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Retro-Idiot with a (probably simple) question

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I just got Retrospect with my new OWC external hard-drive. So I know nothing about it. I read the instructions and checked here in the FAQs for an answer, but nothing. I think the terminology is just alien to me or something. I usually pick these things up fast.


My situation:


My regular Tower G4 was down for a few weeks, so I did all my work on my laptop. Then the desktop worked, then it didn't. Now I need to start backing up, but the initial step is puzzling me.


1. Never used Retrospect so there is no snapshot or previous files.

2. I just want Retrospect to check my laptop computer files against the desktop computer files and update any that have been changed. Leave everything else alone, but update the desktop files so all my work on the laptop is transferred. (Not all the files have been changed, so I don't want to do a complete new backup.)


Does that make sense how I'm explaining it? I'm having a difficult time understanding what that is in Retrospect terminology.


I appreciate any help. Thanks for taking the time!



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From the scenario you are describing, it's not a simple answer. Retrospect does have the ability to do a duplicate which will copy files from one drive to another in Finder format.


Matching is the scheme for comparing file attributes to determine whether files are identical. If one of the criteria has been changed, Retrospect will copy the file again. On a Mac, Retrospect looks at name, size, type, creator, creation date and time, modify date and time, and label.


Retrospect is not synchronization software. Files on the destination will be overwritten even if the date is newer then that of the source. A Retrospect Duplicate is a one-way operation.


If you know that there are no files on the desktop that are newer then those on the laptop, then it may be safe to duplicate the files from one drive to the other. If there is any question, you are better off duplicating the files to a new folder rather then overwriting the existing files.


See the following link for a tutorial on how to use duplication.



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While Retrospect is not a very good tool to use for synchronising, it is a great tool for backups.


It is quite sensible to (say) backup both your desktop and laptop to your firewire drive before you even start trying to synchronise. Then if anything goes wrong with either computer, or your attempt to synchronise goes horribly wrong, you have a backup.


The two basic ways of storing the backup are in Finder readable format (a Retrospect duplicate) or in a proprietary format (backup set). The advantage of the backup set is that you can keep backing up to the same backup set, only the new files get added in, and the old files are also retained until you choose to start over. (So if you find a file has got corrupted some time ago, you can still hopefully get back earlier good versions.)

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