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Recataloging a backup set

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We have just recently had a Retrospect catalog get corrupt. We are using AIT 3 tapes as the storage device. The drive was having a problem and was the cause of the corruption. The Backup set contained 17 tapes at 150gb a piece so needless to say it is going to take a while to recatalog. We have been at it now for 2 days and have yet to get through about 6 tapes dues to multipe problems, most of which seems to be reading or writing issues. Was wondering if anybody else had to do this and if there is a easy way to complete the task. We are doing in on a G3 MAC OSX. Please help!!!!!

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No, sadly, there is no faster way except to have faster hardware.


The choice of number of tapes to have in a backup set is one of the things to consider for situations like this. If you've got a lot of time on your hands, you might want to study the following web page, discussing the things that a good backup policy should address:




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As Russ says, recataloging is inherently a slow process, though you can stop it anytime after you finish reading a tape member, save the partial session (use "Revert" if you have to stop before you finish reading the member), and then resume the recatalog at a later time.


It's too late in your case, but in the future you should be sure to include your backup set catalogs somewhere in your backup scheme. You can't back up the catalog of any backup set currently in use, but that's why you're backing up to multiple backup sets, right? Maybe you would even want to have a backup set or Duplicate that's exclusively for catalogs and Retro.Config configuration files (we do this in addition to the catalog copies that are in the three backup sets we rotate among).


If the reason you're antsy is because you need to retrieve a file from a certain date, there is a way to skip ahead in the recataloging process, if you have a good idea when each tape member was being written to (we mark each tape member's label with the date and time that it was first written to, as listed in the "Members" tab in the backup set's configuration window). First, quit Retrospect and drag your partially rebuilt catalog to a different location so you don't lose all your current rebuilding work. Then, begin another catalog rebuild, except you will now declare as "Missing" all members of the backup set that are earlier than the one you want. Then, once your recatalog has gotten as far as you need it to, stop the recatalog process and ask Retrospect to save the partial session. Assuming that you got your dates right, you can then use this partial catalog to retrieve the file you're looking for.


After you're done with the restore, either trash this partial catalog or drag it to some other folder, and then drag the real partially-rebuilt catalog back to its normal location so you can continue your full rebuild.


(I can't recall if I ever tried to start a recatalog, skipped ahead by declaring members "Missing," and then later tried to "fill in" the missing parts of the catalog by setting those members as "Found." I don't think it will work, but if you want to experiment with this, be sure to do it on a copy of your partial catalog rebuild.)


Did you replace your AIT drive or was it just repaired? If you're getting read errors with a new drive, it may just be that there's a slight alignment difference between the new heads and the ones on the old drive, but there may also be problems with the tape member itself. Tapes do wear out and otherwise deteriorate over time, making it even more important to maintain multiple backup sets, and to perform periodic New Media backups before your backup set becomes too unwieldy, as yours seems to have gotten.

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