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Evaluating Retrospect 6.5 professional


Zusan

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Hi,

 

after I spent some time testing Retrospect 6.5 professional and trying to find some help from Dantz-support I have come to a result, which I would like to post here for your information:

 

positive points:

- good overview over all backuped files and dirs

- very flexible scripting

- extensive reporting

 

negative points:

- it is very complicated to save a selection, which is spanned over more than one volume (create one selector for each volume and then combine them in a new selector)

- although you choose "no files" all files of a partition will be scanned when you click on "selecting" to select the files to backup. This takes about 5 mins for a standalone PC (3 partitions, about 450.000 files, about 120GB)

- every media in my Pioneer DVR-105 is reformatted again before use, which takes about 1 hour per 4.6GB-media. Why is the media not just deleted which takes only about 5 minutes?

- no product-support or help in the forum even in presales

- prices are very high and there is no benefit in buying online, as the products are about 20% cheaper at any reseller in germany than they are from the Dantz-online-shop. BTW, I consider it to be a bit strange, that you can freely choose which currency you want without changing the amount you have to pay. 1 USD is just currently not 1 Euro

 

plus a couple of bugs:

- when selecting the "hierarchical view" under "preview" there is no way to sort by size. When selecting "sorted view" there is no information about the file path of the files

- you can only see either the "attributes" OR the "modified"-info under "preview"

- a manual selection which you saved in a selector marks all files and dirs of a single volume, when you choose this selector in another backup job. In the case that there is any dir on another volume with the same name as one of the dirs saved in the selector this dir will be selected as well, although you never marked it

- the path for saving the backup-sets is not saved and has to be selected again for every save-operation of a backup-set. It even cant be configured

- a manual selection in an immediate backup is lost every time you leave the backup-subwindow (e.g. due to an error, program-lockup or cancel-operation)

 

After this is what I found out in only one week, I expected much more from a company which claims to be a leader in backup-software than an overpriced, buggy product with no support. All the negative points are no problems for other products in the backup-software-business, so there is really no need to waste the big potential of Retrospect (scripting, versioning, etc.) by not making proper quality control.

 

Regards,

 

Zusan

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Hi

 

 

 

Trial users are entitled to contact Dantz support by phone or email. Email has a slower response time so phone support is probably best for you.

 

 

 

As stated in the forum welcom message the forum is community based support. It is not Dantz Technical Support. Dantz makes every effort to post here regularly. Sometimes post volume makes that difficult.

 

 

 

Disks are long erased by default as a data protection measure. This is a very unpopular feature but we believe it is necessary in order to provide reliable backups.

 

 

 

Retrospect scans the entire source volume for every backup regardless of the selector that is chosen. Otherwise Retrospect would not be able to build snapshots for the volume.

 

 

 

Agreed the selector creation is a bit complex. However, selectors are designed to give you very precise control over which files are selected for backup. Dantz could simplify the process but felxibity would likely suffer.

 

 

 

Hope that helps

 

Nate

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Hi,

 

> Trial users are entitled to contact Dantz support by phone or email. Email has a slower response time so phone support is probably best for you.

Contacting support by mail is what I did, but I didnt receive any real solutions, just workarounds for only very few of the points I mentioned.

 

> Disks are long erased by default as a data protection measure. This is a very unpopular feature but we believe it is necessary in order to provide reliable backups.

Am I wrong or is there not just by default a long erase of the disks? I havent found any setting to change this. So why doesnt Dantz leave this up to the user/administrator?

 

> Retrospect scans the entire source volume for every backup regardless of the selector that is chosen. Otherwise Retrospect would not be able to build snapshots for the volume.

Ok, but the snapshots are necessary, when you do backup not when you prepare it. So why shouldnt the hd be scanned at the start of the backup process? A backup-process is intended to run unattended anyway.

 

> Agreed the selector creation is a bit complex. However, selectors are designed to give you very precise control over which files are selected for backup. Dantz could simplify the process but felxibity would likely suffer.

The complexity of the selectors is their big advantage, so this is not the problem. The problem is that selectors cant store more than one volume...

 

But thanks for the feedback anyway.

 

Regards,

 

Zusan

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Hi

 

 

 

The truth is that optical media is not as reliable as other backup media types. You will see that the majority of device compatibility and media errors reported on the forums are CD and DVD media. There is a big enough risk of data loss with these disks that short erases are not made available. This is not popular of course but that is the decision Dantz has made.

 

 

 

Without a disk scan prior to backup there is no way to find out what is on the drive. Retrospect needs to build a file list in order to determine which files are to be backed up. Unless you make manual file selections for backup Retrospect does not scan the disk untill after you actually start the backup. Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly?

 

 

 

Re-reading your post It sounds like you want to apply specific rules to multiple volumes is that correct? If you build the selector by hand you can do that. If you select files in the browser window and then select "save highlights" you will have to set up the selectors like you mentioned. We're working on making this better.

 

 

 

Thanks

 

nate

 

 

 

Thanks

 

Nate

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Hi,

 

according to your statement concerning the disk-scanning, I suppose you do not mean "Unless you make manual file...", but "If you make manual file..."? But making a manual file selection is exactly what I did and the disk was always scanned immediately after I clicked on "Preview", because I have to select a selector before. Once Iam in the browser, selected some files and have the "manual selection" under "selector" than the disk is not scanned again, but I just dont get there without scanning it before.

According to the last point you mentioned I indeed did just as you said and selected the files to backup from three volumes and clicked on "save highlights", which only saved the selection of the current volume. What I want to do is make a manual selection of more than one volume and then save this selection in whatever way. The only way I found out was the one I described. A bit complicated compared to other backup-products, where you just save your selection, also over more than one volume, with just one click.

 

Regards,

 

Zusan

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Hi

 

Thanks for the explanation. You are right the disk will be scanned when you make manual selections in the preview window. This scan does not occur once you start using selectors. Agreed, the file selection could handle multiple volumes better. Were working on that....

 

Thanks

Nate

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