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"can't access backup set" error

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Need some help interpreting the error message from the log (see bolded line below).

Does this mean there's a problem with the catalog file? (Main Backup Media Set A is a Disk Storage Group.)

Retrospect 17.0.2

iMac Pro OS X 10.15.4






 +  Normal backup using Daily Backup at 5/18/20, 2:00:00 AM (Activity Thread 1)
    5/18/20 2:00:00 AM: Finished scanning backup set data files
    To Backup Set Main Backup Media Set A...
    -  5/18/20 2:00:00 AM: Copying Library on Macintosh HD
    5/18/20 2:00:06 AM: Found: 119938 files, 26467 folders, 61 GB
    5/18/20 2:00:07 AM: Finished matching
    5/18/20 2:00:08 AM: Selector "All Files Except Cache Files" was used to select 119,860 files out of 119,938.
    Backing up 4 files using block level incremental backup.
    5/18/20 2:00:19 AM: Copying: 662 files (2.8 GB) and 0 hard links
    *File "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Library/Backblaze.bzpkg/bzdata/bzthread/bzt_00_20200518065955_instru_37151_04976_bzt.xml": can't read, error -1,101 (file/directory not found)
    *File "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Library/Backblaze.bzpkg/bzdata/bzthread/bzt_00_20200518065955_trdata_37151_04976_bzt.dat": can't read, error -1,101 (file/directory not found)
    5/18/20 2:00:53 AM: Building Snapshot...
    5/18/20 2:00:53 AM: Checking 26,467 folders for ACLs or extended attributes
    5/18/20 2:00:53 AM: Finished copying 797 folders with ACLs or extended attributes
    5/18/20 2:00:54 AM: Copying Snapshot: 2 files (8.6 MB)
    5/18/20 2:00:56 AM: Snapshot stored, 8.6 MB
    5/18/20 2:00:56 AM: Execution completed successfully
    No longer present: 2 files, 4.6 MB
    Completed: 660 files, 2.8 GB, with 74% compression
    Performance: 5,342.7 MB/minute
    Duration: 00:00:56 (00:00:23 idle/loading/preparing)

    -  5/18/20 2:00:56 AM: Verifying Main Backup Media Set A
    5/18/20 2:00:59 AM: Execution completed successfully
    No longer present: 2 files, 4.6 MB
    Completed: 660 files, 2.8 GB
    Performance: 85,483.297 MB/minute
    Duration: 00:00:03

    5/18/20 2:00:59 AM: Compressing catalog file
    Can't access Backup Set Macintosh HD_Users_jrubin, error -1,101 (file/directory not found)
    5/18/20 2:01:01 AM: Execution incomplete
    Total duration: 00:00:59 (00:00:24 idle/loading/preparing)
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Why are you using a Storage Group?  Are you backing up many machines, and want the backups to be on separate Media Sets but can't be bothered to set them up  along with separate scripts?  Or are you using a Proactive script, especially with Remote Backup, and want the backups of individual machines to run in parallel?

Otherwise don't use a Storage Group! 😟  The feature was originated in 2018, and evidently was not much used by administrators until COVID-19 Work From Home.  Its GUI, especially in Retrospect Mac, is half-baked (3rd linked paragraph)—probably because the engineers had other features to develop.

As to your problem, I don't have time to run a test.  However, based on my previous testing and knowledge of pages 34-45 of the Retrospect Mac 17 User's Guide—which are essentially a copy of a Knowledge Base article, backing up to a Storage Group creates a component Media Set—if it doesn't already exist in the Storage Group—for each combination of source machine and drive.  I'd guess that it also creates a component Media Set for a Favorite Folder on a source drive that is used as a Backup source. 

I suspect you have or had such a Favorite Folder, and it is or was for the Users/jrubin folder on your Macintosh HD.  It sounds as if that directory was deleted on the Macintosh HD disk—or its physical Catalog was deleted in the "Main Backup Media Set A" Catalog folder, without deleting its component Media Set within "Main Backup Media Set A"—which you can't do in the half-baked Storage Group GUI.  OTOH it's possible Retrospect Mac 17.0.2 has a bug when it tries to compress a Storage Group containing a component Media Set created from a Favorite Folder.  Here's why and how to file a Support Case for a bug, although it could also be formulated as a feature request for fully-baking the Storage Group GUI.

BTW, if you don't like getting -1101 Backup errors for your Backblaze.bzpkg files, you can create a Custom Rule (pages 176–179 of the UG) that excludes them from your Backup scripts.  This Ask Different thread recommends doing the equivalent exclusion from Time Machine backups.

