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wanderlust

Only Have RDB Files

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My family had used retrospect a while ago and stored the RDB files on a hard drive.

I now have these files and want to access them. They are too old to know what to do with them and I have never used retrospect before. But I can assume theres lots of memories in them.

I have tried to access them. But I dont know what I can do with just RDB files.

Anyone able to help?

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wanderlust,

I'll assume that your family's computer—as opposed to their HDD—is lost or inoperable.  You haven't said whether your family used a Macintosh or a Windows computer,, nor have you estimated how old it was, nor have you said whether you accessed the HDD containing the RDB files on a Macintosh or a Windows computer.  But—since you've posted in the Forum for Retrospect Macintosh versions since 2011—I'll further assume the answers to the questions in my preceding sentence are Macintosh, no more than 9 years old, and Macintosh.  But the answers to the first and last questions could just as well be Windows and Windows.

Based on that, what you need to do is install the Retrospect "backup server" application on your own computer, Rebuild a Catalog File on it from the RDB files, and use the Catalog File to Restore the files onto another drive—possibly a USB thumb drive if the total size of the restored files is small enough.  I suggest you phone Retrospect Sales at (888) 376-1078 option 2, and ask about whether you can do this with the Retrospect Solo Edition—which I've never used (I have the Desktop Edition because I backup "client" computers as well).  If the Sales person says yes, ask if Solo Edition comes with 30 days of free Technical Support for the US$39.  If he says no, cagily ask about more expensive Editions—which come with a 45-day free trial that may be all you need.

You may not need the Tech Support, because there are video tutorials here for Retrospect Mac, and here for Retrospect Windows.  The tutorial for Restore using Retrospect Mac is under the "Legacy" heading, and the tutorial for Rebuild is under "Tools", because nobody in Product Management got the over-worked head of Retrospect Tech Support—who makes the best videos at Retrospect "Inc."—to make more recent ones.  No matter; the GUI for Retrospect Mac basic operations hasn't changed since Retrospect Mac 9.

You probably want to just Restore the files and folders for Users, or the Windows equivalent, because the applications on your family's computer may not still run on your computer.  However you should be able to find applications that will open the restored files on your computer, given that the "lots of memories" are probably in formats that newer applications can still read.

Good luck! 😀

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4 hours ago, DavidHertzberg said:

wanderlust,

I'll assume that your family's computer—as opposed to their HDD—is lost or inoperable.  You haven't said whether your family used a Macintosh or a Windows computer,, nor have you estimated how old it was, nor have you said whether you accessed the HDD containing the RDB files on a Macintosh or a Windows computer.  But—since you've posted in the Forum for Retrospect Macintosh versions since 2011—I'll further assume the answers to the questions in my preceding sentence are Macintosh, no more than 9 years old, and Macintosh.  But the answers to the first and last questions could just as well be Windows and Windows.

Based on that, what you need to do is install the Retrospect "backup server" application on your own computer, Rebuild a Catalog File on it from the RDB files, and use the Catalog File to Restore the files onto another drive—possibly a USB thumb drive if the total size of the restored files is small enough.  I suggest you phone Retrospect Sales at (888) 376-1078 option 2, and ask about whether you can do this with the Retrospect Solo Edition—which I've never used (I have the Desktop Edition because I backup "client" computers as well).  If the Sales person says yes, ask if Solo Edition comes with 30 days of free Technical Support for the US$39.  If he says no, cagily ask about more expensive Editions—which come with a 45-day free trial that may be all you need.

You may not need the Tech Support, because there are video tutorials here for Retrospect Mac, and here for Retrospect Windows.  The tutorial for Restore using Retrospect Mac is under the "Legacy" heading, and the tutorial for Rebuild is under "Tools", because nobody in Product Management got the over-worked head of Retrospect Tech Support—who makes the best videos at Retrospect "Inc."—to make more recent ones.  No matter; the GUI for Retrospect Mac basic operations hasn't changed since Retrospect Mac 9.

You probably want to just Restore the files and folders for Users, or the Windows equivalent, because the applications on your family's computer may not still run on your computer.  However you should be able to find applications that will open the restored files on your computer, given that the "lots of memories" are probably in formats that newer applications can still read.

Good luck! 😀

Thanks so much for your help, However when I press rebuild it isnt accepting my RDB files. In fact it seems to want the RBC files for this. Which I do not have

 

When i rebuild from the RDB file it says Empty Catalogue file or not a Catalogue file.... But its not a catalogue file, its a rdb and im trying to rebuild the catalogue file

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wanderlust,

I'm sorry that I gave you the wrong Retrospect operation in my up-thread post. 

However, when I started thinking about your latest post this afternoon, my suspicions were belatedly aroused.  You may in fact be what you said you are in the OP:  the descendant of a Retrospect-using family.  OTOH you may have illegitimately acquired someone's backup drive, and be trying to restore it for illegal purposes.  Please phone the head of Retrospect North America Sales at (925) 231-1313, so he can have the head of Tech Support cross-check your 24 August Forums registration with a prior Retrospect application registration.

