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restore files from old snapshot, necessary to rebuild catalog from tapes


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I have a tape backup set on a retrospect server and am trying to restore the contents of a user's hard drive.

 

A recycle backup is preformed weekly, and there are 4 different sets (A-D). I would like to restore from a previous months tape, but the snapshot is from the most recent recycle backup (i.e. the date my C set is from early August, but the data that I want to restore is on tapes from July)

 

I cannot figure out how to get retrospect to see an earlier snapshot. When I choose Immediate > Restore, I have 3 choices, entire disk, files from a backup, search for files and folders. Any of these choices has the same problem, i.e. I cannot refer to a previous snapshot, only the most recent snapshot. Is my only option to rebuild a replacement catalog from tape?

 

Our weekly backup is approx 2tb (give or take), so if I try and rebuild I cannot run my normal backup while the drive is busy restoring the catalog...

 

Thanks in advance, this is the first time I have run into this problem, as usually I just need to restore from the most recent backup set...

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I cannot figure out how to get retrospect to see an earlier snapshot. When I choose Immediate > Restore, I have 3 choices, entire disk, files from a backup, search for files and folders. Any of these choices has the same problem, i.e. I cannot refer to a previous snapshot, only the most recent snapshot. Is my only option to rebuild a replacement catalog from tape?

No. The interface is a bit odd, but here's the process:

Immediate > Restore, Restore entire disk (or choose one of the other options)

Select a backup set, then click the "Add Snapshot" button. You will be presented with a list of all snapshots in that backup set. Select the desired snapshot, click "Retrieve", and that snapshot will be added to the catalog.

 

See the attached screen shot. Repost if this is not clear.

 

Russ

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The problem I have is that the snapshot that I want to use is dated before the most recent snapshot. In your screenshot, you have VXA Set A 9/2/2005. If I wanted to retrieve files prior to 9/2/2005, I can't access snapshots created prior to 9/2/2005.

 

When I click the "Add snapshot" button, I would have all the sessions on 9/2, but not before then. If I cancel out of the Snapshot retrieval dialog, then select "more..." I am given the option to rebuild or open. Open will select the current snapshot, which I don't need. Rebuild is what I'm trying to avoid....

 

If I am stuck doing a catalog rebuild, I will let the user know that I don't have time to restore their data....

 

Thanks again...

 

 

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The problem I have is that the snapshot that I want to use is dated before the most recent snapshot. In your screenshot, you have VXA Set A 9/2/2005. If I wanted to retrieve files prior to 9/2/2005, I can't access snapshots created prior to 9/2/2005.

Please re-read my post carefully and look at the screenshot, which shows snapshots of 8/21/2005, 8/11/2005, 8/16/2005 (all of which are dates that are prior to the "most recent" snapshot in that backup set of 9/2/2005). If I had scrolled down further in the bottom window, you would see snapshot dates all the way back to the creation of that backup set.

 

The only thing that will remove snapshots is if you do a "recycle" backup, which resets the contents of the backup set to empty and allows reuse of the tape. Your post indicated that you did monthly recycle backups, which means that you will not be able to go back before the date of the recycle backup. But you will have all snapshot dates from the recycle to the most recent backup.

 

Follow my directions and you can do what you want, unless you have deleted the data from the backup set by a recycle. If you did that, well, the backup data is lost because you deleted it.

 

Upon review of Dave's well-written post (below), perhaps you may not understand what a "recycle backup" does. From the Retrospect User's Guide:

Recycle Backups

When Retrospect performs a recycle backup, it first clears the catalog contents (if any) of the destination backup set, so it appears no files are backed up. Then it looks for the first media member of the backup set [color:red]and erases it[/color] if it is available. If the first member is not available, Retrospecct uses any available new or erased disk, tape, or CD/DVD appropriate for the backup set type. All selected files and folders are backed up to the backup set.

 

A recycle backup is preformed weekly, and there are 4 different sets (A-D). I would like to restore from a previous months tape, but the snapshot is from the most recent recycle backup (i.e. the date my C set is from early August, but the data that I want to restore is on tapes from July)

I understood your initial post to indicate that you had four tapes (A-D) for July, another four tapes (A-D) for August, etc., and that you did a weekly "recycle backup" to the July tapes, then a weekly "recycle backup" to the August tapes, etc., leading me to believe that you were "recycling" tapes from a previous year's July, August, etc. Perhaps I misread your initial post.

