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Retrospect - backup to disk?

1375 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: May 26, 2012 5:06 AM by Gary - former developer RSS
Gary - former developer Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)
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May 20, 2012 11:13 AM

My disk space needing backup has grown to the point where it is no longer practical to backup to tape (5 GB per tape) or ZIP-style disks . So I figured I would tell Retrospect (v4) to backup to some spare fixed disk space I have.


That simple concept has turned out to be quite a BIG deal. I can't sem to get it to happen.


Have you a better plan for backing up 300 GB (give or take) on 3 separate computers? Or perhaps you've solved the "backup to disk" option. If so, please

tell me about it.


I like Retrospect (having v3, v4 and v5 available) but if you suggest a change to another piece of software, I'm open to the idea.




  • Don Archibald Level 10 Level 10 (101,125 points)
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    May 20, 2012 12:04 PM (in response to Gary - former developer)

    In OS 9 I always did it manually.


    In my case I used either an external firewire drive and/or a second internal drive as the backup volume.


    I would create folders on the target (backup) volume to hold my backups. Then I would make aliases to those folders and place them in convenient places on my primary drive. After I was done working on a file or a project, I would just drop the file or project folder onto the alias for the appropriate backup folder, and the item(s) would be copied automatically to the backup disk. Simple, easy, no needing to mess with proprietary archive formats or setups. Easy to retrieve whenever needed.

  • Simon Teale Level 5 Level 5 (4,680 points)
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    May 24, 2012 12:04 PM (in response to Gary - former developer)

    Retrospect 5, create a new backup set, select the "Type" as "File". I'm sure it was the same for Retrospect v4 too.

    One point, the scheduler was hopeless in OS9, always failing to fire up, but not an issue if you can leave Retrospect constantly open (doing nothing until the scheduled backup time).

  • Simon Teale Level 5 Level 5 (4,680 points)
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    May 25, 2012 1:15 AM (in response to Gary - former developer)

    I never came across that limitation, I had the Desktop version, haggled for free from an Apple Reseller when I was buying a top-end Power Mac G4 with Cinema Displays.

    I'd used the Express versions before (v4 came free with a CD drive I think and then v5 free with a boxed Symmantec product) but I never used it to back up anything that big - I only had a 10GB drive in my iMac G3 before getting Desktop. Is it the Express version you have ?


    For System 7, OS8 and OS9 I used the Norton Backup - that came with Norton Utilities v2 box set. It was outstanding software in Classic Mac OS, as long as you were happy to backup to disk. It also had an issue with the scheduler - Norton Backup Scheduler extension - in OS9, it would operate fine if you left Norton Backup idle in the background. It also has a limitation on the size of the Backup "sets", can't remember how big they could grow to.


    Can you check your Retrospect licence ? I may have an old electronic Retrospect 5 Express manual that may mention this limit.

  • Hiroto Level 5 Level 5 (4,815 points)
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    May 25, 2012 9:16 AM (in response to Gary - former developer)



    In Retrospect 4.3, I can use an external FireWire disk as a removable disk.


    You may -

    1) prepare an external FireWire disk intitialized for use with OS9; and,

    2) create new backup set of which Storage Type is Removable Disks; and,

    3) mount the external FireWire disk to desktop; and,

    4) start a backup to the backup set created in 2) and select the external disk mounted in 3) when asked for a removable disk.


    Then Retrospect will initialized the selected external disk for its own use in the first time and start backup session to it. Thereafter you can use this external disk as a removable disk for backup.


    * Note that the disk initialized by Retrospect this way has customized directory and should not be fixed by Disk First Aid or DiskWarrior.


    * No partitioning is allowed in external disk. The whole disk is recognized as a single removable medium.


    This way, I'm using 320GB and 500GB hard disks as Retrospect's backup media.


    Hope this may help,


  • Simon Teale Level 5 Level 5 (4,680 points)
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    May 25, 2012 3:01 PM (in response to Gary - former developer)

    The 10 user licence must either relate to the WorkGroup version or the Server version.


    It definitely shouldn't have any file size limit, I definitely had 400GB+ single backup sets in Retrospect 5.


    So again, which VERSION do you have ? open retrospect, apple menu, "About Retrospect...". Hoping that' it's mab missing an update that would resolve this.


    Can't find any options in Preferences or Script options that may limit the size.


    OK, I had a look through the manual too. For AFP-mounted volumes, the maximum file size is 2GB before OSX 10.3. So either get a bigger internal disk or upgrade the OS. This restriction is also in Retrospect 6 so I suspet it's an AFP issue.


    Ironically, after finding it in the manual, a google search for "retrospect 5 os9 2GB" finds it too.


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