Automated Operations

You learned how to set up and execute Retrospect’s immediate backup, duplicate, archive, restore, and transfer operations in Immediate Operations. This chapter shows you how to automate the process by using scripts, including Retrospect’s unique Proactive Backup scripts.

Overview of Scripts

One of the advantages of Retrospect is its ability to automate repetitive tasks. By creating scripts, you can automate all of the operations described in Immediate Operations, namely:

  • Backing up
  • Duplicating
  • Archiving
  • Restoring
  • Transferring Backup Sets
  • Transferring Snapshots

In addition, Proactive Backup allows you to create intelligent scripts that continually reprioritize which computers get backed up next based on criteria you specify. You can also create Groom scripts and Verification scripts to automate these Backup Set management tasks.

Scripts are an important part of developing a backup strategy. For more information on developing an effective backup strategy, see Backup Strategies.

Automated operations include all of the same information as immediate operations: a source, destination, file selection criteria, and other options. Scripts also include a scheduling component that controls when these automated operations are executed.

Retrospect allows you to schedule scripts to run automatically and unattended so you can choose operating times that are most convenient for you and for other users. Scheduling scripted backups ensures data is backed up consistently—all you have to do is make sure the backup computer is turned on and the proper media is in the backup device. When it is time for a script to execute, Retrospect automatically launches and executes the operation. If there are no other scripts scheduled to run in Retrospect’s look ahead time, and you selected “shut down when done” in the Startup Preferences, Retrospect shuts down when the operation is complete.

Automated Operations covers creating scripts, scheduling scripts, executing scripts, and working with Proactive Backup Scripts. For information on managing and maintaining scripts, see Maintaining Scripts.

Creating Scripts

There are two ways to create scripts in Retrospect:

Using these methods you can create any type of script, including backup, duplicate, archive, restore, and transfer.

Proactive Backup Scripts are discussed separately. See Proactive Backup Scripts for more information.

Scheduling an Immediate Operation

All the immediate operation summary windows (Backup, Duplicate, Archive, Restore, and Transfer) include a Schedule button that allows you to create a script based on that operation.

For backup, duplicate, and restore operations, you must be in Advanced Mode to access the Schedule button.

To Schedule an Immediate Operation:

  1. Click the Schedule button from an immediate operation summary window.
  2. Enter a name for the script and click OK.
  3. Verify or modify the information in the script summary window.
  4. Click the Schedule button and schedule the script as described in Scheduling Scripts.
  5. When all the information in the script summary window is correct, click the Save icon
  6. 125 in the toolbar.

You can also create backup scripts from the immediate Backup Wizard and duplicate scripts from the immediate Duplicate Wizard. See Backing Up in Wizard Mode and Duplicating in Wizard Mode for more information.

Using the Manage Scripts Command

You can use the Manage Scripts command to create a new script or to modify the settings of an existing script.

For more information on how to modify existing scripts, see Maintaining Scripts. For information on creating new scripts, see the following sections:

For information about Restore Database and Restore Mailbox scripts, see SQL Server Agent and Exchange Server Agent.

Scripted Backup

There are two ways to set up a scripted backup using the Manage Scripts command. You can use Retrospect’s Backup Wizard, which walks you through the process of setting up a scripted backup, or you can set up the backup on your own in Advanced Mode. Advanced Mode has options that are unavailable in the Wizard. For more information see:

Creating a Backup Script in Wizard Mode

The Backup Wizard provides an easy way to set up and edit scripted backup operations. To start the Backup Wizard, click Automate from the navigation bar, then click the Manage Scripts button. The script editing window displays.

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Click the New button to create a new script. The script selection window displays.

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Select Backup from the list and click OK. In the script naming window, enter a name and click OK. The Backup Wizard welcome screen displays.

If the Advanced Mode Backup Script summary screen displays, click Switch to Wizard Mode.

Welcome Screen

If this is the first time you are setting up a scripted backup, click Next to continue set up using the Backup Wizard. To set up the backup in Advanced Mode, click Switch to Advanced Mode. See Creating a Backup Script in Advanced Mode for more information.

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If you have previously set up a scripted backup, the welcome screen displays your current settings. See Editing the Backup Script Settings for more information.

Choosing What to Back Up

Click the option button that describes what you want to back up.

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  • Documents and Settings, (only available for Retrospect Desktop) backs up the Documents and Settings folder, which contains every users’ folders, including My Documents, Pictures, Music, Favorites, and Desktop.
  • My Computer, backs up the local computer.
  • My Computer and computers on my network, backs up the local computer and all logged in Retrospect Client computers.
  • Only computers on my network, (not available for Retrospect Desktop) backs up all logged in Retrospect Client computers.
  • Let me choose, allows you to select the drives and folders you want to back up from the local computer, logged in Retrospect Client computers, and network volumes.

Adding Retrospect Clients

If you chose to back up “My Computer and computers on my network” or “Only computers on my network”, Retrospect will back up data from all Retrospect Client computers logged in at the time of the backup.

To log in Retrospect Clients now, click Add Clients. For more information on installing, configuring, and logging in clients, see Networked Clients.

Choosing Specific Drives or Folders

If you selected “Let me choose” in the “What do you want to back up?” screen, you can now select one or more specific drives or folders to back up.

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Click a drive or folder to select it. This deselects any other selected drive or folder. Press and hold the Control key and click a drive or folder to select it without deselecting any current selections. Press and hold the Shift key and click a drive or folder to select all drives and folders listed from the current selection to the Shift-clicked selection.

You can select drives and folders from any of the containers listed in this screen: My Computer, My Network Places, Backup Clients, and Source Groups. You can also select one or more of the containers themselves to back up everything inside.

  • To add Retrospect Clients to the Backup Clients container, click Add Clients.
  • To add network volumes to the My Network Places container, click Add Network Volumes.
  • To display the folders on a drive, select the drive and click Show Folders.

See Containers for more information.

Choosing File Types to Back Up

Select the check box for each type of file you want to back up. If you select all the check boxes, all files (except cache files) will be backed up.

Some of these options function differently with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux computers. The descriptions below focus on how these options interact with Windows computers. To learn how these options work with other operating systems, see Built-in Selectors.

