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Need Help Setting this up - Home User


ANKulin
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HI.

I have purchased Retrospect 18 (Solo) for keeping back ups of my photos and documents.  I am not an IT professional and probably over thinking this and so very unsure of what I need to do to set this up efficiently for what I want to do.  I have attached a simple sketch that will hopefully aid in understanding what I have and what I would like to do.

Basically I have three SSDs or HDDs on my home PC that I wish to keep backed up.  One 2TB SSD contains date (documents, spreadsheets, etc.), while two 4TB HDDs hold my photo collections.  I have 6 HDDs (2 x 2TB, 4x4TB) that I will be using as backup destinations.  At any one time three of these HDDs will be at home and the other three will be stored at our cabin located about 200 km from home.  I plan to swap these drives on a roughly monthly basis taking the three back-up drives home up to the cabin on a Friday and returning back with the other three drives on the Sunday and connecting these to my Home PC.  These would be one month out of date and so I would expect retrospect to update them and bring them up to speed.  I want to set this up so that other than me physically disconnecting and reconnecting these drives to my PC that all of the backing up is carried out automatically without any user intervention in the software.

I believe I want to do pro-active backups that backup daily while the three backup HDDs are connected the PC and set up incrementally so that only changes to files are backed up.  And I would like it to be set up so that when my back-up HDDs become full, that Retrospect just overwrites older back-up data on the disc and does not ask me for a new disc.  Otherwise I would just reformat the backup HDD and live with redoing a full initial backup on the disc.  From what I have gathered in my stumbling around so far in the software is that it looks like I will end up with six back-up sets and six scripts (one for each back-up set).

I am finding the process confusing because of my lack of familiarity with all the jargon and so I am suffering from analysis paralysis so to speak (like I said before, overthinking this).  ! could use some help in setting this up. 

Is it basically:

  • Clicking Proactive AI Backup under the Backup and create New + name it
  • Source - Select disc on Home PC to be backed up
  • Destination - create new backup set
    • choose disk, give it a Backup Set Name and choose destinations disc
    • unclick create as storage group???
    • choose backup security level
    • keep only last 10 backups
    • Use default catalogue file destination and finish
  • Select - All files
  • Options
    • backup every day
    • block level incremental backup on
    • thorough verification on
    • back up open files
  • Schedule - always active

And repeat the process a total of six times.

Thanks in advance.

Proposed Backup.JPG

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How much data is there on E: X: and Y: respectively?

As a rule of a thumb, you should allocate storage about twice the size of the DATA you want to backup.

Instead of two sets of three backup disks, you may want to have two larger disks. Seagate has disks with 16 TB capacity as well as 8 TB for about 40% of the price for the 16 TB disk.

With larger disks as backup disks, you need only two backup sets. That way you can use "grooming", a process that "grooms" out the oldest backups. That way you don't have to erase all data to start copying x TB of data from scratch.

 

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Drives currently at:

E: Data - 0.6TB Used

X: Photos 1 (up to 2018) - 2.9TB used - but other than occasional editing of older images, not actively adding new photos to this drive

Y: Photos 2 (2019 +) - 1.7TB Used - but adding new images as time goes on.

Understood about using a fewer larger drives for back-ups but I have the drives I mentioned from the past and not looking to spend money on more drives at this time as I have these other spare drives available.

 

Is my basic understanding in my original post how to set this up correct?  Should I also have Retrospect compress files on the back-up drives?  I believe I saw that an option somewhere.

Thanks

 

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2 hours ago, ANKulin said:

I have the drives I mentioned from the past

How old are they and how much have you used them? Old hard drives are failures waiting to happen. (On the other hand, it's many years ago I had a drive fail on me, even after years of use. :) )

2 hours ago, ANKulin said:

Should I also have Retrospect compress files on the back-up drives?

No. Most files nowadays are already compressed and can't be compressed more. It's just a waste of (CPU) time and energy.

 

Anyway:

With that kind of data, you should be fine using the setup you have proposed with 2 sets of 3 backup drives. They should be large enough.

I would not use block level incremental backup. That's useful only for very big files where you change only parts of the files, such as database files.

I would use Disk backup sets, not storage groups.

You should probably run a Groom script every once in a while, to groom out old backups. (You don't HAVE to, as Retrospect will do that for you when the disk becomes full. BUT that will happen in the middle of a backup and according to Murphy's law it will happen when you are in a hurry to get the backup finished.)

Hope this helps. :) 

 

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On 11/13/2021 at 4:29 PM, Lennart_T said:

How old are they and how much have you used them? Old hard drives are failures waiting to happen. (On the other hand, it's many years ago I had a drive fail on me, even after years of use. :) )

No. Most files nowadays are already compressed and can't be compressed more. It's just a waste of (CPU) time and energy.

 

Anyway:

With that kind of data, you should be fine using the setup you have proposed with 2 sets of 3 backup drives. They should be large enough.

I would not use block level incremental backup. That's useful only for very big files where you change only parts of the files, such as database files.

I would use Disk backup sets, not storage groups.

You should probably run a Groom script every once in a while, to groom out old backups. (You don't HAVE to, as Retrospect will do that for you when the disk becomes full. BUT that will happen in the middle of a backup and according to Murphy's law it will happen when you are in a hurry to get the backup finished.)

Hope this helps. :) 

 

Two of the 4TB drives are from 2019 and have never been used (WD Reds), the other 4 drives are about 6 years old (WD My Books).

Thank you for the advice about incremental backup, I have unchecked that function as well as the groom function which I will do manually every so often.

 

I do have a question about proactive scripts.  The one I have set up so far is set as "Always Active - Allow automatic execution anytime" but it does not want to start until midnight in spite of there having been no previous backup made.  I would have expected this would run at anytime (as implied) in the background.  I got fed up, and changed it to a scheduled time of 10:25 PM (I did this at 10:20 PM and wanted to see if something would happen), and it started up, but terminated at midnight.  It did the same thing the next day.  What am I missing here?  Shouldn't the backup be running now (I have changed it back to Always Active) since the backup is not complete?

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It's been some years since I used proactive scripts, so things may have changed how they work. And I also may not remember everything correctly.

Back then (I think) the time between backups was measured from the end of the last backup to the start of next, so I had to set that to 23 hours (instead of daily) to get the next backup of that source to start a little earlier "tomorrow" than it ran "today". Otherwise it may miss the active window. The active windows was set to normal business hours plus one hour at each end to cater for those who came a bit early and those who had been on the road and arrived late.

Perhaps you should set up the proactive script to run between (say) 6 AM and 8 PM. That should be ample time for the backup to finish. Except, perhaps, with the exception of the very first backup for each backup set.

As for why your backup terminates at midnight, I have no idea. It shouldn't do that. Perhaps you could share a screenshot or two of your script settings?

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