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Where is my restored file?


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I guess I'm lucky in that in several years of using Retrospect I've never had to restore files from my backup ... until now.

 

I'm using Retrospect 6.1.126 in Mac 10.3.9, backing up to an external drive.

 

The file I wanted to restore is a "sent" mailbox file in Thunderbird 1.0.7 (which is several folders down in a Thunderbird folder on the top level of my home/user folder). I found the one I wanted in an older snapshot, and followed the steps to restore it to my desktop on my Mac. Retrospect reported successful restore, and the log concurred.

 

However, I can't find the restored file anywhere on my Mac, desktop or not. It's not an invisible file; I can see it in the finder and in the backup catalog.

 

Am I doing something wrong?

 

I'd be grateful for some help.

 

Fred

 

 

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Thanks for the reply, Lennart. However, the can of worms just got a lot bigger.

 

 

 

I'm not sure I know exactly what the root of a volume is, but in any case, a search for my backup set name on my source volume did turn up two folders:

 

 

 

FredBackup Set A 6.05 which is dated July 5, 2005, 2:06 AM

 

FredBackup Set A 6-1.05 which is dated July 5, 2005, 2:11 AM

 

 

 

In each of these folders are various top level folders such as Users, System Folder, System, Previous Systems, Library, Installers, Documents, Applications, Applications (OS 9). Not all of these are in both backup folders, but most are. And then what's within these top level folders varies, some are the same in both backup folders, some not. Going down further (without going into exhaustive detail of what's in all of them) there's a lot of iTunes related stuff, seemingly related to updating from iTunes v2 to v4. But there are a few other things in there, too, like some OS9 apps, etc. Looks like a big mess of confusion to me.

 

 

 

Now, I'm 99.99% sure that these folders have been on my source volume for awhile now and I wondered what the hell they were but more or less just ignored them until now. Incidentally, their date, July 5, 2005, is not the date of the snapshot from which I restored the Tbird file. Nor is that restored file in either of these backup folders.

 

 

 

As best as I can tell, this must have something to do with updating iTunes, and, more importantly, may also be concurrent with my switch from OS9 to OSX (yes, I'm a very late bloomer). I'm not certain when I made the changeover, but it could very well have been around that time, and from the looks of the contents of these backup folders, may likely be connected to their appearance.

 

 

 

By the way, what are these backup folders even doing on my source volume to begin with? And why are there two of them? And would this be a good time to put them in the trash (albeit without emptying the trash until I get all this straightened out)?

 

 

 

All that aside, the bottom line is that the Tbird file I restored is nowhere on my source volume.

 

 

 

Where do I go from here? Man, does my head ache.

 

 

 

Ever grateful for any and all help.

 

 

 

Fred

 

 

 

 

 

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All that aside, the bottom line is that the Tbird file I restored is nowhere on my source volume.

 


 

1 - When you Restore with Retrospect the files will be copied to the Destination, not the Source.

 

2 - Unless your Macintosh clock is set wrong, then the folders dated July 5, 2005 were created on July 5, 2005. If you Restored with Retrospect today, the folder it creates will be dated today.

 

3 - Since you are unable to find the folder that Retrospect created when you ran the Restore, you either did something wrong, or you are looking in the wrong place (or possibly both).

 

4 - When you do an Immediate Restore ("Restore files from a backup") with Retrospect, the program gives you a "Destination Selection" window. It's not a standard Mac OS file dialog, but it will have your hard drive(s) listed and any folders you have defined as a Retrospect "Subvolume."

 

5 - The volume you select in the "Destination Selection" is where the new folder is created. That folder will have the name of the Backup Set, and will have a current creation date.

 

Only you know what volume you selected when you setup the Restore. Retrospect will save the last Immediate settings in a sort of secret script (Option+click on the "Scripts" button to see the grey ghost names of these Immediate settings). So unless you've already run new Restore, you can go back and see which volume you selected. Otherwise, you should run the Restore again and pay close attention to where you tell the program to save its files.

 

Dave

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Quote:

Quote:

All that aside, the bottom line is that the Tbird file I restored is nowhere on my source volume.

 


 

1 - When you Restore with Retrospect the files will be copied to the Destination, not the Source.

 

2 - Unless your Macintosh clock is set wrong, then the folders dated July 5, 2005 were created on July 5, 2005. If you Restored with Retrospect today, the folder it creates will be dated today.

 


 

Dave, thanks for the reply.

 

We have confusion here due to insufficient variety of terminology ... when I wrote "source volume" as quoted above, I meant my original source volume --my Macintosh Hard Drive-- the one that is being backed up. However, you meant the source of the restored file, which is the backup volume.

 

I understand your second point about dates ... as I said, I don't think these July folders have anything to do with the restore, but I do wonder what the hell they are and why they're on my Macintosh Hard Drive, the volume I backup from, what I consider my "source" volume as explained above. I really wonder how they got there.

 

Anyway, I'll have to double check that secret grayed out script, but I'm sure I directed the file to be restored onto the desktop of my Macintosh Hard Drive.

 

I guess I can always try the restore again and report back.

