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Using RDX backups


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I recently switched to using 2TB RDX cartridges to backup my in-house system.  When I setup the Backup Set, I selected "Removable Disk" since it specifically mentioned RDX.  After the turmoil of transferring my backup sets, I finally have everything settled down.


Today I watched a Youtube from Retrospect about using RDX backups for Windows, you can watch here:



In it, the presenter says the recommended method is to identify the RDX drive as a disk, not as a removable device.  This exasperates me more than a little.


Does anybody know why the RDX should be setup as a disk?



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  • 3 months later...

After working with RDX cartridges for a few months, my very firm advice is to ALWAYS define as a disk, not as a removable disk. There is absolutely nothing to be gained and much to be lost. I found that, since the program sops up all of the free disk space as a single huge file, it's impossible to run chkdsk because there is no space left to move bad clusters. It's also complicated to know how much free space is actually available, since Windows and the program show there is none. You will probably get fictitious "drive not ready" errors when defined as a removable disk, but not when defined as a disk drive.


It's just better and there seem to be no reasons not to define as a disk drive.

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Just FYI, page 42 of the latest Retrospect Mac User's Guide, in the "Fundamentals" chapter under the section "Media Sets" (what Retrospect Windows—for historical reasons—still refers to as Backup Sets) says "Disk Media Sets replace the less-flexible Removable Disk sets present in older versions of Retrospect."  


There is no option to create a Removable Disk Media Set in the latest version of Retrospect Mac.  However some references to "removable disk" still remain in the Mac User's Guide.


In general, it is my impression that Retrospect Windows has kept some facilities and terminology that were removed or changed in Retrospect Mac.  Some of that goes back to 2009.


P.S.: (27 August 2016) As a result of a bit of research done this week for another thread, determined that all "super-floppy" devices—for which Removable Disk was created—had stopped being manufactured by 2009.  So if you're using a device other than RDX—which should be defined as Disk—that has been defined as Removable Disk to your Windows "backup server", be gentle with it—you may have difficulty finding replacement hardware of the same type.

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  • 2 months later...

Just to clear up, for anyone who reads this thread in the future, the confusion that exasperated ProFromGrover in his original post:


Retrospect Inc. evidently now agrees with the conclusion that ProFromGrover expresses two posts up from this—that an RDX cartridge should always be defined as a Disk rather than a Removable Disk.  As pointed out by Scillonian in this post in a later thread, Retrospect Windows 11 has changed the option texts in the Create New Backup Set dialog; "note that RDX devices have been moved to Disk from Removable Disk". Retrospect Inc. also created the video linked-to in the OP of this thread one day before Retrospect Windows 11 was released; its evident purpose is to emphasize that same conclusion, particularly for users of previous versions of Retrospect Windows (as ProFromGrover evidently was)—in which the texts for the Create New Backup Set dialog still show RDX under Removable Disk.


A summary of the discussion elsewhere in the thread I have linked to in the paragraph above revolves around the fact that the Removable Disk device type was created for drives that used "super-floppy" (AKA "random-access tape") media.  AFAICT all such drives have not been manufactured since about 2009, but Mayoff of Retrospect Inc. Support says "A large number of customers use Removable Disk Backup Sets and have existing removable disk backup sets."  So Retrospect Inc. fears "a backlash from every user who utilizes that feature", and therefore will not eliminate the Removable Disk device type from Retrospect Windows—even though they eliminated it in 2009 from Retrospect Mac.


RDX drives were introduced in 2004, but they are not "super-floppy" devices.  Instead, as Scillonian says in his first post in this thread, "An RDX cartridge is a SATA hard disk in a standardised drop resistant enclosure that works with a standardised dock. If it is an external USB connected dock it would be no different to connecting a normal USB hard disk."  RDX cartridges are no longer any more drop resistant than ordinary 2.5-inch hard drives—all of which are now built with "ramp loading" or the equivalent, but the standardized "dock" makes them pop-in/pop-out like tape cartridges that older users are familiar with, and the cartridges' SATA connection will supposedly mean that they can be read many years from now inserted into a new-version "dock" that will connect to a computer with whatever cabling is by then the standard.  IMHO Retrospect Inc. should never have described RDX as a Removable Disk device type, but they did and are now stuck with the support consequences.


Whatever you do, don't define a USB thumb drive as a Removable Disk—as Mayoff says can be done.

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