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Can I erase data from existing snapshots and backup sets?


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I have progressive backups going back about 12 months for the C: drive on my PC. The most important folder on my C: drive is My Documents. At present, I store a lot of preview jpeg files for an Extensis Portfolio media database in this folder but they take up a lot of room and I may soon choose to transfer these files to my much larger H: disk, which is dedicated to digital images. The H: drive backups are currently contained in separate snapshots within the same backup set. I'm using Retrospect Professional 7.0.


My objective is to keep going with my progressive C: drive backups (without the Portfolio files) and change my H: drive backup (now including the Portfolio files) to a simple Duplicate process.


I have two questions,


1. If I 'Forget' the H: drive snapshots in my backup set will the existing H: drive data be erased from the backup set?


2. How do I delete the existing backups of my Portfolio files (all contained in a subfolder of My Documents) from my backup set without erasing any other historical data for My Documents in the same snapshots?



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Duplicate does not use a backup set. So, if you set up a Duplicate script, the current backup set will not be affected. Duplicate 'simply' insures that two folders are exactly the same. Files in the destination folder are kept in Windows native format - i.e., you can view and use them directly.

Note: There are a couple options when using Duplicate - only one makes absolute certain that the destination folder is just like the source.


Forgetting a backup set or snapshot doesn't cause any files to be deleted.


Unless you're using a Disk backup set, the only way to reduce the number of files in a backup set is:

1. Create a new backup set.

2. Transfer snapshots you want from the current backup set to the new backup set.

3. Forget and delete the old backup set.


If you're using a Disk backup set, there are 'grooming' options that will remove files associated with older/oldest snapshots.

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I'm not sure why you offered an explanation of the Duplicate process. I didn't actually ask for help on this topic - which appears to be fairly straightforward and has not caused me any problems in the past.


Ref Q1: If 'forgetting' a snapshot doesn't cause any files to be deleted then what is the purpose of the 'Forget' process?


Ref Q2: I'm not sure that you understood my question. Neither the transfer of snapshots nor any grooming option addresses the problem of discarding my Portfolio files while retaining everything else in the backup set. The Portfolio files are not contained in their own unique snapshots. They are included within snapshots that contain the full contents of my C: drive.


My backup set is stored on an external hard disk.

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Jelenko, your claim that 'forgetting' a snapshot does not cause any files to be deleted seems to contradict the following statement I have just found in the online help.


"When you forget a Snapshot from a disk Backup Set with grooming enabled, Retrospect deletes the selected Snapshot and its associated files (the Snapshot and files cannot be retrieved later)".

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I have now confirmed that 'forgetting' a Snapshot in a disk-based Backup Set does indeed then trigger a grooming process that permanently erases both the Snapshot and the files it contains.


Getting back to my original Q2, Retrospect does not appear to permit the erasing of selected files within a Snapshot but is there any way to selectively transfer the contents of a Snapshot into a new Backup Set?

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Thanks, Amy, your positive response prompted me to look a little harder and now I've found the relevant selection process. It's a lot more tedious than ticking check boxes in a file list, but with care and patience it should do the job.


In a roundabout way, this should enable me to effectively delete selected files from a Backup Set, the thing you are clearly told can't be done. Yes, I know you are creating a new Backup Set rather than changing the existing one, but the end result is just the same. I'm surprised that this is not covered in the documentation (or have I missed something?).


Thanks again.

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