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  • Documents and Settings backs up files in the Documents and Settings folder, which contains every user’s My Documents, Favorites, Application Data, and Desktop folders.
  • For Windows 9x systems, the “Documents and Settings” backs up the “Profiles” folder.
  • Operating System and Applications backs up system files, including the Windows folder and the System State. Also backs up application files, including everything in the Program Files folder, as well as files with known application extensions (like .exe and .dll) anywhere on the source.
  • If you choose not to back up “Operating System and Applications”, Retrospect modifies some of its default execution options. Retrospect turns off both the “Back Up System State” and “Back up folder security information for workstations” options. See Windows System Options and Windows Security Options for more information.
  • Pictures backs up all files in the My Documents\My Pictures folder for all users. It also backs up files with common picture file extensions (.jpg, for example) anywhere on the source, except the Windows and Program Files folders.
  • Music backs up all files in the My Documents\My Music folder for all users. It also backs up files with common music file extensions (.wma and .mp3, for example) anywhere on the source, except the Windows and Program Files folders.
  • Movies backs up all files in the My Documents\My Videos folder for all users. It also backs up files with common movie file extensions (.mov, for example) anywhere on the source, except the Windows and Program Files folders.
  • Office Documents backs up Microsoft Office Documents, Microsoft Outlook data, and Adobe PDF files anywhere on the source, except the Windows and Program Files folders.
  • All Other Files, backs up all files not selected by the other options.
  • The Documents and Settings and Operating System and Applications options are not available if you are backing up a folder.

Choosing the Backup Destination Device

You can store your backup on any device supported by Retrospect, including tape drives, CD/DVD drives, and hard drives. Select one of the following options:

  • Tape, CD, DVD
  • Hard drives on the local computer or on the network

For Tape/CD/DVD, Retrospect displays the available devices. Select the device to which you want to back up and click Next.

For hard drives, Retrospect displays local hard drives and any network volumes listed in the My Network Places container.

To add a network volume, double-click My Network Places, then navigate to the volume you want to add, select it, and click the Add button. If the volume requires it, enter a login and password and click OK.

If you set up Retrospect to log in as a user with privileges to the network volume, you will not be prompted to log in again. See Security Preferences for more information.

To specify a folder on a local drive or network volume, select it, then click the Browse button. Navigate to the folder you want to back up to and click OK.

Choosing Whether to Create a Schedule

You can either create a script with a schedule or without a schedule.

If you choose not to create a schedule, you can still run the script manually at any time. See Manual Script Execution for more information. You can also add a schedule to the script later.

Make a selection and click Next.

If you are editing a script that already has a schedule, an additional option, “Keep the existing schedule”, is also available.

Choosing When to Back Up

Select the check box for each day you want the backup script to run and specify a time for the script to start.

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Although Retrospect can back up computers while they are in use, it is a good idea to run scripts after normal business hours when computers tend to be less busy.

Specifying One or Multiple Backup Sets

Choose whether you always want to back up to one Backup Set, or want to use multiple Backup Sets.

Backing up to multiple Backup Sets increases the level of protection. Since each set contains a complete backup of your data, you have a built-in safety net in case of media failure. In addition, with multiple Backup Sets, you can move the media for a Backup Set that is not currently in use to an offsite location for protection against theft, fire, or other disasters.

If you chose to back up on only one day of the week, this screens lets you choose to back up to one Backup Set or two Backup Sets (alternating between Backup Sets each week).

Choosing the Number of Backup Sets

If you chose to back up to multiple Backup Sets, you can now specify how many Backup Sets you want to use and how often you want to alternate between backing up to each of them.

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The first option alternates between Backup Sets on each day you chose to back up. For example, if you chose to back up every day of the week, Retrospect gives you the option to back up to seven Backup Sets. In this case, Retrospect backs up to a different Backup Set each day of the week. If you choose to back up Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Retrospect gives you the option to back up to three Backup Sets and uses a different one every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The second option always uses two Backup Sets and alternates between them each week. For example, if you choose to back up every day of the week, Retrospect backs up to one Backup Set every day in the first week, then backs up to the other Backup Set every day in the next week. If you select this option, use the list box to specify the day of the week on which you want to switch between Backup Sets.

Naming the Backup Set(s)

This screen varies based on the number of Backup Sets you specified.

Enter as many Backup Set names as required, or use the default names provided by Retrospect. If you have already created any Backup Sets, you can select the “Use Existing” check box and choose a Backup Set from the list box.

  • If you are using multiple Backup Sets, it is especially important to give them meaningful names. You will not be able to rename the Backup Sets later.

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The “Use Existing” check box only appears if you have existing Backup Sets.

Setting the Compression Option

Click the “Yes” option button to turn on software data compression for this backup script.

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Data compression saves space in the Backup Set by compressing files before copying them into the Backup Set. Files are automatically decompressed back to their original state when restored.

The amount of compression savings you can expect depends on the types of files you are compressing. Text files compress substantially; application and system files do not.

Backups (and restores) from Backup Sets using data compression are slower than those that do not.

When copying to a tape device that has built-in hardware data compression, Retrospect automatically turns off software compression and always uses hardware compression for best performance.

Setting Backup Set Security Options

This screen allows you to specify a password to restrict access to the Backup Set(s). You can also choose to encrypt the Backup Set data to provide additional security.

Using encryption increases backup time.

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Choose an option from the Backup Set Security list box.

  • None: provides no password protection for the Backup Set(s) and does not encrypt the Backup Set data.
  • Password only: provides password protection for the Backup Set(s). Stored data is not encrypted.
  • SimpleCrypt: provides password protection and encrypts Backup Set data using Retrospect’s proprietary encryption format.
  • DES: provides password protection and encrypts Backup Set data using the Data Encryption Standard.
  • AES-128: provides password protection and encrypts Backup Set data using the Advanced Encryption Standard (128 bit).
  • AES-256: provides password protection and encrypts Backup Set data using the Advanced Encryption Standard (256 bit). AES-256 provides the best combination of security and performance.
  • Once a Backup Set is password-protected or encrypted, you cannot change these settings. In addition, if you forget your password, you will not be able access the Backup Set.

If you set a password and want Retrospect to remember it under certain circumstances, select an option from the remember password list box.

  • Remember password for any access: saves the password for use with all immediate and automated operations.
  • Remember password for scripted access (default): saves the password for use with automated operations only. For example, if the Backup Set is the destination for an overnight backup script, Retrospect will not require the password to be entered manually.
  • Do not remember password for any access: requires you to enter the password to access the Backup Set in any way. For example, you cannot back up to it or view its properties without entering the password. After you enter the password once, you do not have to enter it again until you quit and restart Retrospect.
  • You can change the remember password setting at a later time by modifying the Backup Set’s properties. See Configuring Backup Sets for more information.

Recycling Options for Tape Drive Backups

If you are backing up to tape Backup Sets, you can tell Retrospect to “recycle” the destination Backup Sets before backing up to them. Recycling enables you to reuse the tapes in a Backup Set, however all data on those tapes is lost.

