it works, the Retrospect Inc. documentation committee will have a little problem. Will they want the knowledge of this capability of Retrospect Mac 13 to be continue to be disseminated only as a "secret" on the Forums, or will they want to officially document it—either in the User's Guide or as a KnowledgeBase article? That's why this Support Case is a Documentation request."

 

 

So try it, jweisbin, and please let us know if it works.  I believe you have a Server Edition,  in which the Retrospect Preferences "Allow Activity Threads" dropdown  should default to 4. So all you should need to do is create two backup scripts, one to a Disk Media and one to a Tape Media Set, and in the Summary pane for the scripts set the  "Use" dropdown to different Activity Threads.  You can schedule them for the same time, and they should run simultaneously.

P.S.: This is post #11 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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To be fair to Mayoff, the disk-to-disk-to-tape solution suggested by Lennart Thelander in post #2 of this thread would be the standard one under most circumstances.   It would be the only solution if jweisbin wants to make a tape copy of an already-existing Disk Media Set.

 

However the simultaneous-backups solution would be worth trying under the following circumstances: 1) jweisbin is starting a new backup procedure from scratch.  2) He/she wants to take the Tape Media Set off-site every time it is updated, and bring it back on-site for the next Backup run.  In those circumstances simultaneous Backups might run faster than a Backup to a Disk Media Set followed by a Copy Backup to tape, but only if the Source(s) for the Backup runs is/are disks locally-attached to the "backup server" or clients whose disks are SSDs.  My experience is that, doing a Recycle backup of all my drives—client and local—every Saturday, the copy-specific speed for my Early 2011 MacBook Pro client—which has a HDD instead of an SSD— is around 17GB/hour vs. 125GB/hour for a local disk—and the gating factor for the MBP is not the 36GB/hour effective copying speed (allowing for 20% overhead) of my 100Base-T LAN.  Note that the copy-specific speed of my Copy Media Set tests was also about 125GB/hour. 

 

P.S.: Revised next-to-last sentence in second paragraph to use copy-specific speeds; verify should be excluded because—per the verify paragraph in this section of the old Wikipedia article—verify of client backups is done using MD5 checksums stored on the "backup server" during copy, but verify of local-drive backups is done using byte-by-byte comparison.

 

P.P.S.: The second paragraph in this post does not mean that simultaneously-running scripts would not be useful in many cases.  It just means that simultaneously-running Backups would not be useful in most cases.  To be usefully run simultaneously, the scripts would have to only use locally-attached drives as Sources; thus the simultaneously-run Copy Media Set scripts I tested per the previous posts in the thread—or the equivalent kinds of Utility scripts—could be useful.

P.P.P.S.: This is post #12 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Wikipedia article has been significantly re-edited, but old version was saved; Added P.P.P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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Hold on there, jweisbin and others, yesterday I thought of a variant on the simultaneous-backups solution that is much more promising.   I realized that the Retrospect Windows 11 UG excerpts I quoted in post #7 in this thread mean that you can simultaneously use the same Disk Media Set as both a Destination for a backup and a Source for a Copy Media Set!  That, of course, assumes that what applies to Retrospect Windows also applies to Retrospect Mac—which as we all know has the same underlying (but occasionally undocumented) capabilities because the Retrospect Inc. engineers built it that way.

 

How could I possibly resist running a test of this?  Early this morning, before my "Sun-Fri Backup" script was scheduled to make its last MacBook Pro backup to "Media Set Blue" before going to the bank safe deposit box, I booted my Mac Pro Desktop Edition "backup server" and reset the "Allow Activity Threads" Preferences dropdown to 4.  I then changed my Copy Media Set script that had as its Source "Media Set Blue" and its Destination a "Media Set Violet", with its single member on a spare FireWire 800 portable drive, so that  its Activity Thread was set  = 2 and it was scheduled to start 5 minutes after my "Sun-Fri Backup" script.  (Because I run the Instant Scan process on my MBP, I know that a Backup script will begin actual copying in less than 5 minutes after the script starts running.)  I then booted my MBP and went back to sleep.  When I awoke an hour after "Sun-Fri Backup" was scheduled to run, I found that that script had completed execution in Activity Thread 1 in only two more minutes (22 minutes instead of 20 minutes) than it usually does but that the Copy Media Set script was still executing merrily in Activity Thread 2.  The Copy Media Set script eventually completed execution in about 3:25 hours (remember that it is copying the Recycle backups of all my 6 drives, plus 6 more incremental backups of my MBP), which is around 10 minutes more than it took per post #9 in this thread.  This evening I ran a Restore from  "Media Set Violet" of the 7 cumulative backups of my MBP onto another spare FireWire 800 drive, and then successfully booted the MBP from that drive.

