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backup to optical media

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this was an issue with the betas: backup to optical media not supported until users do some modifications to a .plist-file. Since this is neither a "feature incomplete" nor a "known issue" (and mentioned in the quickstart-guide), does this mean it is supposed to stay that way? Since the engine is active 100% of the time I would potentially surrender my drives to the mercy of Retrospect, drives I DO need for other stuff besides backing up. At the same time I need to back to dvd…


On a related issue: does the current release mean that you want to greatly enhance the beta-tester's numbers ;-) ?


regards, Rolf

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Optical Drive compatibility is listed in the 8.0 Read Me document. Retrospect Engine is always running. When that engine starts, it loads an optical driver. Loading of that driver can cause a conflict with other software that needs access to the drive. Retrospect 6.1 only loaded a driver when you launched the software, so it wasn't a problem. 8.0's engine is always running.


In general small portable hard disks are really cheap now. I saw a 320 GB Iomega portable drive for only $80 on Amazon this week. Using that type of device is more reliable, and requires less user interaction. I understand the need to use optical drives, but the backup industry really is moving toward hard disk as the safest and best cost option.


Optical device support is deactivated by default in Retrospect 8.0, because Retrospect 8.0 will lock out all other applications from being able to use the optical drive. To use an optical drive with Retrospect 8.0, you will need to open the following file with a text editor (such as TextEdit):


/Library/Application Support/Retrospect/RetrospectEngine.bundle/Contents/MacOS/retro.ini


Change the DisableOpticalDrivers setting from 1 to 0. Save the retro.ini file and use the Retrospect System Preferences pane to stop and restart the Retrospect engine. Note that Retrospect may not be able to see an optical drive that has been captured for use by VMware Fusion or Parallels.



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first of all, being no native-speaker of English I might have expressed myself unclear.


remembering the beta-period, when this popped up, I personally see this as bug turned feature… I have difficulties to imagine that it is impossible for emc to find a solution where the engine only loads a driver when it needs it. I seek clarification on this: will this stay as it is: support for optical media off by default and if on (likely) retrospect taking over my optical drives? Or can we expect efforts to overcome this problem (by loading a driver only when needed – and the drive is not in use by other programs)?


So your solution: forget dvds/optical media, get (new) hardrive is not making me really happy. Not being able to use an optical drive means I would not be able - without using third-party solutions - to use backup to disk-to external media. Most likely I'd need to burn to external media manually, and any not-automated backup solution is bad by default. On the other hand: previously a full backup- to dvd (4.4 GB) meant about 60-70 DVDs. Still, I will NOT get a tape-drive for my backup-needs. I live in Germany and prices differ from US, so the 80$ need not apply. In addition: in my – painful – personal experience, cheap HD fail sooner than more expensive ones. HD-loss means instant loss of everything on the HD (full backup)-data-recovery is not an option. Yes DVD-media will fail over time, but 5 years should be expected from them. I have just cleared out old backups from 2001-2007 (done with Retrospect of course, I have been using it since ca. 1997).





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I would like to "back up" this request. The simplest and cheapest way to make off-site backups is by burning DVDs. DVDs are more compact and 100 times cheaper than even the cheapest portable hard drives, and they probably are more reliable too if stored correctly. Certainly I have retrieved important data from DVDs that have been lying around for years.


I do not understand why the Retrospect engine needs to reserve the optical drive at all times.

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  • 3 weeks later...
DVDs are more compact and 100 times cheaper than even the cheapest portable hard drives...


I'm all for having the option to backup or archive onto less volatile media such as optical discs, but on what planet is the above true today?



Taiyo Yuden (medium quality, archival quality is much more expensive) DVD+R; 200 for $58.00 = 940 Gb/$58 = 6.1¢/Gigabyte




Hitachi 1,000 GB hard drive for $78.00 = 7.8¢/Gigabyte




So at this point in history a typical consumer hard drive is less then two cents per Gigabyte more expensive then typical consumer grade optical media.


And compact? It would take two of these to equal a single 3.5" HD:




Not even close.

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