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granular restore options

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I've been through the User Manual and there is no explanation of these 3 options.

Can someone explain them please?... see screenshot.

'Only overwrite older files' from experience just Restores the whole folder contents from the Backup Tapes again and makes no intelligent decisions on the files/folders already in the restore destination folder.


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(Disclaimer: Anything I may say about the intentions of Retrospect "Inc." in this or any other post is merely the result of "reading the tea leaves", the "tea leaves" being documentation and public announcements supplemented by an occasional morsel from Retrospect Sales.  I have never been paid a penny by Retrospect "Inc." or its predecessors, and I pay for my upgrades. Any judgements expressed are—obviously—mine alone. The same is true of Retrospect's history, especially with references to here.)


There used to be an explanation of those granular Restore options on pages 129–130 of the Retrospect Mac 16 User's Guide, following the phrase "Choose one of these:" (that phrase still remains 🙄 )in step 6.  However the 5 explanatory indented paragraphs below the phrase were deleted on page 115 of the Retrospect Mac 17 UG by the StorCentric Slasher (who is in reality probably a direct employee of Retrospect "Inc.").  The Slasher evidently had to make room in the UG for 30 pages of new Appendixes that were copied from Knowledge Base articles explaining "go big or go home" features—pages that IMHO should have been added to the UG when the features were introduced in 2018—without unduly expanding the size of the UG.

However a version of that options explanation—including 'Replace if Backup Set is newer'—still remains on page 117 of the Retrospect Windows 17 User's Guide, which was previously more than doubled in size in 2012 for reasons explained in the 3rd paragraph of this later-deleted section of a Wikipedia article.  But that explanation—and the table on page 118 that summarizes it—depends on the term "Snapshot", which is explained in the fifth paragraph of this also-later-deleted section of the Wikipedia article.  As that paragraph also says, "Snapshot" was—as used from 1990 onward:


a Retrospect term unrelated to any later computer storage terminology—which may explain why the term Snapshot has been eliminated from Retrospect Macintosh User's Guides starting with Retrospect Macintosh 8

That elimination of "Snapshot" was done in 2008 by the Tyrannical Terminologist 🤣  (my name—I don't know his/her real one—for a developer whom an old-timer in Retrospect Sales says played a key role in the re-design of Retrospect Mac 8).  That developer was prescient; Apple APFS's "snapshots" mean something different than Retrospect's, and something similar to Microsoft Windows' "snapshots".  As a Glossary entry on pages 229–230 of the Retrospect Mac 17 UG says:


Snapshot– In pervious [sic] versions of Retrospect, a Snapshot refers to the point-in-time file and folder listing that is captured during a backup operation to depict a volume’s state (that is, all its files and their paths). Makes it easy to restore a hard disk to its exact state as of a given backup. Retrospect now uses the term backup to include both session and Snapshot data. Also see backup.

IIRC I've never used the 'Only overwrite older files' option, so I've no idea whether it works.  However nobody's posted a Forums complaint about it not working.  If Mac 16 UG pages 99–100 Use Attribute Modification Date When Matching doesn't work, here's why and how to submit a Support Case for a bug.

Regardless, of whether the option works, you may also want to submit a Support Case for a Retrospect Mac documentation deficiency; here's why and how to do that.  In doing that, you'll have to deal head-on with the term "Snapshot" having been banned in Retrospect Mac since 2009.  The last two paragraphs of this post in another thread discuss my proposal—made in response to my earlier post in that thread about the meaning in the Retrospect Windows UG of the undefined term "active Snapshot"—that Retrospect "Inc." replace the term "Snapshot" with "Manifest".  That replacement would have to be in the "backup server" Engine as well as in the GUI for both variants of Retrospect, because the Engine is basically common code for the two variants.  If you doubt Engine code is common, look at a running Retrospect Mac Backup script—where you'll see "Updating  Snapshot" and "Copying Snapshot" displayed on the Console as phases of the backup.  That's why I suggested "Manifest", which has the same 8-letter-length as "Snapshot".

P.S.: I've now submitted my own Support Case #76445, in which this Retrospect Mac documentation deficiency is discussed in an Additional Note.  The Problem Statement discusses a similar Retrospect Mac documentation deficiency that I noted in the P.S. of this post in another thread.  In addition I've written an e-mail to the Worldwide Director of Sales, referencing Support Case #76445 and saying I’m tired of my role on the Forums of repeatedly supplying a substitute for an impossible “RTFM”.  The StorCentic Slasher (as I've named him, even though Sales has confirmed he’s a Retrospect “Inc.” employee) seems to have compensated for the increased length of the Mac 17 UG by cutting needed explanatory paragraphs for existing features—such as the ones I’ve mentioned in Support Case #76445.  That increased length, for the Retrospect Mac 17 UG (I don’t know about the already-much-longer Retrospect Windows 17 UG), seems to have resulted from the addition of a “Quick Start Guide” chapter and the copying back as Appendixes of new-features Knowledge Base articles that should have been in the UGs all along.  IMHO the “Quick Start Guide” chapter seems to have been intended to show users of the forthcoming Retrospect for Drobo as a "backup server" that it can be as easy-to-use as Synology Hyper Backup—while protecting a Windows or Mac “client” instead of just a NAS.  That's worth harming advanced use of Retrospect?🙄

P.P.S.: I've now got a candidate for the Tyrannical Terminologist; it's Laurie Gill.  I found it in this January 2007 article from The Register, which is in turn based on an e-mail sent to the now-unreachable Retro-Talk mailing list by the former CEO of Dantz—who was by then an EMC VP.  This e-mail was, as quoted by the long-time head of Retrospect Tech Support in this January 2007 Forums post,  motivated by an earlier article in The Register linked to by the OP in that Forums thread.  A search on Laurie Gill's name shows she's (gender per this 2009 post) retired from Retrospect Inc..

Edited by DavidHertzberg
P.S.: I've now submitted my own Support Case, objecting to the deletion of both _these_ 5 explanatory ¶s and _another_set_ of 5 explanatory ¶s from the Mac 17 UG—follow-up with an e-mail. P.P.S.: I've now got a _candidate_ for Tyrannical Terminologist.

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21 hours ago, redleader said:

'Only overwrite older files' from experience just Restores the whole folder contents from the Backup Tapes again and makes no intelligent decisions on the files/folders already in the restore destination folder.

Can't say I'd noticed that -- but then, I can't remember the last time I used the "overwrite older" option outside of a testing scenario.

If you can describe the situation you're finding yourself in I'll see if I can replicate it, and what the results are.

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