 

Why, you may well ask, did using "Media Set Blue" simultaneously as both a Destination for the "Sun-Fri Backup" script and a Source for the Copy Media Set script not slow the backup appreciably?  The reason is that, at least when the Source for a Backup is a hard disk drive, the gating factor is primarily speed of directory traversal on the Source drive—not LAN speed or Destination drive speed (because the Destination drive is not traversing directories).  That may not hold true if the Source is an SSD, but I'm not about to spend money upgrading an Early 2011 MacBook Pro which will become officially "obsolete" when the ball falls at midnight tonight in Times Square.

 

So, jweisbin, on your 16GB-RAM Mac mini Server you could follow each daily "client" backup-to-Disk-Media-Set script with an near-simultaneous Copy Media Set to Tape script.  Because the Copy Media Set would be copying the entire cumulative Disk Media Set, it would probably finish hours after the last "client" had been incrementally backed up—but that wouldn't matter much because the Copy Media Set script would only be using drives on your "backup server" machine.  Your "client" machines would already be freed up for daytime non-Retrospect activities, and you could grab your tape at the end of the day and take it off-site.  Alternatively you could run a near-simultaneous Copy Backup script instead of the Copy Media Set script, but that would require bringing an up-to-date backup tape back on-site before each backup script run—and the Copy Backup script would fall behind when first started because of the need for it to space down to the previous end of the tape.  I personally think a pair of alternating Copy Media Set scripts running near-simultaneously with the Backup script would be simpler. 

P.S.: This is post #13 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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Early Saturday I tried a high-volume rerun of the test in post #13 of this thread, to simulate what would happen if jweisbin or someone else ran a Copy Media Set script simultaneously with a Backup script for a number of "client" and local drives.  It didn't work the way it was supposed to, but the further test didn't invalidate my concept.  My failures may be instructive to others.

 

My idea was to overlap my scheduled "Sat. Backup" Recycle Media Set script run onto "Media Set Red" ("Media Set Blue" having gone to the bank safe deposit box Friday afternoon) with a Copy Media Set script run copying "Media Set Red" onto a new "Media Set Pink" on my spare FireWire 800 portable drive (after Removing "Media Set Violet" from that drive).  Because "Sat. Backup" takes about 10.5 hours, I booted my Mac Pro Desktop Edition "backup server" very early Saturday morning and reset the "Allow Activity Threads" Preferences dropdown to 4, and scheduled a Copy Media Set script that had as its Source "Media Set Red" and its Destination  "Media Set Pink" with its Activity Thread set  = 2—with that script scheduled to start 5 minutes after my "Sat. Backup" script.  I then left both my Mac Pro "backup server" and my MacBook Pro "client" awake and went to bed, expecting that because of BPH I would awaken before 8 a.m. Saturday to boot my Digital Audio G4 "client" before "Sat. Backup" had finished 5 hours of backing up and verifying the "Macintosh HD" on my MBP (the G4 is from 2001, and I prefer not to leave it running any more than necessary).

 

I unexpectedly slept straight through until 9:45 a.m. Saturday, and found that my "Sat. Backup" script—instead of skipping the shut-down G4 and going on to backup my Mac Pro's local drives—was now backing up a second drive attached to the MBP.  This second drive was my other spare FireWire 800 portable drive, which I had mistakenly left on and cabled to the MBP after successfully booted the MBP from it Friday evening.  That second drive now contains a Restored copy of my MBP's "Macintosh HD"—the Retrospect 12 Client had mistakenly picked up the second drive per jelockwood's "Retrospect bug reports" thread, and I certainly didn't want to have "Sat. Backup" continue to backup and verify it for another 3.5 hours, so I stopped the "Sat. Backup" execution.