 

Thanks,

Fred

 

 

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> I'm sure I directed the file to be restored onto the desktop of my Macintosh Hard Drive

 

Unlikely, as the "Destination Selection" window doesn't have any shortcut to your Desktop folder the way a standard Mac OS file save dialog box does. You would have to have defined /Users/YourAccount/Desktop/ as a Subvolume before you could have selected it as a Destination for Restore.

 

It sounds as if you did something wrong; I'd suggest checking the User's Guide and starting fresh.

 

Dave

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OK, here's the latest. And the can of worms just keeps getting bigger.

 

First the good news: I started fresh, and successfully restored a file. Unfortunately, it seems I need an earlier snapshot, because the restored file (a "sent" mailbox in Tbird) has the same problem as my current "sent" mailbox ... everything is missing before 5/2005 although it should go back to 2/2003.

 

The restored file is from a snapshot dated 12/2005. I did look at a snapshot from 6/05, but the "sent" folder in that is only 990kb, whereas the one from December is 181mb, which seems more likely to have all my missing sent mail dating back to 2/03. Granted, I didn't try restoring the one from the 6/05 because it just seemed like it wouldn't have all my missing sent mail.

 

However, when I look at all the snapshots listed in the backup set, there are many others between 6/05 and 12/05, but I can't retrieve any of them because (are you ready for this?) my backup destination hard drive is full! I was hoping to deal with that problem after solving this single file restoration issue, but now it seems like I need to deal with it now.

 

Except I have no idea how. And I'm getting nervous because I've been unable to back up my main drive for a week now. I tried to run a compressed backup, but even then I'm about 100mb short of space.

 

So, I guess I need advice on how to free up space on my backup drive, and then go back and try other snapshots to restore my sent mail.

 

(By the way, all of this is causing me to become very attracted to the idea of switching to a duplicate backup instead of the proprietary backup, because we're only talking about 20gb of stuff on my main hard drive, and my backup drive is 160gb, so it seems like I'd have a lot more space. Obviously, I can't make that switch to a duplicate until I resolve the current issues.)

 

Man, I could really use some heavy help here.

 

Thanks again in advance.

 

Fred

 

 

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If you know the name of the file you want, you don't need a snapshot. Select "Search for files and folders" instead of "Restore files from a backup." This will allow you to find all of the versions of the desired file that have been included in your backup set.

 

If your backup drive is so full you cannot create another snapshot, you've really gone to the edge. In the future you will want to perform a recycle backup long before the drive gets so full.

 

Based on what you've said, I don't think you will want to switch to a Duplicate, because this will only leave you with the most recent version of each file. In your case, the most recent version of the file you wanted was also corrupt. Best to perform a normal incremental backup, but recycle more frequently.

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twickland, thanks so much for your advice, which led to successful retrieval of the files I needed. I'm grateful for your help, as well as that of the others who replied to my questions.

 

Now that that's cleared up, what can I do about my bulging backup drive?

 

I'm probably an idiot, but I've never recycled, in fact, don't even know how to or when to recycle. Is it even possible with so little space on my backup drive (about 44mb)?

 

If not, can I transfer the current backup set and its catalog temporarily to a second drive that has a lot of space but which I use for media storage (iTunes and iPhoto libraries, video, etc.)? And how would I perform that transfer? Ironically, I have another backup set for this second drive on the bulging backup drive ... would this fact cause problems?

 

Assuming I can and should transfer the current backup set to that second drive, I suppose then I would trash the original left behind on the bulging drive? Could I then perform recycle procedure to the backup set while it's temporarily on the second drive, and would that shrink it enough to transfer back to the original backup drive?

 

Or would it be better to try to transfer the current backup set to a DVD, trash the original from the bulging drive, and then start over with a brand new backup set on that drive? I just got the DVD drive, haven't even unpacked it yet (was waiting to get all this mess sorted out), and assuming (hoping) I can configure it to use as another backup drive for more specialized backup sets.

 

Sorry for the barrage of questions. Am I even making sense here? Probably not. I admit I find some aspects of Retrospect usage pretty daunting.

 

I'd appreciate further help with all of this.

 

Thanks,

Fred

 

 

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I've never recycled, in fact, don't even know how to or when to recycle. Is it even possible with so little space on my backup drive (about 44mb)?

 


Recycling resets the catalog and prepares to reuse the old media. All of the files in the old backup will be erased. If you want to save any, you'll need to transfer the files to another backup set.

 

One way to recycle is to perform a recycle backup. This can either be an immediate backup or a scheduled backup. In the backup script window, go to Options and select "Recycle Backup."

 

Alternatively, you can go to Configure> Backup Sets> Configure> Options> Media Action which will enable you to recycle the media manually.

 

Quote:

If not, can I transfer the current backup set and its catalog temporarily to a second drive that has a lot of space...? And how would I perform that transfer?

 


Go to Configure> Backup Sets> New and create a File-type backup set on the other drive. Then go to Tools> Copy> Transfer to copy files from the old backup set to the new one. If you have enough capacity on the drive, you can copy everything, but it probably makes more sense to select only important files (by name, location, modification or backup date, or whatever criteria make sense in your case).