Before recycling tape Backup Sets make sure the data on its tapes exists elsewhere or that you can really afford to lose the data.

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  • No, I want to keep my existing backup data: Choose this option to preserve all existing backup data in the tape Backup Sets. Retrospect backs up only new and changed files since the last backup to each Backup Set. If the a tape member fills up, Retrospect asks for a new tape.
  • Yes, OK to overwrite: Choose this option to recycle the tape Backup Sets before backing up. When Retrospect performs a recycle backup, it clears the Backup Sets’ Catalog File contents (if any), so it appears that no files are backed up. Then it looks for the first tape member in the Backup Set and erases it if it is available. If the first member is not available, Retrospect uses any available new or erased tape. All selected files are backed up.
  • In Advanced Mode, you can recycle tape Backup Sets by setting the backup action for each scheduler to Recycle. See Creating a Script Scheduler for more information.

Grooming Options for Hard Drive Backups

These options are only available when backing up to hard drives. The selection you make tells Retrospect what to do when the hard drive to which you are backing up becomes full (or uses all the disk space you allotted).

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  • Ask for a new disk: When the backup drive fills up, Retrospect asks for another hard drive on which to store additional backups. All of your backups on the original hard drive are preserved.
  • Keep only the last n backups: Specify the number of backups you want to preserve when the backup drive fills up. Retrospect then automatically “grooms” (i.e., deletes) all the other, older backups on the hard drive to make room for new data.
  • Keep according to Retrospect’s defined policy: When the backup drive fills up, Retrospect uses its own grooming policy to delete old backups. At a minimum, Retrospect's policy retains two backups for each source. Retrospect keeps the last backup of the day for each source from the two most recent days on which each source was backed up. If the disk has enough space available, Retrospect keeps a backup of each source for every day in the last week, a backup for each week in the last month, and a backup for each previous month.

Reviewing the Backup Script Settings

The Backup Summary screen displays the backup script settings you specified in the wizard.

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  • Source lists the drives/folders to back up
  • Selecting lists the file types to back up
  • Destination lists the names of the Backup Sets to which data will be copied
  • Schedule lists the days and time when the backup script will run
  • Some options specified in the wizard are not listed in the summary screen (e.g., compression), but they are implemented during backup.

To change any of the backup script settings, click Back.

To save the script settings, click Finish. If you want to save the script settings and run the script immediately, select the Backup now check box and click Finish.

If you select Backup now and the script includes multiple destination Backup Sets, use the drop-down menu to specify which one to use.

Editing the Backup Script Settings

To edit a backup script, choose Automate>Manage Scripts from the navigation bar. In the Scripts window, select the script you want to edit and click Edit.

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If the Advanced Mode Backup Summary screen displays, click Switch to Wizard Mode.

To edit the settings, select “Let me change these settings” and click Next. Editing the settings in Wizard Mode is much the same as creating them the first time. See Creating a Backup Script in Wizard Mode for more information.

To back up now using the script settings, select “Backup now with these settings”, then click Start Now.

If the script includes multiple destination Backup Sets, use the drop-down menu to specify which one to use.

To edit the settings in Advanced Mode, click “Switch to Advanced Mode”. See Switching from Wizard to Advanced Mode for more information.

Switching from Wizard to Advanced Mode

To access to advanced options that are not available in Wizard Mode, click “Switch to Advanced Mode” from the Welcome screen.

If you have not previously set up a backup script, you can proceed as described in Creating a Backup Script in Advanced Mode.

If you have previously set up a backup script, Retrospect remembers your settings and displays them in the Advanced Mode summary window.

  • All of the Wizard Mode options are available in Advanced Mode. If you switch from Wizard to Advanced Mode, those options are mapped directly to equivalent options.

Creating a Backup Script in Advanced Mode

Creating a backup script in Advanced Mode provides access to some powerful Retrospect options that are not available in Wizard Mode. In Advanced Mode you can:

  • Access more built-in selectors
  • Create and apply custom selectors
  • Create multiple custom schedules that include different backup actions
  • Set many additional options not available in Wizard Mode

This section takes you through the steps of defining a backup script:

The steps for scheduling and saving are the same for all scripts:

Creating a Backup Script

  1. From the navigation bar, click Automate, then click the Manage Scripts button.

    The script editing window displays.

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  2. Click the New button to create a new script.

    The script selection window displays.

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  3. Select Backup from the list and click OK.

    The script naming window displays.

  4. Enter a name and click OK.

    The script appears in its own window.

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    If the Retrospect Backup Wizard displays, click Switch to Advanced Mode.

    This script window is very similar to the immediate backup summary window, with information for the source volumes, destination Backup Sets, file selection criteria, and options. Since this is a script, it also includes schedule information.

  5. To change information, click the appropriate button.

Sources lets you add or remove source volumes.

Destinations lets you choose one or more destination Backup Sets.

Selecting lets you choose a selector—a kind of filter for selecting files and folders to be backed up.

Options displays the options window in which you can toggle verification and data compression.

Schedule lets you set the script to run at a specific time or at regular intervals.

Setting the Backup Source

The first step in defining a script is setting the source.

  1. Click the Sources button.

    The Source Selection window displays.

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  2. Select a source volume (or volumes), then click OK.

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  3. Click Add to select additional sources, or select a source and click Remove to remove it from the list. When the list of sources is complete, click OK.
  4. If there are multiple sources, they are backed up in the order listed. Click and drag to rearrange the list order.

Setting the Backup Destination

After specifying the source(s) to back up, you must specify the destination Backup Set(s) for the data.

  1. Click the Destinations button.

    If there are no Backup Sets defined, the Backup Set Creation Wizard launches. Create a new Backup Set, as described in Creating Backup Sets. The new Backup Set appears in the Backup Set Selection window.

    If there are Backup Sets defined, the Backup Set Selection window displays.

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    You can click More or Create New to access additional Backup Sets or create new ones.

  2. Select one or more Backup Sets, then click OK.
  3. Click Add to select additional destinations, or select a Backup Set and click Remove to remove it from the list. When the list of destinations is complete, click OK.

Selecting Files to Back Up

By default, Retrospect selects all files except cache files on the source(s). You can choose a different pre-defined selector or create a custom selector to select a subset of files.

  1. Click the Selecting button.

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  2. Click a selector, then click OK.

    You can also click More Choices to use Retrospect’s file selection criteria to create a custom selector. Selectors are explained in detail in Using Selectors.