 

Meanwhile the Copy Media Set script had never started executing; it had been waiting for nearly 7 hours while the "Sat. Backup" script ran.  Until just now I thought the Copy Media Set script was waiting because I had somehow messed up the threads, even though the log shows the "Sat. Backup" script ran in Activity Thread 1 and the Copy Media Set script finally started executing—after I had stopped the "Sat. Backup" script execution—in Activity Thread 2.  I see now from page 289 of the Retrospect Windows 11 User's Guide why it was waiting: "Certain operations require exclusive access to the Backup Set (e.g. updating a Catalog File, grooming, recycling [my emphasis], verifying media). When one of these operations is using a disk Backup Set, no other operations can use that Backup Set at the same time."  The "Sat. Backup" script is always scheduled to do a Recycle Media Set of its Destination.

 

I stopped execution of the Copy Media Set script and, after shutting down my MacBook Pro, ran my "Sat. Backup Incremental" script with "Media Set Red" as the Destination.  "Sat. Backup Incremental" is actually a duplicate of "Sat. Backup"; it is never scheduled, so when run it always does No Media Action backups of my 6 Source drives.  It ran fine, although it gave an error because it  couldn't access the MBP.  However, when I overlapped it with another execution of the Copy Media Set script, that execution gave a -2249 (could not find session) error.  Early this morning, after returning from a movie (it was Jim Jarmusch's "Paterson"; fairly good, but an art-house movie), I did a Catalog Rebuild of "Media Set Red"—thinking that my stopping the "Sat. Backup" execution had messed up the Media Set—before leaving the MBP and Mac Pro on to run "Sun.-Fri. Backup" to "Media Set Red" as scheduled.  I see now, from this thread, that my instinct to do a Catalog Rebuild of "Media Set Red" was correct.

 

To rerun this test next Saturday morning, I'll have to first do a manual Recycle of "Media Set White" and then—in place of the scheduled "Sat. Backup" script—schedule a run of the "Sat. Backup Incremental" script with "Media Set White" as the Destination followed by an overlapping Copy Media Set script run with "Media Set White" as the Source.

P.S.: This is post #14 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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Last night I thought of a variant on the simultaneous-backups solution that is so much more promising than my post #13 in this thread that it appears to be the definitive solution for jweisbin and others with the same need.  It keeps the near-simultaneous running of a Copy Media Set script along with a Backup script, but eliminates the need for that Copy Media Set script to do a from-scratch copy of the entire Media Set—a copy that can take hours.  It does so by having both the "Match source files against the Media Set" and the "Don’t add duplicate files to the Media Set" options checked.  These options are mentioned on page 162 of the Retrospect Macintosh 13 User's Guide, but are only discussed under the  "In the Matching category, there are the following options:" sub-section of the "Backup Script Options" section on pages 116-117 of that UG.  There it says that both options are key components of Retrospect’s Smart Incremental backups.  And that's what jweisbin and others want for backing up to two media sets at the same time; to have the Copy Media Set script copy to the second Media Set only those backups that the Backup script has just added—doing a Smart Incremental backup—to the first Media Set.

 

Naturally I ran a test early this morning (after booting my Mac Pro Desktop Edition "backup server" very early so I could reset the "Allow Activity Threads" Preferences dropdown to 4); the logs are at the bottom of this post to prevent eye fatigue, but I'll give you the highlights up top.  First, note that the Copy Media Set script started running 5 minutes after the Backup script, and that it was thereafter running simultaneously—in Activity Thread 2—with the Backup script running in Activity Thread 1.  Second, note that both scripts copied precisely the same number and total GB of files.  Third, note that the speed of the copy phase for the Backup script run was 524.3 MB/min. vs. 402.6 MB/min. for the Copy Media Set script run, but that the speed of the compare phase for the Backup script run was 2,061.5 MB/min. vs. 3,607.7 MB/min. for the Copy Media Set script run's verify phase.  That shows the Copy Media Set run was—correctly—being slowed so as not to overrun the progress of the Backup run.

 

I intend to rerun this test early Thursday or Friday morning, to confirm that with these options the Copy Media Set script can copy the backups from two or more days of daily Backup script runs.  That means that jweisbin and others could run their overlapping Copy Media Sets alternately onto two or more different Tape Media Sets, e.g. "Tape Media Set MonWedFri" and "Tape Media Set TueThuSat", keeping yesterday's Tape Media Set off-site while bringing the day-before-yesterday's Tape Media Set on-site to be updated.

