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Retrospect 6.x express nearly crashed my Mac


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Last night my maiden backup to an external NAS drive using Retrospect errored out, and crashed my Mac (PowerMac G5, dual 2.3Ghz 4GB/RAM). Here's what happened.

 

I created a Backup script to backup about 90GB of files to my NAS drive. According to the documentation, the normal backup should do a full backup the first time, and incremental from then on. I had about 80GB of space free. The script ran, and filled up all available local disk space and crashed. I had disk errors, and I could barely do anything on my Mac because there was no space available. I couldn't install any utilities to help me get this worked out, and I couldn't even start Retrospect again because there was no disk space.

 

After backin up all my data (no small task), numerous rounds with safe mode, the original Mac install disk, and finallly Disk Inventory X, which I was only able to install after trolling my drive and deleting something sizable (because as soon as I would delete something small, the space would immediately be used) I discovered that Retrospect had created an 80GB file at /<hard drive volume/private/Network/Servers/<nas host>/<backup set name>.

 

After being up until 3am last night, and wasting an entire day first trying to get Retrospect to run (regardless of what the forums and Dantz website say, Retrospect 6.x on OS X 10.4.x still does suffer from the 2GB SMB/cifs file limit -- NFS is the only share that works on Mac -- SMB/cifs works on PC though), I don't know how to conclude anything but that 1) Retrospect has some major flaws prohibitive to use, and 2) its a potentially lethal program to use. The notion that it has to create an entire duplicate (size) of the data it wishes to back up before transmission is just absurd, if that's true, and this episode suggests that. It means that one needs over half their disk space empty at all times in order to back up.

 

I'm posting all this in the hopes that someone will enlighten me, and point out something that I'm missing, as I'm about 1 hour from packing this NAS drive up and returning it and the Retrospect software that came with it, and from here on avoiding any product that is bundled with Retrospect.

 

Please help! Thanks!

 

Brad

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