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Moving from MAC to PC


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My company recently had a need to move from Mac to Pc for one of our systems. I would like to be able to access the old backup sets from 5.1 on a pc 5.1 version of retrospect. When i try this it says that it cant access the files or they are corrupted. Any suggestions or am I out of luck? Thanks for any help.

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I am converting from PC WinXP to the Mac, OS X 10.4 (my solution to Vista??). It is not at all clear how to migrate my Retrospect Professional to a roughly equivalent Mac version. I can RTFM, but don't know where to start. I have found some Mac -> Win stuff, but it's not obvious what to do.

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Sadly, you pretty much have to start over from scratch. The backup file formats are not compatible between Mac and PC.


It's not clear from your post how you are using Retrospect, other than that you have some unspecified version of "Retrospect Professional", and you don't say what devices you are using. Are you backing up a network of client computers? Are they a mix of PC and Mac? Here's the Mac product comparison matrix:

Retrospect Mac product comparison chart


There are installable AppleScripts in the Retrospect Knowledgebase that can shut down Mac client computers after the backup has completed.


The Mac version does not have backup set grooming, and does not have disk to disk to tape staging; backup to tape has to be right to the tape drive. There is a lot of grumbling from those Mac users who use DVD backup that Retrospect Mac does not support many of the DVD drives shipped by Apple in current version machines (more recent than about a year or so ago), so you might want to do an "Apple System Profile" to ensure that the DVD drive you get, if you are doing DVD backup, is supported. Otherwise, you may need to buy a supported drive.


The Mac version can send notification emails from an event handler script. While there are some scripts shipped on the install DVD for various email clients, they are somewhat dated and break when Apple and other vendors issue updates to their email clients, so the "right" one to use is the Python version, which is independent of any email client, and which can be downloaded here:

Retrospect Python event handler


The Mac version can also do backup to an FTP destination, which the Windows version can't do. The Mac version can back up Windows clients as well as Mac clients, but I understand that you really can't count on bare metal restore of Windows clients unless you use the Windows version of Retrospect to do the backup/restore. Backup/restore of Windows files, though, does work.


If you use an autoloader with your tape drive, be aware that there's a bug in the Retrospect Mac version that was fixed a long time ago on the Windows version. If you have pre-named barcoded erased tapes in your autoloader, Retrospect will whimsically choose from the available erased tapes the next time it needs new media, and will ignore the names that you have previously given to the tapes in Retrospect. Makes management of a barcoded tape inventory impossible, as a practical matter. I turned in a bug report about a couple of years ago under our support contract, but have not seen any progress on this. Even though this bug was fixed long ago in the Windows version, Retrospect support deemed it a "feature" of the Mac version and has not taken any steps to address it.


You might want to consider using Apple's Boot Camp to run Retrospect Windows in an emergency if you need to retrieve files that were backed up using your Windows Professional Retrospect. That would be a fall-back position if the migration has glitches that are discovered down the line. I doubt that Retrospect runs under Parallels.


One other thing - Retrospect Mac has not been updated for the Apple transition to the Intel architecture that occurred over two years ago, so it runs as emulated PowerPC code under Rosetta on the Mac. That means that you will probably need at least 3 GB of RAM on your Mac to do the backups without thrashing, perhaps 4 GB RAM if you have a gazillion files in your backup sets.


There's a pretty active group in the Macintosh side of the Retrospect forums. If you have questions, ask. I've been using Retrospect Mac since 1992 (version 2.0), and we use it on our Xserve G5 to back up our network of client iMacs to tape each night.


Hope this helps, post questions in the Mac forum if you have trouble.



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