P.S.: I did eventually run a couple of tests, and it looks as if you manually deleted something.  Both my tests were of backing up an old HDD locally installed on my "backup server",  to a testing Storage Group whose members are in the spare space on my "backup server"'s boot SSD.  I don't normally back up that HDD, but I do keep my Catalogs on it and back up the Favorite Folder containing them once a week.  My first Recycle backup run check-marked both the HDD as a whole and the Favorite Folder as Sources.  As I predicted in the third paragraph of this post, the first run created two component Media Sets—one for the entire HDD and one for the Favorite Folder.   My second Recycle backup run check-marked as a Source only the HDD as a whole, not the Favorite Folder.  Both script runs were successful; the second run Recycled only the component Media Set for the HDD as a whole.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
P.S.: I eventually did run a couple of tests, and it looks as if you manually deleted something. Changed link in 2nd paragraph to down-thread post, whose first sentence in 3rd paragraph is better explanation.
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Thanks @DavidHertzberg for the info. I was having problems with my existing media sets so decided to scrap them all and start over. From reading the manual it sounded like a storage group was a good approach to consolidate all the backups for my Mac...I guess not ;)

(I do have several laptops backing up with proactive scripts so sounds like a storage group would be a good choice for those, though.)

I have a number of different folders I'm backing up with different scripts/schedules from my Mac and external drives. Is the typical approach to have one disk media set as the destination for all of those sources or separate media sets based on location? (Or personal preference?

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Disclaimer: Anything I may say about the intentions of Retrospect "Inc." in this or any other post is merely the result of "reading the tea leaves", the "tea leaves" being documentation and public announcements supplemented by an occasional morsel from Retrospect Sales.  I have never been paid a cent by Retrospect "Inc." or its predecessors, and I pay for my upgrades. Any judgements expressed are—obviously—mine alone.


Storage Groups were previewed in the fall of 2018, and officially released in March 2019.  I was given a feature justification shown in the third paragraph in this March 2019 post, but that justification omitted a key sub-feature that is still IMHO inadequately documented in the Knowledge Base article—which has been recently copied into the User's Guides.  That sub-feature, not described in the Forums until this April 2020 post, is that "parallel backups" means a single Proactive script can be simultaneously backing up as many as 14 combinations of machine and drive to different Media Set components of its destination Storage Group.  This is IMHO a really clever riposte—using the multi-threading power of a modern "backup server" machine—to other more-complicated (and more-expensive) client-server backup applications.  Those require an installation needing equivalent multi-threaded random backup to interpose "appliances" resembling Airport Time Capsules (not necessarily using WiFi ) in between those "clients" and a "backup server" that backs up the "appliances"backed up to on multiple "clients" own schedules—via periodically-run scripts .  As shown especially in the Retrospect Windows cumulative Release Notes,  the engineers have since been busy fixing Storage Groups bugs—most of them no doubt pointed out in administrators' Support Cases.

The problem is that the engineers haven't as yet provided any Retrospect Mac GUI for accessing component Media Sets of an existing Storage Group—as they have for Retrospect Windows, except for using custom Rules/Selectors in operations that can be scripted (i.e. not Rebuild).  They may have planned to provide that GUI in the fall of 2019, but any such plans were upended by the StorCentric acquisition on 25 June 2019.  StorCentric upper management has publicly announced it intends to build a Retrospect "backup server" that runs on at least a beefed-up Drobo version of a Linux-booting NAS, and my information is that Retrospect engineers are busily at work implementing that.  Since NASes don't have their own monitors and keyboards and pointing devices, it's obvious a NAS "backup server" will have to be accompanied by a Mac and Windows Console that connects to it over a LAN using (probably) a Web server on the NAS.  Lo and behold, a Retrospect Console Preview was released on 3 December 2019—looking rather like a dumbed-down existing Mac LAN Console but also running directly on a Retrospect Windows "backup server" (where IMHO it'll be better when fully implemented than the 1990s-designed built-in GUI).  It doesn't take great "tea leaf reading" skills to predict that it's unlikely further enhancements are going to be made this year to the Retrospect Mac Console GUI.  So—if you want to use Storage Groups—you'll for now have to live within the confines of the existing half-baked GUI.

Until Retrospect 16 killed the Legacy Client, I was backing up 4 drives in two "client" machines plus two local drives and a Favorite Folder onto three rotated-weekly portable disk Media Sets.  Now I'm instead backing up the 3 drives on my old G4 Digital Audio machine to 3 rotated-weekly DAT tape Backup Sets, using Retrospect Mac 6.1.  I have a home installation, and I rotate a portable disk and a DAT tape off-site once a week; YMMV.

Would describing your "problems with my existing media sets" get you better answers?


Edited by DavidHertzberg
In first non-disclaimer paragraph, max number of simultaneous backups by a Proactive script is 14—not 16.
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18 hours ago, denno said:

I have a number of different folders I'm backing up with different scripts/schedules from my Mac and external drives. Is the typical approach to have one disk media set as the destination for all of those sources or separate media sets based on location? (Or personal preference?

There are pros and cons to both approaches. But consider this first -- how will you restore your system disk if there's a disaster, have you tested it, and does splitting it into separate "Favourite" folders result in way more work than the benefits are worth?

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