 

Log for Backup script run:

+  Normal backup using Sun.-Fri. Backup at 1/3/17, 3:00:00 AM (Activity Thread 1)

    To Backup Set Media Set Red...

   

    1/3/17 3:00:02 AM: Connected to David’s MacBook Pro

    *  Resolved container David’s MacBook Pro to 1 volumes:

    Macintosh HD on David’s MacBook Pro

    -  1/3/17 3:00:00 AM: Copying Macintosh HD on David’s MacBook Pro

    Using Instant Scan

    1/3/17 3:00:39 AM: Found: 676463 files, 152266 folders, 50 GB

    1/3/17 3:01:48 AM: Finished matching

    1/3/17 3:02:13 AM: Copying: 414 files (5.9 GB) and 0 hard links

    1/3/17 3:13:37 AM: Building Snapshot...

    1/3/17 3:13:37 AM: Checking 152,266 folders for ACLs or extended attributes

    1/3/17 3:15:11 AM: Finished copying 8,375 folders with ACLs or extended attributes

    1/3/17 3:15:41 AM: Copying Snapshot: 2 files (216.9 MB)

    1/3/17 3:16:03 AM: Snapshot stored, 216.9 MB

    1/3/17 3:16:03 AM: Comparing Macintosh HD on David’s MacBook Pro

    *File "Macintosh HD/retroclient.log": didn't compare

    ...

    *File "Macintosh HD/Users/davidhertzberg/Library/IdentityServices/ids.db-shm": didn't compare

    1/3/17 3:19:02 AM: Execution completed successfully

    Completed: 414 files, 5.9 GB

    Performance: 835.1 MB/minute (524.3 copy, 2,061.5 compare)

    Duration: 00:19:02 (00:04:38 idle/loading/preparing)

 

Log for Copy Media Set script run:

+  Executing Copy Media Set - Media Set Red at 1/3/17, 3:05:00 AM (Activity Thread 2)

    To Backup Set Media Set Pink...

    -  1/3/17 3:05:05 AM: Transferring from Media Set Red

    1/3/17 3:20:25 AM: Execution completed successfully

    Completed: 414 files, 5.9 GB

    Performance: 402.6 MB/minute

    Duration: 00:15:19 (00:00:22 idle/loading/preparing)

 

    -  1/3/17 3:20:25 AM: Verifying Media Set Pink

    1/3/17 3:22:21 AM: Execution completed successfully

    Completed: 414 files, 5.9 GB

    Performance: 3,607.7 MB/minute

    Duration: 00:01:56 (00:00:16 idle/loading/preparing)

P.S.: This is post #15 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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On 1/3/2017 at 10:56 PM, David Hertzberg said:

Last night I thought of a variant on the simultaneous-backups solution that is so much more promising than my post #13 in this thread that it appears to be the definitive solution for jweisbin and others with the same need.  It keeps the near-simultaneous running of a Copy Media Set script along with a Backup script, but eliminates the need for that Copy Media Set script to do a from-scratch copy of the entire Media Set—a copy that can take hours.  It does so by having both the "Match source files against the Media Set" and the "Don’t add duplicate files to the Media Set" options checked.  These options are mentioned on page 162 of the Retrospect Macintosh 13 User's Guide, but are only discussed under the  "In the Matching category, there are the following options:" sub-section of the "Backup Script Options" section on pages 116-117 of that UG.  There it says that both options are key components of Retrospect’s Smart Incremental backups.  And that's what jweisbin and others want for backing up to two media sets at the same time; to have the Copy Media Set script copy to the second Media Set only those backups that the Backup script has just added—doing a Smart Incremental backup—to the first Media Set.

 

....

 

I intend to rerun this test early Thursday or Friday morning, to confirm that with these options the Copy Media Set script can copy the backups from two or more days of daily Backup script runs.  That means that jweisbin and others could run their overlapping Copy Media Sets alternately onto two or more different Tape Media Sets, e.g. "Tape Media Set MonWedFri" and "Tape Media Set TueThuSat", keeping yesterday's Tape Media Set off-site while bringing the day-before-yesterday's Tape Media Set on-site to be updated.