  3. Selectors are used to determine which files are considered for backup, not which files actually get copied. For example, if you choose All Files, Retrospect compares all the source files with the files already in the destination Backup Set, then copies only those files that are new or changed.

Setting Backup Execution Options

Click the Options button to display the options window in which you can toggle verification, data compression, and other options which are explained in detail in Execution Options.

Setting the Execution Unit

If your edition of Retrospect is capable of running multiple simultaneous executions, you can specify which execution unit to use for this operation (or choose “Any Execution unit’). Make your selection in the summary window’s list box. See Assigning Execution Units for more information.

Editing the Backup Script Settings

To edit a backup script, choose Automate>Manage Scripts from the navigation bar. In the Scripts window, select the script you want to edit and click Edit.

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If Retrospect displays the script settings in Wizard Mode, click Switch to Advanced Mode to display the settings in Advanced Mode.

To edit the settings, click the buttons to change the sources, destinations, file selection criteria, options, and schedule. Editing the settings in Advanced Mode is the same as creating them the first time. See Creating a Backup Script in Advanced Mode for more information.

To edit the settings in Wizard Mode, click “Switch to Wizard Mode”. See Switching from Advanced to Wizard Mode for more information.

Switching from Advanced to Wizard Mode

In general, Retrospect, Inc. recommends editing backup scripts in the same mode you created them. Of course, you can switch between the modes and if you do, it’s important to know how Retrospect handles advanced options that are not available in Wizard Mode.

To return to Wizard Mode at any time, click “Switch to Wizard Mode” from the Advanced Mode summary window.

If you have made any changes to your backup script settings, Retrospect asks if you want to save those changes before switching modes.

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If you have not made any changes, Retrospect displays the Wizard Mode Welcome screen with a summary of the current settings.

Since Advanced Mode includes options not available in Wizard Mode, Retrospect must either keep those settings, or discard them. There are a few important options to consider:

Selectors

Advanced Mode includes a number of built-in selectors that are not available in Wizard Mode. In addition, you can create and use custom selectors in Advanced Mode.

If you choose a selector that is not available in Wizard Mode, then click “Switch to Wizard Mode”, Retrospect keeps the advanced selector and applies it when the backup script runs.

In these situations, the Wizard Mode Welcome screen displays (Created in Advanced Mode) in the Selecting field.

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In addition, if you edit your backup settings, a new option appears in the “What type of files do you want to back up?” screen.

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  • Choose “Keep my advanced mode selection” to keep your advanced selector.
  • Choose “Select the following” and select a new option to discard the advanced selector and use a new one.

Execution Options

Advanced Mode includes many execution options that are not available in Wizard Mode.

The compression execution option is available in both Wizard and Advanced Mode. If you change the option in one mode, it will be reflected in the other.

If you choose an execution option that is not available in Wizard Mode, then click “Switch to Wizard Mode”, Retrospect keeps the advanced execution option and applies it when the backup script runs.

The Wizard Mode Welcome screen does not indicate whether the backup script includes advanced execution options or not. The only way to check is to switch to Advanced Mode and review the Options settings.

Backup Sets

In Advanced Mode, you can choose a file Backup Set as a destination. File Backup Sets are not available from Wizard Mode.

File Backup Sets are most useful for backing up a single file, otherwise, disk Backup Sets offer many more benefits.

If you choose a file Backup Set as a destination, then click “Switch to Wizard Mode”, Retrospect discards the entire destination selection.

In these situations, the Wizard Mode Welcome screen displays (No destination selected) in the Destination field.

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If you click Next, the wizard discards the destination and forces you to select a new one. Click “Switch to Advanced Mode” to continue using a file Backup Set as the destination.

Advanced Mode also allows you to select destination Backup Sets of different types. For example, the destination could be a tape Backup Set and a CD/DVD Backup Set. In Wizard Mode, all destination Backup Sets must be of the same type.

If you choose Backup Sets of different types as the destination, then click “Switch to Wizard Mode”, Retrospect discards all the destination backup Sets except the first one.

Schedules

Advanced mode includes scheduling options that are not available in Wizard mode. For example, you can create different types of schedules, create multiple schedules for a single script, and specify a backup action for a schedule. See Scheduling Scripts for more information.

If you specify scheduling options that are not available in Wizard Mode, then click “Switch to Wizard Mode”, Retrospect keeps the advanced schedule.

In these situations, the Wizard Mode Welcome screen displays (Created in Advanced Mode) in the Schedule field and includes a message saying the schedule cannot be edited in Wizard Mode.

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In addition, if you edit your backup settings, a new option appears in the “When do you want to back up?” screen.

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  • Choose “Keep the existing schedule” to keep your advanced schedule.
  • Choose “No schedule” to discard the advanced schedule set up an unscheduled script.
  • Choose “Change the current schedule” to discard the advanced schedule and set up a new one.

Execution Unit

If your edition of Retrospect is capable of running multiple simultaneous executions, you can specify which execution unit to use for a backup script in Advanced Mode only.

If you choose a specific execution unit (not “Any Execution unit”), then click “Switch to Wizard Mode”, Retrospect keeps the execution unit information and uses the specific execution unit when the backup script runs.

The Wizard Mode Welcome screen does not indicate whether the script specifies an execution unit or not. The only way to check is to switch to Advanced Mode and review the settings.

Scripted Duplicate

Duplicate scripts are great for unattended copying of hard disks, folders, or files from one volume to another. For example, you could use a duplicate script to automatically copy a local folder to a shared file server at the end of every week.

There are two ways to set up a scripted duplicate using the Manage Scripts command. You can use Retrospect’s Duplicate Wizard, which walks you through the process of setting up a scripted duplicate, or you can set up the duplicate on your own in Advanced Mode. Advanced Mode has options that are unavailable in the Wizard. For more information see:

Creating a Duplicate Script in Wizard Mode

The Duplicate Wizard provides an easy way to set up and edit scripted duplicate operations. To start the Duplicate Wizard, click Automate from the navigation bar, then click the Manage Scripts button. The script editing window displays.

Click the New button to create a new script. The script selection window displays.

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Select Duplicate from the list and click OK. In the script naming window, enter a name and click OK. The Duplicate Wizard welcome screen displays.

If the Advanced Mode Duplicate Script summary screen displays, click Switch to Wizard Mode.

Welcome Screen

If this is the first time you are setting up a scripted duplicate, click Next to continue set up using the Duplicate Wizard. To set up the duplicate in Advanced Mode, click Switch to Advanced Mode. See Creating a Duplicate Script in Advanced Mode for more information.

