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Scary Message: Groomed 290.2 GB from Backup Set Drives


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I run one script that backs my 2 TB C, D, and V volumes up to an external 8 TB USB drive G every night.  Up to now I've been getting comforting messages stating "0 errors, 0 warnings".

This morning, alarmingly, I received an eMail message generated by Retrospect that makes me think Retrospect may have deleted files from my disks:

Script: Nightly Retrospect System Backup

Date: 10/6/2019 3:48 AM

Groomed 290.2 GB from Backup Set Drives C D and V.
From?  There's almost 300GB more free space on my C drive today than yesterday.

Does this imply Retrospect has actually deleted my files from the disks I'm backing up?  I had about 500 GB free on C, now I have 858 GB free.  
I have not told it it is allowed to delete any files, nor have I run across any settings that imply that it will do so.  I admit to being unfamiliar with Retrospect still.

I don't care how "old", or how low Retrospect thinks the free space is getting (500 GB free was not bad), I don't want any of my files automatically deleted!

Who would want a backup program to automatically delete the very files they have selected to be backed up?  I must be missing a concept here.

Where can I find a definition of "grooming"?  I found something in the documentation that states...
 "Grooming will automatically remove data when the destination disk fills up"
...which doesn't say anything about freeing space on the _source_ drive.

How can I know exactly what files were deleted?  I'll keep digging but so far I haven't found specifics.

Thanks in advance for wisdom you can share.


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I really want to believe that maybe I misread my free space or that some old Volume Snapshots I really won't need have been deleted or something.  I mean, I didn't actually specifically look at free space yesterday.  I just kind of remember some time in the past month thinking my C volume was nearly 3/4 full.  Now it's closer to half full.  In my 40+ years of experience in computing I've never had free drive space magically reappear.  The world doesn't usually work that way.

My backup set is named "Drives C D and V" so the wording of "from Backup Set Drives C D and V" may be implying something that's not really true.

So far I can't find any specific files that are missing, and I'm pretty knowledgeable about what I have stored.


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According to all available documentation, Retrospect's grooming feature only works on Backup Sets—although page 234 of the Retrospect Windows 11 User's Guide under "Scripted Grooming" has the slightly scary sentence "When a Groom script runs, Retrospect deletes older files and folders from the source disk [my emphasis] Backup Set(s) based on its specified grooming policy" which I think is just sloppy tech writing.

The reason I'm referring to the Retrospect Windows 11 UG is that, starting with Retrospect Windows 10 and Retrospect Mac 12, the august (adjective meant ironically) Documentation Committee decided that new features described in the "What's New" chapter for a particular major version would not have those descriptions moved to follow-on chapters of the next major version of the UG.  Instead those descriptions are simply over-written by the next major version's new features.  Therefore the only accessible written description of Performance-Optimized Grooming for Retrospect Windows is on page 8 of the version 11 UG (there is a description in the last section of GDPR – Deep Dive into Data Retention Policies with Grooming Selectors, but who would know to look there? :huh:).  There is also the Tutorial video Grooming Options Windows (plus a corresponding version for Retrospect Mac), but again who would know to look for a video?  :huh: The charitable explanation is that the august Documentation Committee (of which the head of Retrospect Tech Support—by his own admission—is not permitted to be a member :o) decided that nobody reads the User's Guides anymore; at 615 pages for the Retrospect Windows UG, exclusive of Release Notes, that IMHO is a supportable position.  However I prefer the uncharitable explanation, which is that nobody on the Committee could take time away from his (sexist pronoun intended) regular work in Engineering or Product Management for the one person-week of work (estimate detailed in a Support Case I wrote) to retroactively update the follow-on chapters of both variants of the UG—and pre-StorCentric Retrospect Inc. couldn't afford to hire and familiarize a tech writer (who could have been somebody's spouse).

P.S.: FYI Retrospect does have an Archive operation, which is the same as a Backup operation except that has a Move Files option.  That option, described under "Archiving Execution Options" on page 376 of the Retrospect Windows 11 User's Guide, "deletes files from the source [my emphasis] volume after they have been copied.  If Thorough or Media verification is turned on and the files do not match exactly, the originals will not be deleted."  DovidBenAvraham reminds me that the competing application BE eliminated that option in 2018, probably because it violates the "3-2-1 rule" for backups.


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2 hours ago, NoelC said:

My backup set is named "Drives C D and V" so the wording of "from Backup Set Drives C D and V" may be implying something that's not really true.

It is 100% true, but it would have been more clear if the backup set name was within single or double quotes, such as:

from Backup Set "Drives C D and V"

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Point well taken, but the OP's Backup Set is named "Backup Set Drives C  D and V", so the message would have to be "Groomed 290.2 GB from 'Backup Set Drives C D and V'".  I myself use "Backup Set Red" and "Backup Set White" and "Backup Set Blue" when running Retrospect Mac 6.1 on my G4 Digital Audio, and "Media Set Red" etc. when backing up my other machines using Retrospect Mac 16.  The User's Guides and the Retrospect GUI(s) have long encouraged naming Backup/Media Sets that way.

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> the OP's Backup Set is named "Backup Set Drives C  D and V"

No, it is not.  It is named "Drives C D and V".

Thanks for your responses.  Nothing was apparently deleted from my source drives.  Short between the headsets.

And yes, I had seen that misleading, scary wording in the documentation. 



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