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Dual boot machine-how to back up both

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I've got a MacBook Pro set up with two partitions which can boot to either 10.6.8 or 10.12.x For reasons only known to Apple, the 10.12.x partition is not visible when booted in 10.6.8 which is the more common way to boot.


Problem: I can't get RS (13) to see each of these boot scenarios as unique, as the machine picks up the same IP and of course has the same MAC address regardless of which OS it boots to. The machine names (according to system preferences) are unique, but that doesn't help. I have to forget one client and then re-find the machine when it's booted to the other partition in order to be able to back it up and then repeat that when changing to the first partition (OS).


Am I missing something in the setup that would allow me to retain each of these as unique clients and not have to reenable one or the other each time I change the boot scenario?



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Unfortunately I'm not in a position to test your scenario.  On my Mac Pro, which runs my "backup server" and Console on an OS X 10.10 boot disk, I also have installed another disk which—in the rare situation that I boot from it—boots OS X 10.6.8.  I do back up that second disk once a week, because it was the primary drive for my late friend Ronny Lee—from whom I inherited the Mac Pro.  However it is a separate disk that is local to the "backup server", so I had no problem establishing it as a Source.  When my Mac Pro is booted from the OS X 10.6.8 disk, it can see the OS X 10.10 boot disk—but not from System Preferences as a Startup Disk.


I can't help feeling that your problem is connected with your having installed Retrospect Client software on both partitions.  However what I think you need to do is to insure that, for each of the MacBook Pro clients, the Options tab in the Detail for that client's entry in the Console Sources list has the Backup drop-down set to either All Volumes or Selected Volumes—as shown on on page 50 of the Retrospect Mac 13 User's Guide.  If you set the drop-down to Selected Volumes, you must make sure that both partitions are check-marked.  I presume that the Console will show different drive names within the Source for each of the partitions.  If that is not true (which happened to me for drive names 20 months ago by mistake), you must change one of the partition names to avoid confusing Retrospect (although 20 months ago it didn't confuse OS X); my two Mac Pro drives are now named "Macintosh HD" and "Macintosh HD New".


Of course this means that you would have to use the Rename button in the Sources Toolbar—as mentioned on page 47 of the UG— to give each client for the same MacBook Pro a different Source name. It also means that, whenever you run a Retrospect backup—which would have both MacBook Pro Sources check-marked in the script, the MacBook Pro Source that was not booted at that time would be shown as not found—even though both partitions would be backed up via the MacBook Pro source that was booted at that time.  Finally, it means that AFAIK the same partition would show as a different backup depending on which Source it had been backed up under.


Frankly I think it would be simpler to, every time a backup script is going to run, make sure your MacBook Pro is booted under OS X 10.6.8—which you say is your more-common scenario.


P.S.: Because I have doubts as to whether—when booted under OS X 10.6.8—you really can't see your 10.12.x partition in the Finder, I phoned Apple Support on Monday 30 January.  The guy I spoke to doesn't know, so he will consult a senior adviser and e-mail me back.

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If the 10.12.x partition is not visible in the Finder when booted in 10.6.8, which is your more common way to boot, then you should talk to Apple Support.  If OTOH it is just not visible in the Console Source item, then you should try what I suggest in the second paragraph of post #2 in this thread.  If that doesn't work, then you should talk to Retrospect Inc. Support at a phone number here.  If they can't help you, then you have a Retrospect bug.


If you think this is a bug that should be fixed by Retrospect Inc., you will have to submit it as a Support Case.  For English speakers, that is done by going here, and filling out the form (sorry, I don't know what the equivalent addresses are for non-English speakers, but they can figure it out from their appropriate Retrospect website address).  IMHO this is quite reasonable; obliging you to fill out the form provides Retrospect Inc. with useful details about your Retrospect installation that they would otherwise have to query you for.


Retrospect Inc. will pay no attention to your post in the "Bug reports" sub-forum.  On 12 December 2016, in response to a letter I snail-mailed to Mayoff,  I received an e-mail through a Mayoff account that was signed by JG Heithcock, CEO, Retrospect, Inc..  In it he says "From reading your letter, I think the main issue is that you view the forums as a good place to talk to us, Retrospect, Inc. But we view the audience of the forums as restricted to our customers [my emphasis]. The one caveat we have made on that is for feature requests, largely as we would like to see if other customers also agree on the desirability and feature set for these requests."