If you have previously set up a scripted duplicate, the welcome screen displays your current settings. See Editing the Duplicate Script Settings for more information.

Choosing What to Duplicate

Select a specific drive or folder to duplicate.

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Click a drive or folder to select it. This deselects any other selected drive or folder.

You can select a drive or folder from any of the containers listed in this screen: My Computer, My Network Places, or Backup Clients.

  • To add Retrospect Clients to the Backup Clients container, click Add Clients.
  • To add network volumes to the My Network Places container, click Add Network Volumes.
  • To display the folders on a drive, select the drive and click Show Folders.

See Containers for more information.

Choosing File Types to Duplicate

Select the check box for each type of file you want to duplicate. If you select all the check boxes, all files (except cache files) will be duplicated.

Some of these options function differently with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux computers. The descriptions below focus on how these options interact with Windows computers. To learn how these options work with other operating systems, see Built-in Selectors.

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  • Documents and Settings duplicates files in the Documents and Settings folder, which contains every user’s My Documents, Favorites, Application Data, and Desktop folders.
  • For Windows 9x systems, the “Documents and Settings” duplicates the “Profiles” folder.
  • Operating System and Applications duplicates system files, including the Windows folder and the System State. Also duplicates application files, including everything in the Program Files folder, as well as files with known application extensions (like .exe and .dll) anywhere on the source.
  • If you choose not to duplicate “Operating System and Applications”, Retrospect modifies some of its default execution options. Retrospect turns off both the “Duplicate System State” and “Duplicate folder security information for workstations” options. See Windows System Options and Windows Security Options for more information.
  • Pictures duplicates all files in the My Documents\My Pictures folder for all users. It also duplicates files with common picture file extensions (.jpg, for example) anywhere on the source, except the Windows and Program Files folders.
  • Music duplicates all files in the My Documents\My Music folder for all users. It also duplicates files with common music file extensions (.wma and .mp3, for example) anywhere on the source, except the Windows and Program Files folders.
  • Movies duplicates all files in the My Documents\My Videos folder for all users. It also duplicates files with common movie file extensions (.mov, for example) anywhere on the source, except the Windows and Program Files folders.
  • Office Documents duplicates Microsoft Office Documents, Microsoft Outlook data, and Adobe PDF files anywhere on the source, except the Windows and Program Files folders.
  • All Other Files, duplicates all files not selected by the other options.
  • The Documents and Settings and Operating System and Applications options are not available if you are duplicating a folder.

Choosing the Destination

Select a drive or folder to which you want files duplicated.

  • The destination cannot be the same drive or folder from which files are being duplicated. You can duplicate to different folders on the same drive or folders with the same names on different drives.

The Add Clients, Add Network Volumes, and Show Folders buttons on this screen function the same way as in the “What do you want to duplicate?” screen. See Choosing What to Duplicate.

When you click Next, Retrospect displays a dialog warning that the destination folder or drive will be completely replaced with the files you selected to duplicate.

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Make sure that the destination does not contain any important files before duplicating. Any files already on the destination will be lost and replaced with the files you selected to duplicate. To be safe, create a new folder on the destination drive and duplicate to it.

Click Replace to dismiss the warning and continue setting up the duplicate script.

Choosing Whether to Create A Schedule

You can either create a script with a schedule or without a schedule.

If you choose not to create a schedule, you can still run the script manually at any time. See Manual Script Execution for more information. You can also add a schedule to the script later.

Make a selection and click Next.

If you are editing a script that already has a schedule, an additional option, “Keep the existing schedule”, is also available.

Choosing When to Duplicate

Select the check box for each day you want the duplicate script to run and specify a time for the script to start.

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Although Retrospect can duplicate computers while they are in use, it is a good idea to run scripts after normal business hours when computers tend to be less busy.

Reviewing the Duplicate Settings

The Duplicate Summary screen displays the duplicate script settings you specified in the wizard.

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  • Source lists the drive or folder to duplicate
  • Selecting lists the file types to duplicate
  • Destination lists the name of the drive or folder to which data will be copied
  • Schedule lists the days and time when the duplicate script will run

To change any of the duplicate script settings, click Back.

To save the script settings, click Finish. If you want to save the script settings and run the script immediately, select the Duplicate now check box and click Finish.

Duplicating can delete files on the destination. Any files already on the destination will be lost and replaced with the files you selected to duplicate. Make sure the destination does not contain important files before duplicating.

Editing the Duplicate Script Settings

To edit a duplicate script, choose Automate>Manage Scripts from the navigation bar. In the Scripts window, select the script you want to edit and click Edit.

If Retrospect displays the script settings in Advanced Mode, click Switch to Wizard Mode to display the settings in Wizard Mode.

To edit the settings, select “Let me change these settings” and click Next. Editing the settings in Wizard Mode is much the same as creating them the first time. See Creating a Duplicate Script in Wizard Mode for more information.

To duplicate now using the script settings, select “Duplicate now with these settings”, then click Start Now.

To edit the settings in Advanced Mode, click “Switch to Advanced Mode”. See Switching from Wizard to Advanced Mode for more information.

Switching from Wizard to Advanced Mode

To access advanced options that are not available in Wizard Mode, click “Switch to Advanced Mode” from the Welcome screen.

If you have not previously set up a duplicate script, you can proceed as described in Creating a Duplicate Script in Advanced Mode.

If you have previously set up a duplicate script, Retrospect remembers your settings and displays them in the Advanced Mode summary window.

  • All of the Wizard Mode options are available in Advanced Mode. If you switch from Wizard to Advanced Mode, those options are mapped directly to equivalent options.

Creating a Duplicate Script in Advanced Mode

Creating a duplicate script in Advanced Mode provides access to some powerful Retrospect options that are not available in Wizard Mode. In Advanced Mode you can:

  • Access more built-in selectors
  • Create and apply custom selectors
  • Choose a duplicate method
  • Create multiple custom schedules
  • Set many additional options not available in Wizard Mode

This section takes you through the steps of defining a duplicate script:

The steps for scheduling and saving are the same for all scripts:

Creating a Duplicate Script

  1. From the navigation bar, click Automate then click the Manage Scripts button.

    The script editing window displays.

  2. Click the New button to create a new script.

    The script selection window displays.

  3. Select Duplicate from the list and click OK.

    The script naming window displays.

  4. Enter a name and click New.

    The script appears in its own window.

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    If the Retrospect Duplicate Wizard displays, click Switch to Advanced Mode.

    This script window is very similar to the immediate duplicate summary window, with information for the source volume, destination volume, file selection criteria, and options. Since this is a script, it also includes schedule information.