 

....

 

Here's the further test, showing a Copy Media Set script can copy the backups from two or more days of daily Backup script runs.  The logs are at the bottom of this post—in reverse chronological order—to prevent eye fatigue, but I'll give you the highlights up top.  First, note that the two Backup script runs each also copied a second drive on David’s MacBook Pro—the USB drive "OS X File Transfers" which was left plugged in. Second, note that again the Copy Media Set script started running 5 minutes after the second-day Backup script, and that it was thereafter running simultaneously—in Activity Thread 2—with the Backup script running in Activity Thread 1.  Third, note again that the Copy Media Set script copied the same number and total GB of files scripts as the total copied in the two Backup scripts.  Fourth, note that the speed of the "Macintosh HD" copy phase for the second Backup script run was 501.6 MB/min. vs. 686.3 MB/min. for the Copy Media Set script run, but that the speed of the "Macintosh HD" compare phase for the second Backup script run was 1,848 MB/min. vs. 3,722 MB/min. for the Copy Media Set script run's verify phase.  That shows the Copy Media Set run was—correctly—being somewhat slowed so as not to overrun the progress of the second Backup run's copy phase.

 

Log for Copy Media Set script run Thurs. 5 January:

Copy Media Set Log 5 January 2017:

+  Executing Copy Media Set - Media Set Red at 1/5/17, 3:05:00 AM (Activity Thread 2)

    To Backup Set Media Set Pink...

    -  1/5/17 3:05:16 AM: Transferring from Media Set Red

    1/5/17 3:23:34 AM: Execution completed successfully

    Completed: 1,235 files, 11.8 GB

    Performance: 686.3 MB/minute

    Duration: 00:18:17 (00:00:44 idle/loading/preparing)

 

    -  1/5/17 3:23:34 AM: Verifying Media Set Pink

    1/5/17 3:27:13 AM: Execution completed successfully

    Completed: 1,235 files, 11.8 GB

    Performance: 3,722 MB/minute

    Duration: 00:03:38 (00:00:24 idle/loading/preparing)

 

Log for Backup script run Thurs. 5 January:

+  Normal backup using Sun.-Fri. Backup at 1/5/17, 3:00:00 AM (Activity Thread 1)

    To Backup Set Media Set Red...

   

    1/5/17 3:00:02 AM: Connected to David’s MacBook Pro

    *  Resolved container David’s MacBook Pro to 2 volumes:

    Macintosh HD on David’s MacBook Pro

    OS X File Transfers on David’s MacBook Pro

    -  1/5/17 3:00:00 AM: Copying Macintosh HD on David’s MacBook Pro

    Using Instant Scan

    1/5/17 3:00:41 AM: Found: 680462 files, 152327 folders, 49.9 GB

    1/5/17 3:01:50 AM: Finished matching

    1/5/17 3:02:15 AM: Copying: 396 files (5.7 GB) and 0 hard links

    1/5/17 3:13:50 AM: Building Snapshot...

    1/5/17 3:13:50 AM: Checking 152,327 folders for ACLs or extended attributes

    1/5/17 3:15:30 AM: Finished copying 8,380 folders with ACLs or extended attributes

    1/5/17 3:15:57 AM: Copying Snapshot: 2 files (217.5 MB)

    1/5/17 3:16:13 AM: Snapshot stored, 217.5 MB

    1/5/17 3:16:13 AM: Comparing Macintosh HD on David’s MacBook Pro

    *File "Macintosh HD/retroclient.log": didn't compare

    ....

    *File "Macintosh HD/Users/davidhertzberg/Library/IdentityServices/ids.db-shm": didn't compare

    1/5/17 3:19:28 AM: Execution completed successfully

    Completed: 396 files, 5.7 GB

    Performance: 789 MB/minute (501.6 copy, 1,848 compare)

    Duration: 00:19:27 (00:04:36 idle/loading/preparing)

 

    ****** Warning: volume "OS X File Transfers on David’s MacBook Pro" has the "Ignore ownership" setting enabled. ******

    -  1/5/17 3:19:29 AM: Copying OS X File Transfers on David’s MacBook Pro

    1/5/17 3:19:41 AM: Found: 396 files, 163 folders, 282.7 MB

    1/5/17 3:20:49 AM: Finished matching

    1/5/17 3:20:50 AM: Copying: 0 files (0 B) and 0 hard links

    1/5/17 3:20:53 AM: Building Snapshot...