That means that the only audience for "Retrospect bug reports" in that sub-forum will be other administrators of Retrospect Mac.  Nevertheless, by posting in that sub-forum you are providing a useful service to us fellow Mac administrator peasants—one that is denied to administrators of Retrospect Windows who are evidently considered too peasanty (insert appropriate smiley here) to benefit from such bug notifications.  Thank you.


Please be aware that the "description of your issue" in the Support Case form is IME limited to about 2000 characters by the Support Case software.  If you go over that limit your "description" will be broken up into a "description" plus one or more "additional notes".  The same is true for any additional notes you may later post yourself.  I suggest that, to avoid the appearance of choppiness in your Support Case, you create your case in a post in that sub-forum and then copy it paragraph-by-paragraph to your Support Case. 


P.S.: Because I have doubts as to whether—when booted under OS X 10.6.8—you really can't see your 10.12.x partition in the Finder, I phoned Apple Support on Monday 30 January.  The guy I spoke to doesn't know, so he will consult a senior adviser and e-mail me back.

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The 10.12.x partition is NOT visible to the Finder under 10.6.8. This is a known Apple issue in how a partition is formatted under more recent OS's Nothing that I nor RS can do about this (as near as I can tell).


David: I appreciate your thoughtful review of the situation, but the naming and visibility seem to not be the problem. The two partitions get unique names (according to RS), but I suspect because they are both associated with the same MAC address, each comes up as 'inappropriate client' (or some such verbiage) when trying to locate or refresh once the client is booted from the other partition.


I'll open a support issue with RS when I'm in front of the machine and see what they have to say.

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I mentioned Monafly's problem to my most-intelligent doorman, who owns a 17-inch MacBook Pro.  He said he remembered that there was a problem viewing partitions in the Finder when the partitions were using Parallels.  Are you using Parallels in either your OS X 10.6.8 partition or your macOS 10.12.x partition, Monafly?  How about a VM?


My only experience with Parallels was installing it for my lately-separated-but-not-yet-divorced wife around 2004, after IBM stopped supporting the ViaVoice voice dictation program and the available Mac alternative was not yet up to snuff.  (She didn't like using Dragon Naturally Speaking under Windows, so shortly afterwards she went back to using the Mac voice dictation program.)  I'm not sure whether she was using Retrospect at the time; I thought not, because there was a problem getting Retrospect to use her tape drive—which I tried to connect to her new PowerBook using a Ratoc FR1SX FireWire-to-SCSI adapter, but an old e-mail about her possibly switching to BRU shows she was using Retrospect to backup to DVDs .


In other news, I have not yet (Tuesday night January 31st) heard back from the Apple 2nd-level support person who was supposed to e-mail me back regarding the visibility of a MacOS 10.12 partition when booted under OS X 10.6.8.

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The 10.12.x partition is NOT visible to the Finder under 10.6.8. This is a known Apple issue in how a partition is formatted under more recent OS's Nothing that I nor RS can do about this (as near as I can tell).





Sorry Monafly, it's not a known Apple issue—because I've just run a test in which I have booted one partition of a disk on my Mac Pro under OS X 10.6.8 and am able to use the Finder to view and open documents on another partition of the same disk which is formatted under macOS 10.12.3 (details of the test at the bottom of this post) .  Therefore I stand behind what I said in the first paragraph of post #3  and the first paragraph of post #5 in this thread.


If your user is running a VM—including Parallels—of some kind on either the 10.6.8 partition or the 10.12.x partition of your MacBook Pro, you need to talk to two advisors: one from the company that provides your VM, and the second at Retrospect Inc. support.  If—on the other hand—your user is not running a VM of any kind, then you need to talk to an expert Mac advisor—because IMHO your 10.6.8 and/or 10.12.x installations are messed up in some way.  I would suggest taking your MacBook Pro to the Genius Bar at your nearest Apple Store (although a good independent Mac store may be a worthy substitute if they have the time).  If that is impossible you can phone (800) MY APPLE, although IME a first-level advisor may not know enough to help you.