 

If you are recycling the July tapes each week in August, then your July data is gone for each tape once it is recycled. That's what recycle backups do.

 

There's no hope for recovering the "recycled" data if you recycled a tape with that data on it. Too bad if you didn't realize this. Next time, read the manual.

 

Russ

Edited by Guest
info re recycle backups
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[color:red]A recycle backup is preformed weekly[/color], and there are 4 different sets (A-D). I would like to restore from a previous months tape, but [color:red]the snapshot is from the most recent recycle backup[/color] (i.e. the date my C set is from early August, but the data that I want to restore is on tapes from July)

 

I'm not sure exactly what the highlighted text above implies. Once you recycle a Backup Set, all information is essentially erased, and you're starting from scratch. So you're never going to see a Snapshot from a date earlier then the time you Recycled the Set.

 

If your "C" set was recycled in early August, then there is no July data there. But if your backup methodology is not flawed, that data would reside on sets A and or B.

 

Dave

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I understood your initial post to indicate that you had four tapes (A-D) for July, another four tapes (A-D) for August, etc., and that you did a weekly "recycle backup" to the July tapes, then a weekly "recycle backup" to the August tapes, etc., leading me to believe that you were "recycling" tapes from a previous year's July, August, etc. Perhaps I misread your initial post.

 

If you are recycling the July tapes each week in August, then your July data is gone for each tape once it is recycled. That's what recycle backups do.

 

To follow up (in case any one else is reading this thread), I have not recycled the actual tapes, but the catalog associated with the tape based backup set has been reset. (as it should be during a recycle backup) So, it seems that the only way for me to get at the data on the old tapes is to rebuild the catalog from the tapes, which is unfortunate, as it is time consuming....

 

I realize now that I should burn the catalog to dvd before the catalog gets reset in a recycle backup, as having the tapes without the associated catalog is less than ideal.

 

Thanks Russ and Dave for taking the time to offer your help. I was hoping that there was a shortcut to allow me to get at the data without rebuilding the catalog from the original backup set media, but it appears that there isn't...

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Ok, thanks for the clarification. To answer your question, then, you correctly understand that you need to rebuild the catalog. Understand, though, if you are using the same names for the tapes and backup sets, then your "rebuild" of the catalog will trash the catalog info for the more recent tapes, forcing another rebuild to come back for the current tapes.

 

For your current problem, I suggest, to minimize the pain, that you save the current catalog away before rebuilding the catalog, so that you can move that catalog back.

 

For the future, though, I suggest that you do a "new media" backup rather than a "recycle" backup. That will create a new catalog for the new month's tapes, and will create an incrementing number in brackets (001), (002), etc., after the backup set name, and will automatically update all of your backup scripts, etc. See my screen shot for an example. As a benefit, it will also save the previous month's catalog (with the lower-number backup set) on the current month's backup set, which would allow you to restore that catalog from the current backup set, if needed.

 

Simply FYI, what we do is to compress the catalog only after we move to a new backup set by a "new media" backup. It's too time consuming at the end of the backup session to do the catalog compression (takes over an hour). I don't think that I have ever deleted a catalog, though. On today's disks, they really don't take up that much space, and it keeps them handy in case you need to restore from an old tape.

 

We don't reuse tapes, and it sounds like you don't either.

 

The purpose of "recycle backup" is to allow reuse of a tape. I've never heard of someone doing what you are doing, and I think you are fighting the program here.

 

Russ

Edited by Guest
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For your current problem, I suggest, to minimize the pain, that you save the current catalog away before rebuilding the catalog, so that you can move that catalog back.

 

good advise, too late to help me though, as I started rebuilding over the weekend, realized it was going to take even longer, so I cancelled out of it...And the Homer Simpson award goes to me :-)

 

For the future, though, I suggest that you do a "new media" backup rather than a "recycle" backup

 

I will read up on this, although your explanation is nice and succinct, it is late in the day for me, and my brain is refusing to accept new data :-(

 

I will rtfm ch8 tomorrow and hopefully it will make more sense than right now :-)

 

We don't reuse tapes, and it sounds like you don't either.

 

actually, I do resuse tapes, but it isn't a 1-1 scenario, i.e. everytime retro recycles, I don't necessarily use the same tapes. (In my case, catalog c doesn't equal backup tape set c, which is why I had tapes which weren't in sync with the catalog)

 

Anyway, thanks again for your insight. I will look into the new media backup option, as this sounds more likely to avoid this pain in the future....

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