  5. To change information, click the appropriate button.

Source lets you select a source volume.

Destination lets you select a destination volume.

Selecting lets you choose a selector, a kind of filter for selecting files and folders to be backed up.

Options displays the options window in which you can toggle verification, data compression, and other options.

Schedule lets you set the script to run at a specific time or at regular intervals.

Setting the Duplicate Source

Because this is a new script, Retrospect says “No volume selected” for the source.

  1. Click the Source button.

    The Source Selection window displays.

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  2. Select the source volume and click OK.

For details on using the volume selection window, see Working with Volumes.

Setting the Duplicate Destination

For duplicate operations, the destination is not a Backup Set, but a volume (other than the source volume).

  1. Click the Destination button.

    The volume selection window displays.

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  2. Select the destination volume to which you want the files copied.
  3. Make a selection from the list box to specify a duplicate method (i.e., what happens to the existing contents of the destination drive).

    Replace Entire Volume replaces the entire contents of the destination volume with the selected files and folders from the source volume. Identical files already present on the destination are not duplicated. This is the default option.

    Replace Corresponding Files copies the selected files and folders to the destination volume. When Retrospect finds a file that exists on both the source and destination, the destination file is always overwritten. Retrospect leaves files untouched if they are identical to files marked for duplication or if the file names and locations do not match those marked.

    Replace if Source is Newer copies the selected files and folders to the destination volume. When Retrospect finds a file that exists on both the source and destination, the destination file is overwritten only if the source file is newer. Retrospect leaves files untouched if they are identical to files marked for duplication or if the file names and locations do not match those marked.

    Duplicate Missing Files Only, copies only the selected files and folders that don’t already exist on the destination volume. Other files and folders on the destination are left untouched.

  4. Duplicate operations can replace or delete files on the destination volume Make sure you are not overwriting or deleting important files before continuing.
  5. Click OK to accept your destination choices.

Selecting Files to Duplicate

By default, Retrospect selects all files except cache files on the source. You can choose a different pre-defined selector or create a custom selector to select a subset of files.

  1. Click the Selecting button.
  2. Click a selector, then click OK.

    You can also click More Choices to use Retrospect’s file selection criteria to create a custom selector. Selectors are explained in detail in Using Selectors.

  3. Selectors are used to determine which files are considered for duplication, not which files actually get copied. For example, if you choose All Files, Retrospect compares all the files on the source volume with the files already on the destination volume. Matching files are not copied from the source volume to the destination volume.

Setting Duplicate Execution Options

Click the Options button to display the options window in which you can set the verification, update backup report, and other options which are explained in detail in Execution Options. One such option is to move—rather than just copy—files from the source to the destination.

Setting the Execution Unit

If your edition of Retrospect is capable of running multiple simultaneous executions, you can specify which execution unit to use for this operation (or choose “Any Execution unit’). Make your selection in the summary window’s list box. See Assigning Execution Units for more information.

Editing the Duplicate Script Settings

To edit a duplicate script, choose Automate>Manage Scripts from the navigation bar. In the Scripts window, select the script you want to edit and click Edit.

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If Retrospect displays the script settings in Wizard Mode, click Switch to Advanced Mode to display the settings in Advanced Mode.

To edit the settings, click the buttons to change the source, destination, file selection criteria, options, and schedule. Editing the settings in Advanced Mode is the same as creating them the first time. See Creating a Duplicate Script in Advanced Mode for more information.

To edit the settings in Wizard Mode, click “Switch to Wizard Mode”. See Switching from Advanced to Wizard Mode for more information.

Switching from Advanced to Wizard Mode

In general, Retrospect, Inc. recommends editing duplicate scripts in the same mode you created them. Of course, you can switch between the modes and if you do, it’s important to know how Retrospect handles advanced options that are not available in Wizard Mode.

To return to Wizard Mode at any time, click “Switch to Wizard Mode” from the Advanced Mode summary window.

If you have made any changes to your duplicate script, Retrospect asks if you want to save those changes before switching modes.

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If you have not made any changes, Retrospect displays the Wizard Mode Welcome screen with a summary of the current duplicate script settings.

Since Advanced Mode includes options not available in Wizard Mode, Retrospect must either keep those settings, or discard them. There are a few important options to consider:

Duplicate Method

When choosing the destination in Advanced Mode, Retrospect lets you specify the method by which files are copied. You can choose:

  • Replace Entire Volume
  • Replace Corresponding Files
  • Replace if Source is Newer
  • Duplicate Missing Files Only

You cannot specify a duplicate method in Wizard Mode; it always uses the Replace Entire Volume method.

For more information on the difference between the duplicate methods, see Setting the Duplicate Destination.

Selectors

Advanced Mode includes a number of built-in selectors that are not available in Wizard Mode. In addition, you can create and use custom selectors in Advanced Mode.

If you choose a selector that is not available in Wizard Mode, then click “Switch to Wizard Mode”, Retrospect keeps the advanced selector and applies it when you run the duplicate.

In these situations, the Wizard Mode Welcome screen displays (Created in Advanced Mode) in the Selecting field.

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In addition, if you edit your duplicate settings, a new option appears in the “What types of files do you want to duplicate?” screen.

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  • Choose “Keep my advanced mode selection” to keep your advanced selector.
  • Choose “Select the following” and select a new option to discard the advanced selector and use a new one.

Execution Options

Advanced Mode includes many execution options that are not available in Wizard Mode, such as verification.

If you choose an execution option that is not available in Wizard Mode, then click “Switch to Wizard Mode”, Retrospect keeps the advanced execution option and applies it when you run the duplicate.

The Wizard Mode Welcome screen does not indicate whether the duplicate includes advanced execution options or not. The only way to check is to switch to Advanced Mode and review the Options settings.

Schedules

Advanced mode includes scheduling options that are not available in Wizard mode. For example, you can create different types of schedules and create multiple schedules for a single script. See Scheduling Scripts for more information.

If you specify scheduling options that are not available in Wizard Mode, then click “Switch to Wizard Mode”, Retrospect keeps the advanced schedule.

In these situations, the Wizard Mode Welcome screen displays (Created in Advanced Mode) in the Schedule field and includes a message saying the schedule cannot be edited in Wizard Mode.

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In addition, if you edit your duplicate script settings, a new option appears in the “When do you want to run the duplicate?” screen.

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  • Choose “Keep the existing schedule” to keep your advanced schedule.
  • Choose “No schedule” to discard the advanced schedule set up an unscheduled script.
  • Choose “Change the current schedule” to discard the advanced schedule and set up a new one.