    1/5/17 3:20:54 AM: Checking 163 folders for ACLs or extended attributes

    1/5/17 3:20:54 AM: Finished copying 1 folders with ACLs or extended attributes

    1/5/17 3:20:54 AM: Copying Snapshot: 2 files (282 KB)

    1/5/17 3:21:00 AM: Snapshot stored, 282 KB

    1/5/17 3:21:00 AM: Comparing OS X File Transfers on David’s MacBook Pro

    1/5/17 3:21:02 AM: Execution completed successfully

 

    Duration: 00:01:33 (00:01:29 idle/loading/preparing)

 

    1/5/17 3:21:02 AM: Execution completed successfully

    Total performance: 783.7 MB/minute

    Total duration: 00:21:01 (00:06:05 idle/loading/preparing)

 

Log for Backup script run Wed. 4 January:

+  Normal backup using Sun.-Fri. Backup at 1/4/17, 9:10:50 AM

    To Backup Set Media Set Red...

   

    1/4/17 9:10:57 AM: Connected to David’s MacBook Pro

    *  Resolved container David’s MacBook Pro to 2 volumes:

    Macintosh HD on David’s MacBook Pro

    OS X File Transfers on David’s MacBook Pro

    -  1/4/17 9:10:50 AM: Copying Macintosh HD on David’s MacBook Pro

    Using Instant Scan

    1/4/17 9:11:49 AM: Found: 646509 files, 152251 folders, 49.5 GB

    1/4/17 9:13:06 AM: Finished matching

    1/4/17 9:13:40 AM: Copying: 530 files (5.9 GB) and 0 hard links

    1/4/17 9:24:30 AM: Building Snapshot...

    1/4/17 9:24:30 AM: Checking 152,251 folders for ACLs or extended attributes

    1/4/17 9:26:13 AM: Finished copying 8,379 folders with ACLs or extended attributes

    1/4/17 9:26:36 AM: Copying Snapshot: 2 files (207.6 MB)

    1/4/17 9:26:45 AM: Snapshot stored, 207.6 MB

    1/4/17 9:26:45 AM: Comparing Macintosh HD on David’s MacBook Pro

    *File "Macintosh HD/retroclient.log": didn't compare

    ....

    *File "Macintosh HD/Users/davidhertzberg/Library/IdentityServices/ids.db-shm": didn't compare

    1/4/17 9:29:40 AM: Execution completed successfully

    Completed: 530 files, 5.9 GB

    Performance: 875 MB/minute (552 copy, 2,108.7 compare)

    Duration: 00:18:50 (00:05:00 idle/loading/preparing)

 

    ****** Warning: volume "OS X File Transfers on David’s MacBook Pro" has the "Ignore ownership" setting enabled. ******

    -  1/4/17 9:29:40 AM: Copying OS X File Transfers on David’s MacBook Pro

    1/4/17 9:29:49 AM: Found: 396 files, 163 folders, 282.7 MB

    1/4/17 9:30:16 AM: Finished matching

    1/4/17 9:30:17 AM: Copying: 310 files (137.2 MB) and 0 hard links

    1/4/17 9:30:37 AM: Building Snapshot...

    1/4/17 9:30:38 AM: Checking 163 folders for ACLs or extended attributes

    1/4/17 9:30:38 AM: Finished copying 1 folders with ACLs or extended attributes

    1/4/17 9:30:38 AM: Copying Snapshot: 2 files (282 KB)

    1/4/17 9:30:44 AM: Snapshot stored, 282 KB

    1/4/17 9:30:44 AM: Comparing OS X File Transfers on David’s MacBook Pro

    1/4/17 9:30:54 AM: Execution completed successfully

    Completed: 310 files, 137.2 MB

    Performance: 548.9 MB/minute (411.7 copy, 914.8 compare)

    Duration: 00:01:13 (00:00:43 idle/loading/preparing)

 

    1/4/17 9:30:55 AM: Execution completed successfully

    Total performance: 861.6 MB/minute

    Total duration: 00:20:04 (00:05:43 idle/loading/preparing)

P.S.: This is post #16 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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Stop, jweisbin and others.   :o    Do not attempt to overlap executions of Backup scripts and Copy Media Set scripts until you have read the rest of this post—which will probably convince you not to attempt it at all.