If the RDB data on your backup HDD is encrypted, you won't be eventually be able to do a Restore.  My backup HDDs aren't encrypted, because they're either in my apartment—behind a door with 2 locks—or in my bank safe deposit box.  Maybe I should think about encryption.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
italicized "may" in second and third sentences of second paragraph.

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1 minute ago, DavidHertzberg said:

wanderlust,

I'm sorry that I gave you the wrong Retrospect operation in my up-thread post. 

However, when I started thinking about your latest post this afternoon, my suspicions were belatedly aroused.  You may in fact be what you said you are in the OP:  the descendant of a Retrospect-using family.  OTOH you may have illegitimately acquired someone's backup drive, and be trying to restore it for illegal purposes.  Please phone the head of Retrospect North America Sales at (925) 231-1313, so he can have the head of Tech Support cross-check your 24 August Forums registration with a prior Retrospect application restriction.

If the RDB data on your backup HDD is encrypted, you won't be eventually be able to do a Restore.  My backup HDDs aren't encrypted, because they're either in my apartment—behind a door with 2 locks—or in my bank safe deposit box.  Maybe I should think about encryption.

Honestly thanks for your help. But that accusation is offensive and ridiculous 

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5 hours ago, wanderlust said:

Honestly thanks for your help. But that accusation is offensive and ridiculous 

wanderlust,

I did use the word "may"—which I have now italicized—in the second and third sentences of the second paragraph of my latest up-thread post.  So IMHO you shouldn't find the accusation in the third sentence so offensive.

As to it's being ridiculous, another Forums thread deals with a security threat that is extremely similar to the one I posited in that third sentence, described starting with this post in that other thread.  In fact the help you ask for in your OP in this thread is exactly the question a hacker who had generated an unencrypted Cloud backup of someone else's data per Malcolm McLeary's post would ask, namely the method by which he/she "simply Recreates the Catalogue for this exfiltrated Storage Set [an ancient Retrospect term for what is now termed Media/Backup Set] , on another machine running Retrospect and restores whatever they want." 

We can Google "Malcolm McLeary" and "Australia", so we pretty much know what he is.  You, OTOH, have provided zero information about yourself in your three posts in this thread, so a little belated suspicion on my part seems perfectly justified.  I realize that many posters on these Forums don't use any variant of their real names as "handles" and conceal their occupation, mostly IMHO because they're consultants or employees who are expected to conceal for whom they're working or to already "know it all".  I fall into neither category, so my "handle" since registering in 2004 has been my real name and my Location is where I live.  You've "never used retrospect before", so why not tell us a bit about yourself to avoid suspicion from people like me?

If you need further help from me, please post again in this thread after you've talked with the head of Retrospect North America Sales. I made a typo in my second up-thread post, which I've since corrected; I meant "Retrospect application registration".

BTW when I wrote up-thread "If the RDB data on your backup HDD is encrypted, you won't be eventually be able to do a Restore", I assumed the password for any Media/Backup Set encryption had followed your alleged relatives and their machines to their graves.  We should all take to heart item 5 on page 11 of the Retrospect Mac 17 User's Guide:

Quote

Retrospect supports many types of encryption, including AES-256, to ensure only you can read your backups, even if you store your backups in the cloud. Select "AES-256" and type in a password. Please write down your password. If you lose it, your data will not be recoverable by anyone.

 

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21 hours ago, wanderlust said:

Thanks so much for your help, However when I press rebuild it isnt accepting my RDB files. In fact it seems to want the RBC files for this. Which I do not have

When i rebuild from the RDB file it says Empty Catalogue file or not a Catalogue file.... But its not a catalogue file, its a rdb and im trying to rebuild the catalogue file

I'm a bit lost as to how far you have (or haven't!) got.

Do you know the version of Retrospect used to create these backups? If it's *really* old you may be in trouble -- I don't think current versions can handle pre-v6 backup sets.

Anyway, try Rebuild, select "Disk", "Add Member", navigate to and choose the folder containing your RDB files and you should get a list -- that'll also tell you if the files are encrypted. Pick the "earliest" RDB file -- and hope the files are undamaged after all this time.

Choosing the correct directory in "Add Member" isn't always obvious, maybe post a screenshot of the directory structure of the external drive if you are getting stuck.

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wanderlust,

The head of North America Sales says someone was trying to do what you want to do, but was stymied because the Media Set was encrypted and the password wasn't available.  If that was you and you are a legitimate relative, I'm sorry.  If OTOH that was you and you are a hacker, you've provided a security lesson to us all.

Now I'll reveal what I should have written in the second paragraph of this up-thread post:  You should first find out the name of the Media Set—I'll call it "Whatever" for this example— that was backed up onto your relative's hard drive, by looking at the name of the folder inside the "Retrospect" folder on it.  You should then start Retrospect and—clicking Media Sets in the sidebar—Add (not Rebuild) a Media Set with that same name "Whatever".   Add's default places the new Catalog File inside Library->Application Support->Retrospect->Catalogs on your own Mac.  When Retrospect asks to Add a New Member for "Whatever", you should select the Retrospect->"Whatever"->"1-Whatever" folder on your relative's hard drive.  Don't Add any more Members.

I've previously done this (how did I navigate to Member?), but haven't newly Removed and re-Added an existing Media Set on my own "backup server".

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