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scripted backups don't work with external hard drives when logged out


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I have been using retrospect 5 to backup my Mac and a couple of network volumes to an external hard drive for a year and a half and it had been working fine. I recently upgraded to OS10.3 (from 10.2) and discovered that retrospect 5 would not automatically launch when I was logged out. The customer support person at dantz said I needed to upgrade to retrospect 6, which was "fully Panther compatible". I did this, but it did not solve the problem. I discovered that while retrospect will now autolaunch and attempt a backup if I am logged out, it fails to find my external hard-drive and the backup therefore fails.

 

As an experiment, I scripted a backup to a backup set on my internal hard drive, and it worked just fine. But I need to be able to back up my internal hard drive to the external hard drive.

 

What's the solution?

I realize that as a temporary fix, I can just not log out at night, but if I had wanted to do this, I wouldn't have wasted $59 on the upgrade.

 

Forgive the following rant, but I can't resist: I find it annoying that everytime apple upgrades the OS, it entails me shelling out for a retrospect upgrade just to be able to maintain the same functionality - dantz should provide free updates for this kind of thing - if they really want me to buy an upgrade, they should add functionality and then convince me I can't get along without it - I shouldn't have to buy the upgrade just to maintain the same functionality.

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Quote:

I recently upgraded to OS10.3 (from 10.2)

 

-snip-

 

I discovered that while retrospect will now autolaunch and attempt a backup if I am logged out, it fails to find my external hard-drive and the backup therefore fails.

 


 

That's because items in /Volumes are unmounted when you log out of Panther. It's a feature of the new OS you upgraded to.

 

>What's the solution?

 

You can easily hack the OS by modifying one of the system preference files. Dantz has an entry in their Knowledge Base about it (telling which file and how to create/modify it), and there was also a recent thread here on the Forum that contains the information.

 

 

Forgive the following rant, but I can't resist: I find it annoying that everytime apple upgrades the OS, it entails me shelling out for a retrospect upgrade just to be able to maintain the same functionality - dantz should provide free updates for this kind of thing - if they really want me to buy an upgrade, they should add functionality and then convince me I can't get along without it - I shouldn't have to buy the upgrade just to maintain the same functionality.

 

The issue of external drives being unmounted on log out is not something that Retrospect can control. All Dantz could have done is included the information in the product ReadMe, or, if they discovered it after the product shipped (as appears to have been the case) all they can do is post the information in a public place (as they did).

 

But really, you don't have to buy an upgrade to maintain the same functionality that you had; just don't run the program on a completely new operating system. You can't expect Dantz to always be able to provide patches for every major OS change; Retrospect works at too low a level for changes to be trival. Personally I am just glad that Dantz continues to make Retrospect better; if I wanted crappy backup software I'd use Apple's .Mac program.

 

Dave

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I tried the suggestion in the Knowledge Base. I can't get it to work. I may be doing something wrong, but I don't know what. I logged in as the root user, I created a folder inside the /Library/Preferences folder named SystemConfiguation and I created a text file inside that folder called autodiskmount.plist into which I cut and pasted the text given in the knowledge base article. Several reboots later, I still get error -43 when I try to do a backup to my external hard drive while logged out.

 

Is there any way I can independently verify that the volume is staying mounted when I log out?

 

I'd appreciate any further suggestions you might have.

 

Thanks!

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Quote:

You can't expect Dantz to always be able to provide patches for every major OS change; Retrospect works at too low a level for changes to be trival. Personally I am just glad that Dantz continues to make Retrospect better; if I wanted crappy backup software I'd use Apple's .Mac program.

 


 

 

 

“You can't expect Dantz to always be able to provide patches for every major OS change; Retrospect works at too low a level for changes to be trival. Personally I am just glad that Dantz continues to make Retrospect better; if I wanted crappy backup software I'd use Apple's .Mac program.”

 

 

 

Dave,

 

 

 

It would have been a nice gesture for Dantz to provide some sort of a patch for the auto-launch problems Retrospect 5 has under Panther. I find it hard to believe that that would have been difficult to implement.

 

 

 

As for whether or not “Dantz continues to make Retrospect better,” that is open to debate. Although Retrospect 6 includes several significant improvements, not only do many of those improvements make little difference to the average user, but Retrospect 6 itself is a downgrade in many significant respects: for example, it is slower and performs network backups less efficiently than Retrospect 5, despite what Will claimed prior to release. When people were complaining about Retrospect 5’s continued incompatibility with Panther months after OS 10.3’s release, Will commented here that “good software takes time.” Well, Retrospect still hasn’t fulfilled its promise. As far as the UI is concerned, Retrospect’s is a complete anomaly, hasn’t been changed in any significant way since Retrospect 3 (?) and is in great need of revision. For an idea of what people think of Retrospect 6, see the comments on versiontracker. In any case, Dantz continues to making long-desired improvements (such as shortening the interminable “Closing” phase of duplicate backups) only as part of paid upgrades.

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Alright, since I didn't get a reply to the previous post, I figured it out myself. I was confused by the instructions in the Dantz knowledgebase article to which CallMeDave referred me.

 

It says "As root, create the following file...." I misinterpreted that to mean that I should log in as root user and put the file in the home directory of the root user. Instead, what you have to do is put the file in the root directory (it's not necessary to log in as root user). I figured this out by looking at the www.macoshints.com web site, which has clearer instructions.

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By the way, I came upon another solution, in case you don't want to disable the automatic unmount feature of OS 10.3. Rather than actually logging out at night, you can activate the fast user switching feature and then choose Login Window... from the users menu. This doesn't log you out, but it displays the login window and you have to enter the password to proceed.

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