 

I phoned Mayoff this afternoon by calling Tech Support at extension 3 at the Retrospect Inc. number (I had been obliged to leave a message for him yesterday at x806; he is "very busy"—make of that what you will).  I meant to quickly give him a heads-up about this thread and my experimental results, and to ask a couple of related questions.  Fortunately the first related question I asked was why overlapping didn't work with a Recycle Backup run per post #14 in this thread.  He said it's because Copy Media Set uses the Catalog File, and a Recycle wipes out every entry in the Catalog file and does not create new entries until the Updating Catalog File phase(s) of the Backup run.  I immediately realized that—on a Copy Media Set run that is overlapped—only the files that are already entered in the Catalog File are copied.  That means that an overlapped Copy Media Set run will not copy files that were backed up for the first time in the overlapped Backup run, and will not copy the latest versions of files that were updated since the previous Backup run.

 

This explains something that has been bothering me since yesterday, which is that my statement in my fifth sentence in the first paragraph of post #16 is not quite correct.  The total number of files copied from both drives in both Backup script runs is 1236, but the total number of files copied in the Copy Media Set run is only 1235.  Checking—now that I know what to look for—in Documents, I see that I modified a file (actually the LibreOffice version of this post) at 9:05 a.m. on 4 January, which means that the modified file would have been backed up in the 5 January Backup run.  That is the file whose latest version must not have been copied in the overlapped Copy Media Set run on 5 January, because its latest version was not yet in the Catalog File.

 

I executed an extra "Sun.-Fri. Backup" script run this afternoon, backing up to "Media Set White" (which will be recycled tomorrow morning), and plugging in the USB drive "OS X File Transfers" to get a second Source drive on my MacBook Pro.  I observed that the "updating catalog" phase for each drive, although it is not shown in the Log, occurs after the Copying phase for each drive backed up.  This means that a Copy Media Set execution must run far enough behind any Backup run it is overlapped with that its copying—based on a drive's Catalog File entries—never occurs before that drive's Catalog File entries have been updated.  Given how much faster an execution that involves only drives local to the "backup server" runs than an execution that involves drives attached to a "client", I don't think that can ever be guaranteed for a Copy Media Set execution that overlaps with a Backup of "client" drives 

P.S.: This is post #17 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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OK, where do we go from here in regards to Copy Media Set runs overlapped with Backup runs, considering my post #17 immediately above?  It is now evident that the existing version of Retrospect can't do what I was proposing in posts #15 and #16.

 

Last night, on my way to see the movie "Hidden Figures" (IMHO very good), I conceived an enhancement to Retrospect that would enable it to do so.  In its simplest form, it would add a CopyLock script type—referencing an existing Media Set.  A CopyLock script run would simply access the Catalog File header for each Source drive in the Media Set, setting a bit that would cause a Copy Media Set or Copy Backup run with that Media Set as the Source to go into a pause state when it tried to use the Catalog File to copy a Source drive whose bit was still set.  That bit in the Media Set's Catalog File header for a Source drive would be cleared when a Backup script completed the Copying phase for that drive and updated the Catalog File for it, enabling the Copy Media Set or Copy Backup run to come out of the pause state and proceed to copy that drive.  This would ensure that a Copy Media Set execution would run far enough behind any Backup run it is overlapped with that its copying—based on a drive's Catalog File entries—could never occur before that drive's Catalog File entries have been updated.

 

To cover the practical possibility of scripts never getting run or crashing, the enhancement would also need to include a CopyUnlock script.  This would simply do the opposite of a CopyLock script, accessing the Catalog File header for each Source drive in the Media Se and un-setting the bit that would cause a Copy Media Set or Copy Backup run with that Media Set as the Source to go into a pause state.  Ideally we might also want the enhancement to include a new option for Backup scripts that would do the equivalent of a CopyLock bit-setting just before starting the actual Backup process for a particular Source drive, ensuring that that Source drive could not have a Copy Media Set or Copy Backup done on it via the same Media Set before its Backup copying had been subsequently completed and its Catalog File header updated.  That second enhancement would take care of the situation in which a drive is dynamically cabled to a Source computer after a CopyUnlock script run has completed and a Backup script run has started, but before the Backup script run gets to processing that Source computer.

