Backup OS X files to SMB server: Retrospect?

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John Faughnan

Nov 2, 2002, 7:10:15 PM11/2/02
I need to do my OS X backups over the network to an SMB server. I've
tried various approaches, of which TRI-BACKUP may be the best so far.
My suspicion is that problems with legal file characters (? is legal
in a mac file name, but not in an SMB name), permissions, etc. will
mean that the only robust way to backup to an SMB server will be to
use a backup technology that creates a single stream on the SMB server
(one file, preferably with no need for the resource fork). So the
single file would contain all the Mac files, permissions, resource
forks, relationships, data, etc.

There are not many Mac applications that allow this. I think
Retrospect may be the only one. At $150 it's not cheap, and there's no
trial version.

My questions are:

1. Does Retrospect really work with OS X? (common X backup problems
include permissions problems, need to back up as superuser, files
being locked by the OS, and resource forks).

2. Would Retrospect create a single file on my SMB server? Would it be
able to do a restore if the resource fork were missing?

3. Is there a cheap back door but legal way to buy Retrospect (ex: buy
an external drive that bundles Retrospect, hence get it "free")?

4. If I did my entire drive this way, I assume to do a restore I'd
have to first install OS X to mount the SMB share, then do the
restore. Would that work?

5. Are there REALLY no alternatives (for what I want to do)?



PS. I tried creating an image then putting it on an SMB share then
mounting it. Doesn't work.

[meta: 021102, jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, OS X, backup solutions, SMB,
Windows, Windows 2000]

John Faughnan

Nov 3, 2002, 10:07:46 PM11/3/02
It turns out I can buy Retrospect for $100 (I have an old license),
but it keeps a LOT of data in its Resource fork. It's not ideally
suited to living on an SMB store.

I ended up using Disk Copy to create a 350MB HFS+ disk image. I store
it in Users/Shared and use the Finder to copy to it (I might also try
using Ditto). I copy the image file to my SMB server and store it
there. In testing I found that OS X doesn't need the image file's
resource fork, it will mount the file without blinking if the resource
fork is missing.

This works better than one would think. A lot of my backups don't
change, so I bundle the non-changing stuff into one "chunk".

For the stuff that changes I may end up using TRI-BACKUP in its
non-compressed mode to a persistent 350MB store. I may enlarge the
iDisk backup store as well. I'll copy the store to my server once a
week or so. Eventually I'll write a script to do that.

The material on the server is backed up to tape and stored off-site.

I also use Apples Backup software to copy core material (keychain etc)
to their horrid .Mac server (when it's working, which is about half
the time).

In addition to the above my photos get special treatment. Once an
iBook album exceeds about 380MB I export the photos, and copy the
album on an image. The image and the exported photos, stripped of
their resource forks, go to a CD I burn on a PC. That's filed in my
photo album.

To restore data I must copy the image file back to my iBook, mount it,
then restore from there.

So I'm pretty covered for major data loss. A system restore will be
somewhat tedious, but I can live with that.

john (John Faughnan) wrote in message news:<>...

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