Retrospect 7.5 Imaging Backup Software

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by skbaltimore, Jun 2, 2006.

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  1. skbaltimore

    skbaltimore Registered Member

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    Without mentioning any other products, let me just say this about my first 24 hours of experience with Retrospect 7.5 software: their trial period is 30 days with EVERY FEATURE turned on, AND FULL, TOLL FREE TECH SUPPORT! The product is not perfect, but at least when problems arise, the company -- EMC -- responds. I've already spoken directly with their very capable tech support folks, and now at least have a viable workaround, though not a total fix, for a problem involving the inability to create the disaster recovery iso with either of my two DVD-Writers.

    Retrospect 7.5 doesn't recognize my BenQ drive at all -- at least not natively -- and while it recognized my Pioneer 107D, there was a problem reading the information from the XP SP2 installation CD. I called, got registered, and got the solution (to temporarily make the Pioneer DVD drive unknown to the program, which, somehow, allowed it to then successfully read the XP SP2 disc). What a difference, compared to other companies who have you jump through a bunch of hoops and run around in endless circles. The price is $89, which is higher than some programs, but for peace of mind, and top tier tech support, it just might be worth it for folks looking for a reliable, decent product.

    http://www.emcinsignia.com/

    Check it out if you're looking for a well-designed imaging backup/disaster recovery program.

    Notes: A couple of things I left out -- a full system/programs backup (5.6GB), with full verification on, took approximately 18 minutes. And the restore took about 12, almost all of it done in Windows; the program only rebooted to finalize the system restore, with a screen that popped up as soon as the reboot was over and I was back to my desktop, and it only ran for a couple of seconds, confirming that the restore was successful. So the total time was about the same as I'd been getting using another software program. Running the program under its "media verification", vs. full file-to-file verification took about 11 minutes for a full backup. Aside from time, the backup was 3.5GB in size, compared to another program in which the size was 2GB. There's no option to choose different levels of compression, but there were 2 levels of verification -- full and media (which compares the files to MD5).

    The Disaster Recovery component is somewhat complicated, but not too bad. It requires the original OS CD, and it grabs the open drivers it can get in Windows which might or might not eliminate the need to have the Raid/SCSI drivers ready for the emergency recovery restore process. It gives instructions to be printed via notepad while still in Windows (it appears after the disaster recovery disc is complete), which takes up about 4 pages double spaced. Not only did I originally have problems with making the recovery CD iso, I had trouble burning a bootable ISO using Nero Express. I mentioned that to the tech support guy (Andrew) and he recommended a simple, easy to use freeware program called BurnCDCCC, which I tried and it definitely made a bootable ISO. Now THIS feels like progress -- two problems solved in one 5 minute phone call. Unbelievable!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2006
  2. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    Looking at the praises the people from some well know companys have given it, sounds very reassuring. Even though the price is higher than others, if it's more reliable, then that's the most important thing !

    It would be nice to hear other members views/experiences of it, maybe they could try it out, if they havn't, and post back with their results.


    StevieO
     
  3. skbaltimore

    skbaltimore Registered Member

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    Yes. I'd always used and been very satisfied with Power Quest's Drive Image 2002. All of a sudden, when I got my new computer, it didn't work. (Old OS was W2K, new OS is XP Pro. I have SATA HDD's now, though, and that might have something to do with it.) I even tried Drive Image7, which I'd gotten a while ago but never used. And that didn't work either. So I began from scratch looking for a replacement. The only ones I knew about were Ghost and True Image. I'd never heard of Retrospect until I read about it by another member in another thread. It's a little early to tell, but I definitely come across as very professional, unlike some other companies, so it doesn't surprise me that they'd be well thought of in the industry. (I think they've been involved more with companies than end users.) So far, I'd rate them very high, esepcially considering the full uncrippled 30 day trial which includes free, toll-free tech support. I mean, man...you really can't top that. That alone is an A+ in my book!

    I'm getting ready to do a Disaster Rescue Recovery, using the bootable iso disc I made; I'll report back later on.
     
  4. skbaltimore

    skbaltimore Registered Member

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    Well, the Disaster Recovery from the disc was just that -- a disaster. Before I got the 3 BSOD's -- on 3 consecutive tries -- I was at least able to determine that the infamous VIA Raid controller that setup needs to recognize the SATA HDDs did make it onto the CD. But that was the highlight. Shortly after everything was loaded and the trimmed down version of XP startup began, it crashed. Fortunately, it didn't do anything to the system, because it hadn't gotten that far. The stop error talked about possible new hardware, and I tried disconnecting the Pioneer DVD (since it had to be made "unknown" during the process of making the recovery CD, so I thought maybe that's what was messing it up) but that didn't help. Back to the drawing board on this one.
     
  5. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Skbaltimore,
    Well as long the software works and the support is good, everybody is happy.
    My choice was Acronis True Image and I'm even more lucky than you, because I had NO PROBLEMS at all. Not even with burning my .iso-file on a CD with Nero to create the Acronis Bootable Rescue CD and the CD worked as good as ATI itself.
    I tested ATI in the worst situations, I could think of on my computer and ATI recovered each time my harddisks.
    You are happy with Retrospect 7.5, I'm happy with Acronis True Image 9.0 as long it lasts.
    One day both will fail like any other software, I have no illusions about that.
    Software is created by people and people make mistakes, that's why you get another version sooner or later. :)
     
  6. skbaltimore

    skbaltimore Registered Member

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    Well, since this thread is only about Retrospect 7.5, let's see how long the above thread remains. (Especially since the thread mentioning this product was removed from the Acronis forum for that same reasoning.)
     
