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(Almost completely) Positive Experience Retro8 Total Disk Restore


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-Being dumb enough to know enough to meddle with the OS in ways I shouldn't, I hosed OS 10.5.8 on my MacBook Pro 4,1. Wouldn't boot at all. Disk Warrior said the directory was un-repairable. Ouch.

-But, thankfully, just the night before, I did a smart incremental in Retro 8.1.626. Nothing had been done since save some surfing history that could be lost.

-Did and Archive and Reinstall, preserving users and network settings. Oddly, my user account came up in the "previous systems" folder, which I've never seen before. Due to some permission issue, my user account data was unavailable to me. But at least it would boot now.

-In working to try to fix the internal hard disk, I had been in the root user GUI to get around permissions issues (still no luck fixing). Gave up fixing. Decided to see if Retro 8 would do the most important thing: Get data back.

-Attached the USB HD that had the backup on it. Attached a blank USB HD to be the target of the backup, running Retro 8 off the partly hosed but bootable internal drive, thus leaving the hosed internal drive intact for now. Ran Retro 8 to do a total disk restore targeted onto the other external HD. It seemed to run fine. Speed was averaging 512 MB/sec through USB2, and the backup data was encryped with SimpleCrypt and compressed in software. (It doesn't seem to verify restores? Why?)

-But... that backup would not boot. Turns out, I never knew till I played with it more, that in the root user GUI, you can click OFF the "Ignore permissions on this disk", but that will not "stick." External HD's in the root GUI always revert to having permissions ignored, no matter what you try in the GUI. Retro 8's log of that restore showed a warning that "ignore permissions" was in effect on the target volume.

-So I ran the total disk restore script again, this time from an admin account on my internal HD, not the root account GUI. Checking OFF the "ignore permissions on this volume" "stuck" on the external HD that was the target of the restore.

-The restore worked fine! An hour of "playing" while booted off the external HD that was the restore "target" seems like everything is exactly as-was... save one thing. All of my "Little Snitch" rules got lost. (My, you forget how many items on the computer phone out.)

-Lesson (not in the manual...I know Russ, no manual yet!) is to not run a "restore" to an external HD when in the root GUI.

-What I will try in a day or so, presuming that this restore to the external HD continues to work as-was, is to make the external HD the source of this computer's ongoing backup set, and do a smart incremental of it, then immediately try to do a 'total disk restore' onto my semi-hosed internal hard disk, while booted off that semi-hosed hard disk. Will try to see if Retro 8 will allow and/or do a total disk restore onto the HD that it and the OS is running on. If not, can use SuperDuper to clone the external drive onto the internal drive, and all should be well.

-Will report back. Retro 8 has been extraordinarily frustrating for me in several ways, most importantly with glue-slow backing up of Windows clients. But at least here is one bit of good news.


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