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Backup copies incomplete - missing snapshots?

Don Lee

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I am reporting this early because it may be a serious bug, but I have not yet verified that I have not caused this with pilot error.


My situation is that I want to continue to manage my backups as I always have, with a backup media set for each month, and then each month start a new set.


With Retro 9, this is not possible. There is no way that I can see to do what I did in Retro 6, which is "create new backup set", effectively creating a new set, with all the scripts that used the old set now using the new one.


Instead, what I do is run a media set copy operation to "mediaxx_last" every month, with the "reset on successful copy" option set.


I tried this August first "by hand", and it worked fine, so for Sept 1st, I set up scripts to do this.


What I see is that my "mediaxx_last" sets have only the most recent snapshots in them. I expect to see the most recent snapshots in the "backups" tab under "media sets", with the "retrieve" button revealing the full set.


In the script, I have ""copy backups", "media verification", "data compression", and "recycle after success" enabled. The other options are disabled (match source, don't add dups, match only in same location, and eject tapes)


I am thinking this is not likely to be pilot error because I run a similar script on several media sets, and one of the larger and more important sets seems to have worked fine, and several others are "truncated".


I will be digging into this to figure out what went wrong, but would appreciate any feedback from anyone else who has used these features.

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I just ran an experiment with a copy script, and verified that if I have a set with multiple backups (snapshots), and only have some of them "retrieved", the copy operation will copy *all* of the backups (snapshots). This looks like a bug. Anyone else doing this, or seen this happen?


Feel free to educate me on the difference between sessions, backups, and snapshots. I have never been clear on the terminology.

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Feel free to educate me on the difference between sessions, backups, and snapshots. I have never been clear on the terminology.



It seems as Retrospect changed the terminology since I last looked. Here's from the version 8 User's Guide:



session – In previous versions of Retrospect, a group of files from a single operation stored within a Media Set. Retrospect 8 now uses the term backup to include both session and Snapshot data. Also see backup.



Snapshot – In pervious 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 8 now uses the term backup to include both session and Snapshot data. Also see backup.



back up (verb) – To copy files from a volume to a Media Set (such as CD-R or CD-RW, cartridges, or floppy disks). You should back up regularly in case something happens to your hard disk or any files.


backup (noun) – 1. A complete, point-in-time state of a volume backed up by Retro- spect that includes a file and folder listing of all files present at the time of the back- up, any metadata related to those files, and any actual files necessary to restore that volume. Retrospect’s backups of Windows computers may also contain System State information. Retrospect stores its backups in Media Sets. 2. An operation in which files are backed up. For example, “I just ran today’s backup.” 3. An entity of backup materials. For example, “Fortunately, we can get the backup from the safe and restore the files.” Also see back up, Media Set, and metadata.

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I would have wanted to do the "start new media set" option in a script, but the thing it does not allow me to do is control the name of the resulting media set. There is no "manual" way to do the "new media set", and no way to give it a specific name (number in brackets). I could use this option, but it would mean that I would have to toss my naming conventions on my backup sets, which I would rather not do. ("backup_name_yr [month]")


The bug here seems serious. If I do a "copy media set" operation, I don't get all the data. I ahve not been able to reproduce this manually. I have only seen this in my automatic-monthly scripts.


On education:

Mentally, I use the term "snapshot" to refer to the data in the catalog that lists all the files that were present on the volume at the point in time that the backup was run.


I use "backup" as the operation that creates the snapshot and snapshot data. It has no instantiation on the backup media.


Session is the real confusion for me, because with Retro 6, it appeared to refer to a backup operation, but if so, would correspond to a snapshot, but it appears that it did not. The word appears to have mostly disappeared in Retro 8/9.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I want to emphasize that this bug may be quite serious.


I did a "media set copy" and it only copied the most recent "backup"s. This is intermittent, as far

as I can tell, but given the length of time o run a test, I am reluctant.


To be clear, the original media set has 10 backups (sessions) and the resultant copied media set ends up with only one.


The media set copy operation is not an every-day occurrence, but it should work reliably.

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