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tlemons

Retrospect Desktop 16 backing up very large phantom files

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Retrospect Desktop 16.6.0.133

I notice that, every time I do a scripted backup of my Windows 10 system, Retrospect saves a very large (40- 50 GB) phantom file on my two large USB external drives. When I search for these files on the disk that is being backed up, Windows Explorer can't find them.

Are these some snapshot artifact created by either Windows or Retrospect?

I don't currently see any value in backing these up, so I want to figure out how to stop this behavior.

Thanks!

Terry Lemons

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tlemons,

For 4.5 years—ever since I updated my Macs at home and re-started using Retrospect—it has been backing up a "phantom" multi-GB file from my MacBook Pro every morning.  The file has a very long name, but it begins with "imap".  Using my mighty brain, honed to perfection by my (non-PhD track) MS in Computer Science, 🤣 I soon concluded the file is my accumulated undeleted IMAP e-mails.  Because the file name is so long, I have never tried searching for it using Mac Spotlight.  Retrospect 15 added explicit protection for several common e-mail systems in March 2018—you can migrate messages between e-mail accounts, but IMAP messages get backed up anyway because the Mac Mail program downloads them.  Help, my download file's growing! 🙄

I don't know what e-mail program you're using, but—unless you're backing up another file that you know is your e-mails—I suggest a similar conclusion for your problem.  If I'm correct, you probably don't want to stop backing up that file, unless you want to explicitly back up e-mail. 

Happy New Year.😀

P.S.: Forget what I said above about e-mail.  The OP in the thread that x509 links to in the post below this shows file names that are the same as the one in your OP, except that they have different numbers before the left curly bracket.  So the big file is in your System Volume Information folder; read that thread.

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Thanks very much, x509, for your right-on-the-money diagnosis and suggestion! I modified my backup script to use an exclude of 'System Volume*', and it worked perfectly:

image.png.7cba50de92db9dcb7af041012ac6fb49.png

Reading https://www.howtogeek.com/282214/WHAT-IS-THE-SYSTEM-VOLUME-INFORMATION-FOLDER-AND-CAN-I-DELETE-IT/, though, I'm a little nervous about not backing up this folder, given the several services that use it. I'm hoping that, if I need to restore from a Retrospect backup, Windows will re-create the information it needs to have in this folder.

Thanks again
tl

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tlemons,

If you're worried about not backing up the System Volume Information folder, you could do what I suggested to x509 in this post in another thread.  That means you'd have to create a separate Backup Set purely for the System Volume Information folder, because Retrospect currently allows specifying a Grooming Policy only for an entire Backup Set.  (If Retrospect "Inc." adopted the feature suggestion in the second substantive paragraph in this post in that same thread, you'd be able to specify "transient " Grooming for individual Subvolumes in the same Backup Set; x509 hasn't said that he added the Additional Note for the suggestion to his "transient " Grooming enhancement Support Case, but a special provision would be needed to ignore VSS file name's lead # .)

BTW, here's a 2009 thread OP saying what System Volume Information did for Windows Server 2008.  And here's a Wayback Machine link to that How-To Geek article that doesn't grab you by the throat and insist that you register, and a link to another 2016 How-To Geek article that it links to—with the same Wayback Machine virtue.

Edited by DavidHertzberg

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