 

My question to all of you forum readers is:  do you want me to bother to post a request for such an enhancement in the "Product Suggestions—Mac OS X"  sub-forum?  My OP in  this thread reports that the CEO of Retrospect Inc. and his cabal will not consider a feature request unless there is evidence of support for it from other Retrospect customers.  I'll find out Monday exactly what kind of evidence of support he requires, but I won't proceed further until I have prior indications of support from you.  Frankly, although I had fun doing the tests for Copy Media Set runs overlapped with Backup runs, I'm getting more than a bit tired of doing work for other people who don't seem to appreciate it.  I'm afraid that appreciation must now go beyond simply bumping the view counts for threads I contribute to; I don't consider myself to be in the entertainment business (do not insert appropriate smiley here—I'm dead serious).

 

I'll even give you a couple of arguments against a request for such an enhancement.  First, maybe nobody—including me—except jweisbin needs the overlapping.  With many people (not including me) installing SSDs in their computers, Backup script runs for a string of "clients" may be taking such an increasingly shorter time that overlapping of Copy Media Set script runs with Backup script runs may no longer be necessary.  Second, maybe everybody except jweisbin is satisfied doing a non-overlapped Copy Media Set to a Tape or Cloud Media Set over the weekend—even if that means an off-site backup once a week instead of every workday.

 

So let's see some posts from someone besides myself in this thread, pro or con!

P.S.: This is post #18 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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On second thought about my post #18 immediately above, maybe we don't need the additional CopyLock and CopyUnlock script types at all, or the additional option for Backup scripts.  Instead make the setting of the CopyLock bit in the Source drive's Media Set Catalog File header be standard operating procedure for a Source drive about to be backed up to a particular Media Set.  It would also be standard operating procedure for a Copy Media Set or Copy Backup script run to go into a pause state when it encounters a Catalog File header for a Source drive on which the CopyLock bit is still set.  The CopyLock bit would—of course—be cleared for a particular drive's header in a Media Set Catalog File as soon the copy phase of a Backup for that drive had been completed and the drive's Catalog File had been updated for the Media Set.  As soon as a CopyLock bit had been cleared, an overlapping Copy Media Set or Copy Backup script run that had gone into a pause state because of that CopyLock bit would come out of the pause state and proceed.

 

This would make the CopyLock bit a "drive backup copying in progress" bit.  That would be sufficient to ensure that a Copy Media Set execution would run far enough behind any Backup run it is overlapped with that its copying—based on a drive's Catalog File entries—could never occur before that drive's Catalog File entries have been updated by the Backup.  Probably it would be a good idea to add an "ignore CopyLock" option to Copy Media Set and Copy Backup scripts, in order to handle weird situations in which a Backup script run for a particular drive had not completed its copy phase successfully—but the administrator nevertheless wanted to run a Copy Media Set or Copy Backup execution using the Media Set's Catalog File entries for that drive as they existed previously.  Actually even this option might not be needed; a Catalog File Rebuild for a Media Set would automatically clear any CopyLock bit that had been set for a Source drive's header within that Catalog File.

 

So how about it, jweisbin and others?  What I have just proposed is a modest enhancement to Retrospect that would enable the overlapping I tested in posts #15 and #16 in this thread to really work as I thought it had, thus increasing the usefulness of a major capability that has been in Retrospect since Mac version 8.  Would it be too much to ask you to show a little support?

P.S.: This is post #19 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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Given the response from Mayoff documented in this post, I have elected to start this thread in "Product Suggestions—Mac OS X".  If you people want the Retrospect Inc. engineers to implement the enhancement, you'd better indicate you want it—either in this thread or in the "Product Suggestions—Mac OS X" thread.  Remember what President Obama said at the end of his speech tonight, citizens.

P.S.: This is post #20 in the thread.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S. with post #, because another thread refers to post #s in this thread

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As of Retrospect 15—both Mac and Windows variants—even the Desktop Edition starts execution with more than one Activity Thread (R. Mac) or Execution Unit (R. Windows).  See the second substantive paragraph of this post.

P.S.: This is post #21 in the thread.

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