Execution Unit

If your edition of Retrospect is capable of running multiple simultaneous executions, you can specify which execution unit to use for a duplicate script in Advanced Mode only.

If you choose a specific execution unit (not “Any Execution unit”), then click “Switch to Wizard Mode”, Retrospect keeps the execution unit information and uses the specific execution unit when the duplicate script runs.

The Wizard Mode Welcome screen does not indicate whether the duplicate script specifies an execution unit or not. The only way to check is to switch to Advanced Mode and review the settings.

Scripted Archive

Archiving allows you to remove seldom-used files from a hard disk while maintaining a copy of those files on your storage media.

The process of creating and using an archive script is almost identical to that of a backup script.

See Creating a Backup Script in Advanced Mode, for more information.

This section explains the differences between an archive script and a backup script.

An archive script is just like a backup script, with three main differences:

  • Backup scripts support multiple destination Backup Sets, while archive scripts support a single destination Backup Set.
  • Archive scripts have an additional option not available for backup scripts. For archive scripts, you can choose to move—rather than just copy—files from the source to the destination. See Archiving Execution Options for details on the Move Files option.
  • Archive scripts, by default, copy (or move) all selected files from the source to the destination. Backup scripts, by default, copy only those files which are not already present on the destination or have been modified since the last time they were copied.
  • In both cases, the default can be modified by changing the matching options. See Matching Execution Options for more information.

Be sure to read Archiving Tips for other important information about archiving.

Scripted Restore

Usually, you don’t know in advance when you’re going to need to restore files, but there are some situations in which restore scripts are useful. You might want to create a restore script for use in a student computer lab environment, for example, in which the hard disks are restored from a common source every night.

The steps to define a restore script are:

The steps for scheduling and saving are the same for all scripts:

Creating a Restore Script

  1. From the navigation bar, click Automate then click the Manage Scripts button.

    The script editing window displays.

  2. Click the New button to create a new script.

    The script selection window displays.

  3. Select Restore from the list and click OK.

    The script naming window displays.

  4. Enter a name and click New.

    The script appears in its own window.

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    This script window is very similar to the immediate restore summary window, with information for the source Backup Set, destination volume, file selection criteria, and options. Since this is a script, it also includes schedule information

  5. To change information, click the appropriate button.

Source lets you specify a Backup Set and associated Snapshot from which to restore.

Destination lets you choose the destination volume.

Selecting lets you choose a selector—a kind of filter for selecting files and folders to be restored.

Options Lets you specify various options. For example, you can have Retrospect update the Date Modified information for all restored files to the current date and time.

Schedule lets you set the script to run at a specific time or at regular intervals.

Setting the Restore Source

Because this is a new script, Retrospect says “No Backup Set selected” in the script summary window.

  1. Click the Source button to display a window listing Backup Sets and their Snapshots.

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  2. In the top-half of the window, select the Backup Set containing the Snapshot from which you want to restore.
  3. If the Backup Set you are looking for is not listed, click the More button to access additional Backup Sets by opening or recreating their Catalog Files.
  4. In the bottom-half of the window, select the Snapshot.

    The date and time of each Snapshot is listed.

  5. If the Snapshot you are looking for is not listed, click the Add Snapshot button to retrieve additional Snapshots from the storage media.
  6. Click OK to continue.

The Backup Set and Snapshot date, time, and volume name are listed in the script window.

Setting the Restore Destination

Because this is a new script, Retrospect says “No volume selected” in the script window.

  1. Click the Destination button.

    The volume selection window displays.

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  2. Select the destination volume to which you want the files restored.
  3. Make a selection from the list box to specify the restore method.

    Restore Entire Volume makes the destination volume exactly match the source Snapshot. It deletes all files and folders on the destination that do not match those marked for restore in the Snapshot, leaving files untouched if they are identical to files marked for restore. It then copies all remaining files and folders from the Snapshot to the destination, preserving the folder hierarchy. This is the default restore method if you chose “Restore an entire volume”. If you select this method, Retrospect restores registry and System State information from the Snapshot (if both the Snapshot and destination are system volumes) by default.

    To prevent the operating system from crashing, the Restore Entire Volume method does not delete the active Windows system, nor does it delete the “blessed” system folder of a Mac OS client.

    Replace Corresponding Files restores all selected files from the Snapshot that do not exist on the destination and overwrites files on the destination that also exist in the source Snapshot. These “corresponding” or “matching” files on the destination are always overwritten with files from the Snapshot regardless of whether the Snapshot file is newer or older than the destination file. Retrospect leaves files untouched if they are identical to files marked for restore, if the file names do not match those marked for restore, or if the path to those files is not identical. If you select this method and choose the Restore System State execution option, Retrospect restores registry and System State information from the Snapshot (if both the Snapshot and destination are system volumes).

    Replace if Backup is Newer restores all selected files from the Snapshot that do not exist on the destination and overwrites matching files on the destination only if the Snapshot file is newer than the destination file. If you select this method and choose the Restore System State execution option, Retrospect restores registry and System State information from the Snapshot (if both the Snapshot and destination are system volumes).

    Restore Missing Files Only restores all selected files from the Snapshot that do not exist on the destination, but does not overwrite any files on the destination. Matching files on the destination are left untouched. If you select this method and choose the Restore System State execution option, Retrospect restores registry and System State information from the Snapshot (if both the Snapshot and destination are system volumes).

  4. To restore just the registry and System State, choose “Restore Missing Files Only”, then click Files Chosen and make sure no files are selected, and finally click Options>More Choices and select the Restore System State check box.

    Retrieve Files & Folders creates a new folder on the destination volume (giving the folder the name of the Backup Set), then copies all selected files from the Snapshot into this folder, preserving the Snapshot folder hierarchy. Nothing is replaced or overwritten. This is the default restore method if you chose “Restore files and folders”. This method never restores registry and System State information.

    Retrieve Just Files creates a new folder on the destination volume (giving the folder the name of the Backup Set), then copies all selected files from the Snapshot into this folder. The Snapshot folder hierarchy is not preserved. Nothing is replaced or overwritten. This method never restores registry and System State information.

  5. The Restore Entire Volume, Replace Corresponding Files, and Replace if Backup is Newer methods may destroy data on the destination. If you choose one of these methods, be sure it is acceptable to erase or replace files on the destination volume.
  6. Click OK.

Selecting Files to Restore

By default, Retrospect selects all files from the source Backup Set. You can choose a different pre-defined selector or create a custom selector to select a subset of all files.