 

Quote:

Ironically, I have another backup set for this second drive on the bulging backup drive ... would this fact cause problems?

 


Only insofar as how much space this second file backup set may be taking up. You may want to recycle this other set as well.

 

Quote:

Assuming I can and should transfer the current backup set to that second drive, I suppose then I would trash the original left behind on the bulging drive?

 


The recycle process takes care of this for you.

 

Quote:

Could I then perform recycle procedure to the backup set while it's temporarily on the second drive, and would that shrink it enough to transfer back to the original backup drive?

 


This is not necessary.

 

Quote:

Or would it be better to try to transfer the current backup set to a DVD...?

 


Your choice whether to use this or the second hard drive as a destination for your transferred files. You may want to use DVD for files that you want to keep for a longer time.

 

 

It sounds like you need to rethink your backup strategy. It's always best to back up to two or more backup sets on different physical pieces of media, and preferably stored at different locations (in case of fire or other disaster). In your case, you might want to use a file backup set on your external drive, and a DVD backup set or a second file backup set on the other drive.

 

Perform a recycle to your file backup set(s) before the disks become too full.

 

Assuming you're using ordinary one-time DVD media, you wouldn't ever perform a recycle backup since the media can't be reused. However, you might eventually want to do a New Media backup to keep your backup set manageable for performing restores.

 

There is useful information about all of this in the User's Guide.

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Twickland, thanks so much for the help, I appreciate it.

 

I had to put this on the back burner for a few days to deal with some other issues.

 

Some of your advice I understand, and some I don't, just as with the Users Guide, which you suggested I consult. I find some of the Guide straightforward, but some of it inscrutable and headache inducing.

 

Here's what I'm wondering: I don't want to lose any of the older snapshots of my current backup by recycling it ... instead of creating a new backup set and transferring/copying files from the current to the new as you suggested, can I just take the current backup set file itself (and its catalog file as well) and just copy these files straight to another drive (by dragging file icons to drive icon on desktop) with the expectation that I could close the book on this backup set but still restore from it if need be in the future? Or does the copying from one drive to another have to be within the Retrospect application itself?

 

I would then erase current backup drive and start fresh with a new/better backup strategy, using compression this time (never did in current backup set), and possible partial recycle.

 

Does this make sense?

 

Thanks again,

Fred

 

 

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I don't want to lose any of the older snapshots of my current backup by recycling it ... instead of creating a new backup set and transferring/copying files from the current to the new as you suggested, can I just take the current backup set file itself (and its catalog file as well) and just copy these files straight to another drive...or does the copying from one drive to another have to be within the Retrospect application itself?

 


You can copy the catalogue of any type of backup set to another disk by dragging in Finder. You can likewise copy a File Backup Set. If you want to copy any other type of backup set, you must do it within Retrospect.

 

I was under the impression you were hard-pressed for disk space. If you want to retain all your previously backed up files, what you want is to perform a New Media backup rather than a Recycle backup just before the current backup set becomes too large (i.e., too large either to fit on the drive or because searching for files becomes too time-consuming). The only downside is that you'll need enough media to store all that stuff.

 

If you eventually incorporate DVD backup sets in your strategy, be sure to rotate between at least two backup sets so that you'll always have a recent backup when one of the DVD members turns out to be unreadable, as will sooner or later be the case. (Same goes for tape backup sets.)

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Thanks again, Twickland.

 

Sorry for the confusion. It was my primary backup drive that was getting full. I have another drive that I had wanted to use only for multimedia storage (photos, video, music), but it still had a lot of space on it.

 

So I transferred the backup set from my primary backup drive to the storage drive, then erased the set and catalog from the primary backup drive to free up space, with the intention of starting a new backup set (using compression this time). I'll probably do a combination of 2 DVD sets (for only vital files) and a hard drive set (for full backup) from now on.

 

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twickland, when doing a new media backup from a file set backup, does the new backup set have to be another file set backup? Or can it be a removable disk backup?

 

If you can designate the new backup set as a removable disk backup, then you could transfer the entire contents of the file set backup to a new removable hard disk with enough room (for example, a blank external firewire hard disk if you've correctly set Retrospect's preferences). After the transfer, if you ever needed more room, you would simply add a new backup member (i.e., another external fire hard disc).

 

Is this possible?

 

If not, could you simply transfer "all" the files from the file backup set to an already-existing removable disk backup set?

 

All of your thoughts are very appreciated!

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twickland, when doing a new media backup from a file set backup, does the new backup set have to be another file set backup? Or can it be a removable disk backup?

 


You can't change the type of media once a backup set has been created. You will need to create a new backup set using the desired media.

 

Quote:

If not, could you simply transfer "all" the files from the file backup set to an already-existing removable disk backup set?

 


Yes, you can do this using the Tools> Copy> Transfer> function. Before doing that, I'd want to be sure that the resulting backup set won't be cumbersomely large. Having too many files and media members in the backup set will make the backups run slowly (due to the time needed to match all those files in the catalogue) and will make large restores more difficult (due to the number of pieces of media that need to be gone through). Only you can decide when "large" becomes "too large."

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