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New TRIAL User Questions(and/or Suggestions)

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I am a home user running Windows XP Home Edition and I recently downloaded a TRIAL version of Retrospect Professional V6.0 for Windows. I have run one backup of my system and I have the following questions and/or suggestions for the product:

 

 

 

1. Is there any way to display the current usage of removable media (in my case TR4 - hopefully soon ADR2 120si) as a backup (and Verify) is being run, and to log that information as each tape finishes and at end-of-job for the last tape. I see where there is a "Total Compression Summary" logged, but no media usage. I would think that is possible to provide since most removable media has a maximum capacity and Retrospect would know how many bytes have been written. Having these two items of information available (even if an approximation) would be useful for at least two reasons:

 

A. When I'm running a backup "semi-attended" I don't go to lunch or otherwise leave the area when it is nearing time for a media change.

 

B. In the case of the last media volume usage, when it starts getting full you would know when you need to ensure that you have enough media volumes for the next backup.

 

 

 

2. Is there any way to play a .wav or other type of audio file when a new media is needed. If I'm not in the room with my computer when running a backup, it is difficult to hear the sound provided when a media change is necessary.

 

 

 

Thank You, C.E. Johnson

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1. You can see this information under Configure/Backupsets/Properties of your backupset.

 

There is no automated feature for this though.

 

 

 

2. Yes. You can create a batch file that does this. Page 194 of our user guide can help you in creating a batch file.

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Thank you Melissa for the reply.

 

 

 

The information in Configure/Backupsets/Properties was even better than I was asking about and I don't need to look through the log to find it. Obviously I hadn't gone through the manual far enough to learn about that information.

 

 

 

The information about being able to run a Batch file (or other executable) has some interesting possibilites besides being able to play a .wav file. I've even though about trying to "roll my own" Current Media Usage Monitor by piping certain events over to another program that is STARTed, and by using a previous history of media requests, have a periodic timer in that other program calculate the approximate percentage of current media used and time until the next media change. Since Retrospect drives my tape drive at full speed (except when the tape reverses) I think this would work for Full Backups which is all that I really desire this feature (9+ hours). I want to be able to run errands or mow the lawn without finding out the PC has been setting there waiting for a "tape mount". After 30+ years as an IBM Mainframe Systems Programmer, I've learned that the best backup is a backup when the system is quiesced, hence I am not running anything else except for the Windows Performance Monitor during a Full system backup., and obvously not sitting there watching it run once it gets started.

 

 

 

I looked at the information about .bat files (pg 202+) and the samples mentioned therein. I looked at the .bat and C samples (I don't have Visual Basic).

 

 

 

Lastly, I have two more questions:

 

1. The documentation I've found so far in the manual and samples seems pretty sparce, such as what the formats of the parameters are, which ones are present at each "exit point", and the meanings of data sent to %interventionFile% in the case of .bat scripts. Is there any additional documentation available for scripts, or do I need to activate the .bat script, run Retrospect, and reverse engineer what is happeneing?

 

 

 

2. It appears that the Retrospect Operations Log is not accessable outside of the Retrospect panels. Is this correct? I would like to be able to read or export data from the log to parse out information and also to be able to write my own messages to it from within a script as a backup is running.

 

 

 

I really like the way Retrospect Professional V6.0 has performed so far. It is much better than the backup utility I previously used. The only thing missing is a "Real-Time Current Media Usage Monitor", and maybe I can get one to work in the couple of weeks I have remaining in my evaluation period.

 

 

 

Thank you for your patience,

 

Carl E. Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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