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How do I remove data that has been backed up?


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I have recently become aware of a flaw in which one of my scripts is backing up erroneous data. The script is working fine, it's just that the corrupt data takes up huge amounts of space and consequently I am running out of room for my media sets. Essentially, a media set that until November was around 30 GB has ballooned up to over 100 GB, all due to some files that I am now purging from the client's computer.


The script backs up multiple clients, so I don't want to recycle the media set if I can avoid it. Plus, I have it scheduled such that it launches a new media set member at the start of each month. Now that we are in December, the bloated November media set is sitting there, plump full of unwanted backed up data.


I've gone into "Past Backups" to see about Removing the November 1 backup of the affected client, but I get a tooltip warning me that clicking "Remove" will not delete any data, it will just remove it from the list. Of course, I had "retrieved" the Nov. 1 backup in order to get it on the list, since that appears to contain all the junk files - later backups of the same client don't show many files, and are of reasonable size. In other words, it sounds like clicking "Remove" will only undo what I just did, which was to populate the Past Backups list with the Nov. 1 instance.


My intention, though, is to actually destroy the backed up data. Is there a way for me to do so? I don't think Grooming is the right thing to do, as the corrupt files were just created once then not modified thereafter (in other words, they were only backed up once).

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Grooming removes entire snapshots, which isn't what you want to do (I assume).


It isn't possible to remove only specific files from a media set. Your only possibility is to create a new media set and copy the snapshots over, using a filter that filters out the unwanted files.


I suggest you just live with it. 70GB of extra data isn't much nowadays.

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When that 70 GB gets replicated each month, it starts to add up... :unsure:


So how does one copy snapshots into a new media set? Are you referring to what I am already doing, which is that the script is scheduled to generate a new media set on the first day each month? I believe the steps I've taken (purging the files off of the client's machine) will mean that the next media set will be back to reasonable size. But that would be new, fresh snapshots - it sounds like you're talking about migrating older snapshots to a new media set. I'm not sure how that is done.

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Right. But you wrote that the original files has been deleted, so that is a passing problem.



But that would be new, fresh snapshots - it sounds like you're talking about migrating older snapshots to a new media set. I'm not sure how that is done.

Yes, that's what I'm talking about.

Pages 165-170 in the User's Guide.


That is, if you really want to do that.

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Thank you for pointing out the Utility scripts in the manual, that worked fine. I ended up doing a "Copy Backup" script set to copy only selected backups, and I just selected all except the one client's backups. Now I am back to a 30 GB media set, life is good.


However, to do this I had to first create a new media set, and give it a name. To differentiate, I just appended "fixed" the end of the filename. As a test, I set the script to go ahead and skip to the next media set member (which it will do on the 1st of the month ordinarily), and what it did was to just take my "fixed" filename and append " [001]" to that, thus restarting the sequential numbering. It seems like what I should have done instead was to name the new media set as the next sequential number (" [036]" in this case). So now I have a mis-named media set.


Can I change the name of the media set as simply as typing in Finder? I don't see a tool for renaming Media Sets within the Retrospect console. I am guessing that I rename it via Finder, then edit the script to make use of the renamed file (these are File Media Sets, btw). But I don't want to "break" anything - is this really all I need to do?

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Backup/media sets cannot be renamed. As you note, if you wanted your new media set to have continued in the same sequence as your previous media sets, you should have placed the desired sequence number in brackets at the end of the media set name.


If you can't live with the present naming, your only fix is to create another new media set with the name you actually want, and then copy the data from the set with the wrong name to that with the right name.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is what I did, in order to effectively rename the Media Set:


First, I created a new Media Set with the proper sequential name, using the + button in Retrospect's console.


Next, I altered the script that uses the poorly-named Media Set, changing it to use the new Media Set.


Then, I manually ran this script (click the "Run" button) and elected as a Media Action to "Recycle Media Set". Doing so forces Retrospect to grab all data and fill up this new Media Set with what had populated the other one, although one loses any older snapshots by doing so. In my case, that was not an issue since I am replacing a freshly-created Media Set that happened to have a bad name. If retention of older snapshots is of concern, then this method is not ideal.


After the script has run, I removed the poorly-named Media Set using the - button in the console, and then finally trashed the big .RBF file using Finder.

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