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Keep unique tape name when adding to a backup set

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I am using Retrospect version 12.5 for Desktop. I have a LTO-4 5.25" SAS Drive (no autoloader) and 30 LTO-4 tapes that already labeled from the manufacturer. I want to add all the tapes to the same backup set and keep their unique names.

Every time a tape is added to my single media set, Backup Set A, it automatically gets renamed to an incrementing number like 1-Backup Set A. After doing some research,I found a few people say that this will always be done by Retrospect. Unfortunately this is an inconvenience for me as my tapes are already nicely labeled like GHD633L4 so to label them differently in the software is just going to create confusion and more work for me. The way i see it, i am going to have to create a spreadsheet that says "GHD633L4" is "1-Backup Set A" and so on. 

Maybe I am missing something or still not understanding it. Is there a way for me to keep the unique tapes names in a backup set?

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3 hours ago, tarchive said:

I am using Retrospect version 12.5 for Desktop. I have a LTO-4 5.25" SAS Drive (no autoloader) and 30 LTO-4 tapes that already labeled from the manufacturer. I want to add all the tapes to the same backup set and keep their unique names.

Every time a tape is added to my single media set, Backup Set A, it automatically gets renamed to an incrementing number like 1-Backup Set A. After doing some research,I found a few people say that this will always be done by Retrospect. Unfortunately this is an inconvenience for me as my tapes are already nicely labeled like GHD633L4 so to label them differently in the software is just going to create confusion and more work for me. The way i see it, i am going to have to create a spreadsheet that says "GHD633L4" is "1-Backup Set A" and so on. 

Maybe I am missing something or still not understanding it. Is there a way for me to keep the unique tapes names in a backup set?

When viewing the members of the backup set, Retrospect will show both names side by side. Like this:

1-Backup Set A     GHD633L4

2-Backup Set A     GHD654L4

You can also write both names on the paper sleeve inside the plastic tape case.

When I used tapes in Retrospect, I reused some of them after a few months (while some were kept "forever"). The tapes that were reused got a post-It paper with the Retrospect name inside the plastic case. The label name was already on the tape cartridge.

So I don't think the Retrospect naming will cause you any problems. :)

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As you have found, Retrospect names its tapes with a sequence number and the Backup set name.

The pre-labelled tapes you have will be the barcode labels intended for use in a library or auto loader. Since you have a standalone drive with no barcode reader, the tape labels are irrelevant.

I would simply get some sticky labels and relabel the tapes according to the Retrospect numbering scheme.

You can add them all to the backup set in advance by inserting the tapes one by one, and clicking the ADD button, and then write the label for the name that Retrospect gives for each tape. It's a bit laborious but you only have to do it once.

This scheme works perfectly for me

 

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I forgot that you must have a tape station or loader with a bar code reader to see the label name in Retrospect.

As Jotrago writes, just remove the label or apply your own over it with the Retrospect name.

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Lennart_T and jotrago have not dared to tell tarchive the "dirty little secret" behind the Retrospect tape naming scheme.  The "dirty little secret" is that the scheme is designed to facilitate doing a Recreate of a hard-drive-stored Catalog File, a procedure which hard drive failure has made many Retrospect administrators go through at some point.  (Actually, in 15 years of using Retrospect Mac with tapes I never had to do a Recreate, but that's because my "backup server" hard drives were Apple ones personally built by Steve Wozniak using materials salvaged from crashed flying saucers built by really advanced alien civilizations.  The industry doesn't build hard drives as robustly anymore, primarily because it flies the read-write heads a lot closer for greater capacity.)

The procedure is described in "Recreating a CD/DVD or Tape Catalog" on pages 478-480 of the Retrospect Windows 12 User's Guide. Steps 8 through 9 clumsily describe feeding Retrospect the tapes in the Backup Set in the sequence of their creation.  The Retrospect-assigned names "1-Backup Set A" etc. tell the Retrospect administrator what that sequence is.

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20 minutes ago, DavidHertzberg said:

Lennart_T and jotrago have not dared to tell tarchive the "dirty little secret" behind the Retrospect tape naming scheme.  The "dirty little secret" is that the scheme is designed to facilitate doing a Recreate of a hard-drive-stored Catalog File, a procedure which hard drive failure has made many Retrospect administrators go through at some point.  (Actually, in 15 years of using Retrospect Mac with tapes I never had to do a Recreate, but that's because my "backup server" hard drives were Apple ones personally built by Steve Wozniak using materials salvaged from crashed flying saucers built by really advanced alien civilizations.  The industry doesn't build hard drives as robustly anymore, primarily because it flies the read-write heads a lot closer for greater capacity.)

The procedure is described in "Recreating a CD/DVD or Tape Catalog" on pages 478-480 of the Retrospect Windows 12 User's Guide. Steps 8 through 9 clumsily describe feeding Retrospect the tapes in the Backup Set in the sequence of their creation.  The Retrospect-assigned names "1-Backup Set A" etc. tell the Retrospect administrator what that sequence is.

