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Rotate HDs as media?


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Possibly stupid question here. The backup machine is a windows box now running the trial of Retrospect Pro. The box has an internal boot drive and a single removable bay. How can we make Retrospect use whatever drive is installed in the bay without user interaction beyond the actual drive swap?


If possible I'd like Retrospect to recognize and use them as separate backup sets so we can take advantage of Retrospect's efficiency features.


I can control the drive letter, either keeping it the same or changing it based on which disk is inserted.


Previously we ran custom scripts that controlled ntbackup. When the volume serial number changed we wiped the drive and started a full backup.

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Yes this is what we do.


Its quite tricky, Retrospect developers should try and improve this style of operation...


but anyway, heres how to do it:


Put the catalog file AND the backup data on the drive. eg e:\Backup\catalog and e:\backup\data


Then, once you have set up one drive - but before backing up anything (except maybe a tiny test case), copy-paste the drive's contents onto the desktop. Put it onto the replacement drive when you swap them. This is the tricky bit, if you do it wrong, retro will refuse to recognise all sorts of stuff and you'll have to re-set it up. I do this with 2 removable drives.


I've probably forgotten a key point that you have to do... with my system I've preallocated the drive letters, so each backup set gets different drive letters... not perfect but I got it working.


Also big tip, schedule a defrag (use command line) in the middle of the night. VERY important. Retro developers - you guys should alloc space for the ENTIRE file all at once. Instead, they write a little bit to the data files each time, which causes massive file fragmentation and WILL lead to file corruption. So you need to ensure retro doesn't fill up the drive much past something like 15% (otherwise defrag wont do its job).


I also schedule a groom every night to kick out the old snapshots - which is another item retro developers need to improve. I can't quickly tag and groom out old snapshots I don't want anymore!! very frustrating and limiting.


see ya


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Paul - Why do you use this method for backups? What do your scripts look like? We currently have one script that has two backup sets assigned to it. One of those is off-site. We swap those drives out every week. Also, we keep the catalog file on a separate drive. I know others keep the catalog file with their backup set, but I still don't understand the purpose of this method. Can you explain why you do it this way?





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