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Basic Set-up Recommendations


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Hello

 

I am a new user of Retrospect. I am a photographer by trade/background and as part of our new business I have inherited Retrospect. So I am just trying to figure out the best methods to use with the program. Warning!!! I am not an expert in these matters, so enter at your own risk! I have looked over the manual a bit and have gone thru a successful back up, but before I continue, I wanted to touch base with seasoned users.

 

For reference, I have a 2 x 2.66 HHz Dual Core machine with an Intel processeor & 2 500GB internal HDs. I also have a LaCie d2 extreme external HD. Because I am always working on images, and other projects, I would like to schedule a daily BU of info. My initial thought is to BU the main HD on both the 2nd internal HD and the external LaCie.

 

I noticed that when I BU to a drive I have to erase the drive in order to use it. It seemed to make sense to partition the drives once I erased them to allocate use for the backup info as weell as have space other uses. Not sure if this was the best thing to do though?

 

Obviously, my intent is to have multiple BUs (internal & external) that are synchrized with eachother, and it would be nice to have a script(s) that accomplish this automatically on a daily basis. Does anyone have suggestions set-up suggestions?

 

Many Thanks.

 

Cheers!

 

Dave

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I noticed that when I BU to a drive I have to erase the drive in order to use it

 


That depends on whether you are using a "file" backup set or a removable disk backup set. The manual explains the differences.

 

Basically, with a file backup set, the backup is stored as a file on the drive. Disadvantage is that the backup set cannot grow to be larger than the available space on the drive. Advantage is that you have a regular filesystem on the drive, and can store other files there, and can copy the backup set somewhere else using normal Mac tools.

 

With a removable disk backup set (not limited to "removable" - that's a bit of history), there is no filesystem, and the disk is treated as raw storage totally under Retrospect's control. The model is much like tape - as additional members are needed for the backup set (i.e., as the backup storage increases beyond what the disk can store), additional disks can be used, and thus the backup set can span disks and can be larger than any single disk. Disadvantage is that the device has no filesystem, so no other files can be on the device at the same time.

 

Quote:

my intent is to have multiple BUs (internal & external) that are synchrized with eachother, and it would be nice to have a script(s) that accomplish this automatically on a daily basis.

 


The only way to literally do what you state is to only have Retrospect make a single backup, then "transfer" one backup set to another. Any two backups separated in time will not be exactly the same unless the disk you are backing up is totally quiescent and if you are not booted from that disk.

 

Actually, in my opinion, it would be best to alternate days on the backup sets. And consider the case of a fire (and the need for keeping one backup set off site, with rotating backup sets) or theft of your computer (and data). A fire a couple of years ago wiped out our floor of our building and took out all the computers, etc. But our offsite backups from Retrospect saved the day.

 

Just to toss out a suggestion, do consider using tape backups. I know that many people disagree with me on this, and it depends on the amount of data you are backing up. As soon as the amount begins to be over about 200 GB or so, tape becomes a viable consideration. Exabyte has a good range of drives with autoloaders at a reasonable price (look at the online shops such as PC Connection, etc.).

Exabyte

We are very happy with our Exabyte VXA-2 1x10 1u PacketLoader (SCSI). The X23 tapes hold 80/160 GB (uncompressed/compressed) and the VXA-320 version (the current version) holds twice that amount on each tape. Firewire versions are available for some models. An autoloader will change your life if you have lots of data.

 

Russ

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With a removable disk backup set ... there is no filesystem, and the disk is treated as raw storage totally under Retrospect's control. ... Disadvantage is that the device has no filesystem, so no other files can be on the device at the same time.

 


 

Not true.

 

The first time a Member of a Removable Backup Set is used, it is erased using Mac OS Extended (aka "HFS+") and given a volume name.

 

A single data file is written to the disk, but other files could certainly be stored there too, if desired. Retrospect won't again attempt to erase a Member once it's already been added to the Backup Set.

 

That being said, there are good reasons that Retrospect's default configuration does not allow fixed platter hard drives to be used as Removable devices; unless you have a specific need to do so, I suggest using File Backup Sets when backing up to external hard drives.

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