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Recurring device compatibility issues


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This may sound like a complaint, but really it's a request for someone to educate me.


At some level I just don't understand the recurring device compatibility issues. One of the attributes of modern operating systems (like, anything within the last 30 years or so) is that they provide a uniform layer of abstraction between the software application and the device, so that the application developer can just say "write this buffer to the disc" and the OS takes care of everything else.


Why does the backup software application need to know or care what specific model of device it's writing to?


I understand there may be a performance advantage to "going native" and bypassing the OS drivers to talk directly to the device, but, scanning these forums... gee... it seems to come at a cost, eh?

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I agree, it seems a totally unnecessary hassle to have compatibility issues of this kind, when the OS can do it for you. Escpecially for common drives such as DVD-+R/RW, CD-R/RW burners and mountable disks and hard disks.


However only Dantz can answer your question with the whole truth.

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  • 2 weeks later...



This is esentially what happens when you use hard disks or removable disks. It works because the OS handles all the read and write operations. Applications like Retrospect just talk to the OS instead of directly to the device.


Unfortunately Tape and Optical drives are much different. They are far from standardized. As a result burning programs/backup programs talk directly to the device. Since there are always so many new drives, media types, write speeds etc. its really tough to keep up with new drivers.


Sad but true, many optical drives are just plain cheap or have buggy firmware. They may appear to work fine in standard burning applications but they will fail in Retrospect. Thankfully, most drives that fail in Retrospect will do so during backup rather than restore.



Hope that helps


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