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So what's the right way to back up Panther with Retrospect?


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OS9 and previous systems spoiled us Mac users into thinking that the Mac is the easiest computer to back up and restore.

 

But that seems to have stopped with OSX. Post after post describe all kinds of glitches and pitfalls involved in making a Retrospect Duplicate of an OSX Hard Drive that will really be bootable and usable when restored back to the Hard Drive, without having permissions or other problems.

 

Should one log in as Root before initiating a Duplicate? Or should one boot from a CD or DVD that has Retrospect on it, to generate the duplicate?

 

When I make a Duplicate of my HD, onto my LaCie 160 GB external firewire HD, Retrospect 6.0.178 says everything was duplicated without errors. But the Duplicate system on the La Cie is not recognized by Startup Disk as a bootable system, so I can't boot from the LaCie even after a 'perfect' Duplicate has been placed on it. And how do I get it back onto my HD someday when I've had to erase my HD and restore from backup? Drag/copy produces permissions problems - all the files can't be copied back that way. Do I have to Duplicate my LaCie backup, back onto my HD? Will it be bootable then, if it wasn't when it was duped to the LaCie?

 

Seems like there ought to be a fairly simple stepwise procedure that Retrospect users could follow to ensure that the HD image we 'think' we have safely backed up or duplicated, will actually be usable if ever needed.

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>OS9 and previous systems spoiled us Mac users into thinking that the Mac is

> the easiest computer to back up and restore.

 

It only spoiled us Mac users who used those earlier sysem versions; there are many, many users who's first Macs were OS X machines.

> Post after post describe all kinds of glitches and pitfalls involved in

> making a Retrospect Duplicate of an OSX Hard Drive that will really be

> bootable and usable when restored back to the Hard Drive, without having

> permissions or other problems.

 

First, Retrospect is generally is not used in the method you describe above (Duplicate to offline volume, Duplicate back to boot volume). For a backup/restore/disaster recovery plan, using Retrospect to Backup to a Backup Set (File, Tape, etc) and then use that Backup Set to Restore to your new volume makes more sense.

 

However, Retrospect is fully capable of taking each and every file from one Volume and copying it over to another volume, all the while maintaining all of the inode (owner/group/permissions) information on the copied files and blessing/bootability of the system software.

 

> Should one log in as Root before initiating a Duplicate?

 

No. It doesn't matter at all what user is logged into the Finder when Retrospect runs; Retrospect will always run as a root process (just as kernel_task and launchd do)

 

> Or should one boot from a CD or DVD that has Retrospect on it, to generate the duplicate?

 

The best way to make an exact copy of a volume is if that volume isn't being used to boot a system. Unix is a busy bee; it open and closes files, deletes and recreates files, and generally doesn't sit still at all.

 

While it's possible to boot OS X from a locked optical disk, it takes a special build of OS X to do it, and it's slow and under-featured. Using an external hard drive, either FireWire or USB2, is a much better method to access a drive offline.

> When I make a Duplicate of my HD, onto my LaCie 160 GB external

> firewire HD, Retrospect 6.0.178 says everything was duplicated without

> errors. But the Duplicate system on the La Cie is not recognized by

> Startup Disk as a bootable system

Then it's likely that you're doing something wrong. Retrospect is generally able to do this.

Please explain in more detail exactly what you're doing. The update from 6.0.x to 6.1.x was free; I'd suggest using the most recent build of the program.

 

> And how do I get it back onto my HD someday when I've had to erase my HD

> and restore from backup?

 

See above; a Duplicate is not a Backup. If you want to restore from backup, you need a Backup to do it.

 

> Will it be bootable then, if it wasn't when it was duped to the LaCie?

 

Probably not.

 

> Seems like there ought to be a fairly simple stepwise procedure that

> Retrospect users could follow to ensure that the HD image we 'think' we

> have safely backed up or duplicated, will actually be usable if ever needed.

 

This is called "qualifying." A user tests his/her systems to make sure that they operate in the intended manner. I've tested Retrospect in many different ways, and have qualified it for my specific use. If the program didn't do as I expected it to do, I would either modify the way I used it, or I would use something else.

 

Dave

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Quote:

No. It doesn't matter at all what user is logged into the Finder when Retrospect runs; Retrospect will always run as a root process (just as kernel_task and launchd do)

 


Well, that's what it's designed to do. However, I see a bug every few months that may be related to the "two copies of Retrospect running" bug. For some odd reason, in such a case, a scheduled autolaunch will run as the logged-in admin user (rare that a user is logged in to our Xserve) and not as root, and all sorts of thousands of errors will occur because Retrospect, not running as root, is unable to access the files on our server's OS volume.

 

It's so rare that I've never been able to develop a reproducible test case.

 

So "always" may be a bit strong. But that's the way it is supposed to work.

 

Russ

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See also one of the numerous times I have posted in these forums about using a RAID 1 mirror split as a way to clone a running server without taking the server down. Not for the faint of heart, and you have to understand what you are doign. search on my username and RAID and you should find any of the numerous posts.

 

Russ

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Quote:

When I make a Duplicate of my HD, onto my LaCie 160 GB external firewire HD

 


Many external FW drives are sold formatted for PC (FAT-32). You must use Mac OS Extended (journaling optional).

 

Disk Utility Help: Erasing a disk or volume

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=DiskUtility/10.5/en/duh1009.html

In step 4, DO choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

WARNING: All your currect files will be erased.

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Be aware too that the volume may already be formatted as Mac OS Extended but the disk won't be bootable unless the disk's partition map is in Apple format. The solution is to erase the entire disk and not just the volume.

 

(You can tell if the partition map is wrong by using Disk Utility, highlighting the disk, and clicking on the Partition tab. You should see the current partition arrangement under Current. If the window is blank when "Current" is selected, the partition map is not Apple format.)

 

Another clue is to boot from the OS X install CD/DVD and see if you can install on the affected volume. A red stop sign on the volume icon means that the volume is not bootable.

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