You also need the correct tapes in the correct order when doing a restore. Older files are on tapes with lower numbers.

When enabling "Fast catalog rebuild" option (page 399 in the above mentioned user's guide) you only need to insert the most recent tape to recreate the tape catalog. Pages 478-480 also outlines this as Retrospect is first asking for the most recent member.

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Thanks for the responses, everyone! 

6 hours ago, jotrago said:

The pre-labelled tapes you have will be the barcode labels intended for use in a library or auto loader. Since you have a standalone drive with no barcode reader, the tape labels are irrelevant.

The barcodes are irrelevant, not the text on the labels.

 

8 hours ago, Lennart_T said:

You can also write both names on the paper sleeve inside the plastic tape case.

6 hours ago, jotrago said:

I would simply get some sticky labels and relabel the tapes according to the Retrospect numbering scheme.

True and while this not a difficult alternative, I will still ask the question why do work that has already been done? At the time of adding a tape to the backup set, the physical label already exists but none Retrospect. It doesn't make sense in my scenario for Retrospect to then generate its own name and necessitate me to rename my media. 

 

8 hours ago, Lennart_T said:

When viewing the members of the backup set, Retrospect will show both names side by side. Like this:

1-Backup Set A     GHD633L4

2-Backup Set A     GHD654L4

If there was a way to do this by manually inputting the barcode into Retrospect for systems without a barcode scanner or autoloader, that would be good enough for me. Does this make enough sense for a feature request?

 

The labels from the tape manufacturer are neater and more durable than anything i could make right now with typical office supplies. I would have to go to the store, buy the proper supplies, take time to print the names on the labels, and then apply. That is a bit ridiculous of a solution considering i have experience with Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 & 15 where it is not a problem to have tape names different than media sets. I wouldn't expect Retrospect to change their software's philosophy of tape names and catalog files, but i would like to see a way to attach additional text to each individual tape in a backup set.

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On 10/29/2017 at 7:15 AM, Lennart_T said:

You also need the correct tapes in the correct order when doing a restore. Older files are on tapes with lower numbers.

When enabling "Fast catalog rebuild" option (page 399 in the above mentioned user's guide) you only need to insert the most recent tape to recreate the tape catalog. Pages 478-480 also outlines this as Retrospect is first asking for the most recent member.

Page 14 in the "What's New" Chapter of the Retrospect Windows 11 User's Guide says : "Faster Catalog Rebuild: Retrospect v11 for Windows and Retrospect v13 for Mac both have under-the-hood performance improvements to catalog rebuild. ....  With this latest version, the rebuild process is now significantly faster, up to 3x in some cases. It supersedes the existing performance optimization, "Fast Catalog Rebuild", which has been removed. [my emphasis]".  Unfortunately the removal of Fast Catalog Rebuild was not updated in later chapters of the Retrospect Windows 12 User's Guide, and it was wiped out by replacement of the "What's New" chapter in the Retrospect Windows 12 UG with entirely different text.  (The sarcasm which I clumsily directed at Lennart_T in the previous version of this post—which was deleted by Mayoff—was really intended for the famous Retrospect Inc. documentation committee which made this error; I abjectly apologize to him—but not to the committee.)

I strongly suspect that page 478 of the Retrospect Windows 12 UG should be partially rewritten to say "3. In the Media Selection window, click the Status tab, then select the most recent member of the Backup Set for which all the preceding members are available and undamaged [my addition italicized]."  IMHO that would be because Retrospect Windows versions subsequent to 5.1 have a mechanism that automatically marks all the preceding members as present in the Catalog File.  The absence of this mechanism in Retrospect Windows 5.0 and 5.1 would explain why page 479 says "4. For a Backup Set created with Retrospect 5.0 or 5.1, it requests the first member of the set.  If you do not have the most recent medium, insert the most recent available member of the Backup Set to be recataloged." and also "8. If there are no more members because you have already given Retrospect the final medium in the Backup Set, click No to complete the recataloging.  If there are more members in the Backup Set, even if one or more members are lost or damaged [my emphasis], click Yes."  That would be another reason why Retrospect Windows 12 insists on naming tape members "n-Backup Set A".

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According to the head of Retrospect Tech Support, the first paragraph of my preceding post is incorrect--even though I based it on what was in the User's Guides.  "Fast Catalog Rebuild is turned on by default with all Disk Backup Sets.  We don't have an option to turn it off/on because it is always enabled. Fast catalog rebuild was not removed from the product."

If Retrospect Inc. made a misstatement in the Retrospect v11 for Windows and Retrospect v13 for Mac User's Guides' "What's New" chapter, IMHO they should have explicitly corrected it in a later edition.

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