  7. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    You are correct skbaltimore. Everyone posting in this thread stay on the topic of Retrospect 7.5 Imaging Backup Software.
     
  8. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    OT post by the original poster removed. Let's keep it cool here please.
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Just to be precise, Retrospect isn't an imaging program it is a backup program. In many ways they are similiar, but also very different. I used Retrospect from versions 6 thru version 7.0 It was a good backup program, but somewhat slow, and I never considered the Disaster Recovery anything but a disaster. I used it on the basis that somehow I'd get windows running, install retrospect and then use it to bring myself current. Also Dantz is very proud of it based on price. With the advent of archiving in one of my other favorite programs, hosted here, I abandoned Retrospect.

    Pete
     
  10. skbaltimore

    skbaltimore Registered Member

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    Well, I'm not going to battle over semantics, but unless I'm mistaken, the only way Retrospect can accomplish it's full system backup while Windows is still running IS by making use of some form of "imaging", otherwise the Windows system files would be inaccessible. (They refer to the file created during the backup process as a "snapshot", but that's just another word for "image", is it not?) And traditional back up programs could never capture the system files, so their main function was for data backup that didn't involve system files. The beauty of all the years I'd created Power Quest Image files was that if/when my system crashed or got hosed by some MS Update from Hell, all I had to do was pop in the PQDI floppy, navigate to a saved image file, and I was right back in business as if nothing has ever happened. And Retrospect makes total backups of everything, just like Drive Image used to. Hence, the subject title, ...Imaging Backup Software.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2006
  11. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Here are a few threads I recall where I or other Retrospect users expressed views on Retrospect:
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=759447#post759447
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=732534#post732534
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=635129#post635129
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=633307#post633307
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=629789#post629789
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=614936#post614936
    I use Retrospect nightly on 4 desktops and 2 laptops in my home, have had no problems and, yes, I have successfully fully restored 2 of the 6 machines fully and recovered specific files numerous times on most of them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2006
  12. skbaltimore

    skbaltimore Registered Member

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    Thanks, crofttk. I owe ya one. It was your post that got me looking in Retrospect's direction in the first place. And I also agree with what you said about not putting all your eggs in one basket. At some point -- if another program gets its act together, I'm not averse to having two total restore programs in my arsenal. What I object to is any company or program that blasts its customers with bug-riddled programs and unresponsive tech support. I think that's just common sense. By the same token, anyone who wants that -- be my guest.
     
  13. diginsight

    diginsight Security Expert

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    Nice to see an update to Retrospect 7.5. Genie Backup Manager has also just been updated to version 7.0. I'll try to find some time to test both with RollBack Rx Professional and finally decide which one I'm going to use.
     
  14. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Diginsight

    I suspect you might see the same thing I did with Retrospect and Rollback. BSOD's. I think the reason might have to do with the Open File API retrospect uses conflicting with the driver that interfaces between Windows file structure and the Rollback index system.

    Pete
     
  15. diginsight

    diginsight Security Expert

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    Hi Peter,

    I saw those post a while ago, but I couldn't continu testing because of my busy schedule. With new releases of both Retrospect and Rollback I hope this might have been solved. I was under the impression that Retrospect uses St. Bernhard Open File Manager. The latest version of this OFM is v9.5 (published January 13, 2006), while the previous version was v9.401 (published September 14, 2005). The Release Notes include a lot of fixes. But according to The Backup Book Retrospect uses it's own Open File Manager:

    Most important feature of Retrospect for me is backup rentention, which wasn't available in Genie Backup Manager v6.0. GBM v7.0 doesn't have a PDF user guide available, so I can't verify if they offer this feature in the new version. GBM uses it's own Open File Manager named File Access Manager.

    So there are many solutions:
    • Evaluate Retrospect 7.5 with the latest version of Rollback
    • Evaluate Retrospect 7.5 without OFM and use St. Bernhard OFM instead
    • Evaluate Retrospect 7.5 without OFM and use VSS instead
    • Evaluate Genie Backup Manager v7.0

    I don't have time to test all the scenario's. So I will probably test Retrospect 7.5 with Rollback and GBM 7.0 with Rollback and afterwards decide which one to implement on my home system.

    This is getting ridiculous. I'm spending more time evaluating my home disaster recovery solutions then on the $150.000 NetApp NAS and Veritas NetBackup solution at work :D
     
  16. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Why is thread titled "Retrospect Imaging Backup Software"?
    Last I heard, Retrospect was still a file-based backup, not an image backup
     
  17. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Because most people aren't as picky as you, Howard. :p I think skbaltimore has a pretty good idea what Retrospect does and doesn't do.
     
  18. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    It's a significant difference.

    I used Retrospect until Feb 2006.
    I now use both Ghost 10 and True Image 9.

    File based backup is just too slow.
    Although, AFAIK, Retrospect is the best (functionally) of the file-based lot.
     
  19. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    I totally agree, Howard. It's the only file-based backup program I have anything to do with nowadays.

    My reference was to how OP composed the title. Just for the record, my comment was not in the least intended to be derogatory and I'm sure OP can answer for themself if they care to.

    Like my momma always told me: "Picky is as picky does."
     
  20. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    In addition to the speed issue, which is significant, in the past two weeks, I have discovered some interesting shortcomings of file-based backups, even of file restores from image-based backups.

    One issue is raised in (only for delelopers) http://www.standards.com/index.html?CreateFileFailure. This affects both Ghost 10 and TI when restoring files from an image backup.

    Retrospect, at least in version 6.5, did not have those problems.
     
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