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Catalogs automatically being erased


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I'm hoping someone can answer this for me.


I have the Server version of Retrospect running on a Mac and PC and the same thing happens on both.


I currently have two 6 month sets that are reused every 6 months. One for the 1st half of the year and one for the 2nd half of the year. Let's call them "A" and "B". When "B" is finished, the tapes from "A" are reused for a new catlog that will cover the 1st half of the next year (I hope that makes sense).


As soon as the first tape is erased for the new catalog, the entire "A" catalog from the previous year is not useable. It's like it never existed. A search can't even be done to recover files from the tapes that haven't been erased yet. This is the part that doesn't make sense to me.


The way I figure it, the previous "A" catalog should still be in tact and files should be able to be recovered from the tapes that haven't been reused yet.


The first thing you are probably thinking is that I'm overwriting the previous "A" catalog with the new one. That isn't the case. When the new "A" catalog is started there are a total of three. The previous "A" catalog, the "B" catalog and the new "A" catalog.


This is consistant on both platforms so there must be something to it, I just don't understand why this is happening. The way the catalogs are setup, it shouldn't be happening. I don't know if this is a bug or what.


If anyone has any thoughts, I'd like to hear them.



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This happens by design so what you are seeing is normal.


Remember that Retrospect treats all the tapes in "backup set A" as one set. Whe you run a recycle backup you are telling Retrospect to forget the data on all of the tapes in that set. Esentially all of the tapes in the set are maked as "eraseable" by Retrospect. Retrospect has to treat the media this way because the media in incremental backups is interdependent.


If for some reason you need the data that is on one of the tapes that has not been physically erased you can do a catalog rebuild operation from the tools menu in Retrospect to create a catalog so you can restore from the tape.



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This still doesn't make sense to me. Especially since the catalog is added to the begging of each tape (a Retrospect option).


Retrospect shouldn't even realize that the tape is "missing" until the user goes to restore data from that tape. I don't remember much earlier versions of Retrospect working this way. Is this something that has been changed in the last few years? Either way I guess I think it's a bad feature. The app should be smart enough to know not to remove all of the data from a catalog beause a tape or two is "missing".

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I think it's just not clear _exactly_ what it is that you are doing with your backups.


In order to properly "reuse" a backup set, you must perform a "Recycle" backup. A Recycle backup by definition, completely erases the backup set and catalog before copying all selected files to the backup set. All previous data in the backup set is lost. Any catalog associated with the original tapes is overwritten and reused.


What I think you're saying is that you are using tapes from one backup set to use in a completely different backup set (a backup set with a different name). The only way to reuse tapes from an existing backup set is to:


1. Forget the original set

2. Recycle the backup set

3. Mark the members as "missing" from the original set


Option 3 was not designed to allow tapes from one set to be used in another set. Marking tapes as missing can prevent you from restoring all your data properly. The feature is designed so that if a tape has become damaged or lost, Retrospect will attempt to backup the data from the lost member during the next backup attempt.


That being said, Retrospect does not make any changes to your backup set catalog that were not set up by the user. Recycle backups, marking members as missing, forgetting backup sets, etc. - these are all functions that are initiated by the user either manually or automatically thorugh a script that has been set up. The functionality of a Recycle backup has not changed over the life of the product.

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