I hope that one of these advisors can help you to make changes to your MacBook Pro, so that you can then implement some version of what I suggested in post #2 of this thread.  I'm now going to venture a bit into informed speculation, based on what I have learned in contributing to threads on the Retrospect Forums over the past few months: It has been pointed out to me by Mayoff—although I had learned it already—that "most of the Retrospect users are full time IT professionals and they have very limited time to spend reading forum posts".  What I've further learned is that many of the  Retrospect administrator users who post in the Forums are not even full-time employees of the organizations in which Retrospect is installed, but are instead consultants called in to solve problems with a Retrospect installation they did not originally create.  Full-time employees or consultants, the administrator users who post in the Forums frequently do not have the power to make changes to the computers of users who are causing a problem with Retrospect backup—or they do not have the power to get their management to spend the money needed to fix such a problem in the Retrospect installation.


If that is the case, Monafly, I hope you will have the simple politeness to make a final post in this thread explaining—in non-specific terms—why you cannot implement a solution to your problem.  Remember that you (unlike me) are not posting under your real name, so that no one (except Retrospect Inc. employees—of whom I am not one) can attribute your explanation to you or your installing organization.  If—on the other hand—you are able to solve your problem, again please have the simple politeness to make a final post explaining your solution.  Either way, your final post will help other Retrospect Mac users.


Details of my test today: As discussed in the first paragraph of my post #2 in this thread, my Mac Pro has a separate disk containing Ronny Lee's installation of OS X 10.6.8.  Since this is a 1TB disk installed by the New York State Commission for the Blind because Ronny was still working despite his macular degeneration, it had almost 900GB of extra capacity.  Therefore I partitioned it into "Macintosh HD" and "Macintosh HD Sierra", recovered last Saturday's backup (which is current for that disk) onto "Macintosh HD", and installed macOS 10.12.3 from the App Store onto "Macintosh HD Sierra".  I was then able to boot from "Macintosh HD" as Ronny Lee, and open files from the corresponding Documents folder on "Macintosh HD Sierra".

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I submitted the issue to RS and got a reply that they didn't have the issue on a test platform and explained that RS shouldn't have an issue with two machines using the same IP address, as they look both at IP and machine name to determine uniqueness. 


Further investigations noted that the 10.12.x installation appeared to be picking up the same machine name as the 10.6.8 partition, which likely occurred early on in this whole process. Renaming the partition AFTER installing the RS client isn't properly recognized by RS and it continues to see it as the original name. 



Uninstalling the RS client in the 10.12.x partition and reinstalling it, properly picked up the unique machine name and then RS properly recognized it as being unique and allowed both partitions to show up as individual clients. 




Here are threads showing this incompatible format issue is not unique to me (search for "incompatible format of OSX partition"). 

Additional info can be found by searching for "OSX Core Storage", that started with LIon (according to Wikipedia). It appears that how one does the partitioning and installation determines whether the partition gets reformatted as "Core Storage", but once that happens, it is not visible to 10.6.8. Neither to the Finder (just doesn't show up) or disk utiity (shows it greyed out and "incompatible format"). 





This thread has a method for reverting back to HFS+ from Core Storage - I have not tried this. 





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Thanks for your comprehensive reply, Monafly.  It will indeed help other Retrospect users.


First, as to your having renamed the machine in System Preferences->Sharing for your macOS 10.12 partition after having installed a Retrospect Client on that partition, the limitations of the way Retrospect handles Clients mean that simply won't have any appreciable Retrospect effect.   Another consequence of those limitations is discussed in the first paragraph of this post.  This is why Retrospect Support keeps telling people "Remove the Client in the Console, uninstall and re-install the Retrospect Client on the client machine, Add back the Client in the Console, re-checkmark the Client in all the appropriate Scripts, and change the sequence of Source backup in each such script by dragging in the Details panel of its Summary tab [iME they don't tell you this last step]".


Second, as to newer versions of OS X/macOS converting partitions from HFS+ to "Core Storage", I didn't know anything about that—since I normally use separate disk drives instead of partitions and OS X 10.10.5 Disk Utility didn't create the new partition using "Core Storage".  I could quibble about "Core Storage" being some kind of VM, and that the company which provides that VM is Apple.  But I won't, because the truth is that both my Early 2011 MacBook Pro and my inherited 2010 Mac Pro are too old to have come with SSDs; I'm still mentally stuck in the 20th Century in some respects.  Obviously some first-line Support people at Apple are, too; that explains why the guy I spoke to didn't ask me about "Core Storage"—to which I undoubtedly would have replied "hoo hah?".


Glad you got both clients to work.  Hope you can—if you want to—make your 10.12.x partition visible from your 10.6.8 partition.

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