  1. Click the Selecting button.
  2. Click a selector, then click OK.

    You can also click More Choices to use Retrospect’s file selection criteria to create a custom selector. Selectors are explained in detail in Using Selectors.

  3. Selectors are used to determine which files are considered for restoring, not which files actually get restored. For example, if you choose All Files, Retrospect compares all the files in the source Backup Set with the files already on the destination volume. Matching files are not copied from the source to the destination.

Setting Restore Execution Options

Click the Options button to display the options window. Then, click More Choices to specify a number of options that are explained in detail in Execution Options.

The Update modify dates option is only available for restore operations. See Files Execution Options for more information.

Setting the Execution Unit

If your edition of Retrospect is capable of running multiple simultaneous executions, you can specify which execution unit to use for this operation (or choose “Any Execution unit’). Make your selection in the summary window’s list box. See Assigning Execution Units for more information.

Scripted Backup Set Transfer

If you need to copy all files and Snapshots from one or more Backup Sets to a single new or existing Backup Set on a regular basis, you can create a Transfer Backup Sets script to automate this process. These scripts can be used to:

  • Clone a Backup Set
  • Protect against media failure
  • Provide for offsite storage
  • Start a new cycle of backups
  • Consolidate multiple Backup Sets to a single Backup Set

Transferring Backup Sets scripts, by default, match files in the source to files already in the destination and only copy the necessary files. Existing Snapshots and files on the destination remain untouched.

Transfer Backup Sets scripts do not have a preview feature. You must rely on selectors instead of picking and choosing files by hand.

To transfer files between Backup Sets, you must have a separate tape or CD/DVD drive for each Backup Set, even if both Backup Sets are on the same type of media. In the case of disk and file Backup Sets the need for separate backup devices does not apply.

If you do not have separate drives for each Backup Set, you can first transfer files temporarily to a disk Backup Set and then transfer the disk Backup Set to the final destination Backup Set.

The steps to create a Transfer Backup Sets script are:

The steps for scheduling and saving are the same for all scripts:

Creating a Transfer Backup Sets Script

  1. From the navigation bar, click Automate then click the Manage Scripts button.

    The script editing window displays.

  2. Click the New button to create a new script.

    The script selection window displays.

  3. Select Transfer Backup Sets from the list and click OK.

    The script naming window displays.

  4. Enter a name and click New.

    The script appears in its own window.

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    This script window is very similar to the immediate Transfer Backup Sets summary window, with information for the source Backup Set(s), destination Backup Set, file selection criteria, and options. Since this is a script, it also includes schedule information.

  5. To change information, click the appropriate button.

Sources lets you specify one or more Backup Sets.

Destination lets you choose the destination Backup Set.

Selecting lets you choose a selector, a kind of filter for selecting files and folders to be transferred.

Options Lets you specify various options, including verification and data compression.

Schedule lets you set the script to run at a specific time or at regular intervals.

Selecting the Transfer Backup Sets Source

Because this is a new script, Retrospect says “No Backup Set selected” in the Sources section of the script summary window.

  1. Click the Sources button to display the Backup Set Selection window.

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  2. Select one or more Backup Sets containing the data you want to transfer.

    If the Backup Set you are looking for is not listed, click the More button to access additional Backup Sets by opening or recreating their Catalog Files.

  3. Transfer Backup Sets scripts copy all Snapshots and associated files in the source Backup Set(s) to the destination Backup Set. This is different from Transfer Snapshots scripts, which copy only active Snapshots and associated files. See Scripted Snapshot Transfer for more information.
  4. Click OK.

The Backup Set(s) are listed in the script window.

Selecting the Transfer Backup Sets Destination

Because this is a new script, Retrospect says “No Backup Set selected” in the Destination section of the script window.

  1. Click the Destination button.

    The Backup Set Selection window displays.

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  2. Select the destination Backup Set.

    If the only Backup Sets listed in the window are already specified as the source, or if you do not want to use any of the Backup Sets in the list as the destination, click Create New to create a new Backup Set. See Creating Backup Sets for more information.

  3. The destination Backup Set and the source Backup Set must be different.
  4. Click OK.

Selecting Files to Transfer

By default, Retrospect selects all files from the source Backup Set(s). You can choose a different pre-defined selector or create a custom selector to select a subset of all files.

  1. Click the Selecting button.
  2. Click a selector, then click OK.

You can also click More Choices to use Retrospect’s file selection criteria to create a custom selector. Selectors are explained in detail in Using Selectors.

Setting Additional Options

Retrospect includes a number of execution options that are specific to Backup Set Transfers.

Click Options in the summary window to change the default settings for the Copy Snapshots, Verification, Data compression, Recycle source Backup Set, and other options.

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See Transfer Execution Options for more information about these options.

Click the More Choices button to access additional execution options. See Execution Options for more information.

Setting the Execution Unit

If your edition of Retrospect is capable of running multiple simultaneous executions, you can specify which execution unit to use for this script (or choose “Any Execution unit’). Make your selection in the summary window’s list box. See Assigning Execution Units for more information.

Scripted Snapshot Transfer

If you need to copy Snapshots and their associated files from their source Backup Sets to a new or existing Backup Set on a regular basis, you can create a Transfer Snapshots script to automate this process. These scripts can be used to:

  • Start a new Backup Set with a synthetic full backup
  • Create an offsite disaster recovery Backup Set
  • Start a new cycle of backups with a full backup

Transfer Snapshots scripts are different from Transfer Backup Sets scripts in a number of ways. Transfer Snapshots scripts:

  • Transfer only active Snapshots; Transfer Backup Sets scripts transfer all Snapshots.
  • Provide different methods for selecting which Snapshots get transferred; Transfer Backup Sets scripts always transfer all Snapshots.

By default, transferring Snapshots matches files in the source to files already in the destination and only copies the necessary files. Existing Snapshots and files on the destination remain untouched.

Transfer Snapshots scripts do not have a preview feature. You must rely on selectors instead of picking and choosing files by hand.

To transfer Snapshots between Backup Sets, you must have a separate tape or CD/DVD drive for each Backup Set, even if both Backup Sets are on the same type of media. In the case of disk and file Backup Sets the need for separate backup devices does not apply.

If you do not have separate drives for each Backup Set, you can first transfer Snapshots temporarily to a disk Backup Set and then transfer the disk Backup Set Snapshots to the final destination Backup Set.

Snapshot Transfer and Synthetic Fulls

Transfer Snapshots scripts allows you to create what Retrospect calls a “synthetic full” backup. Retrospect creates synthetic fulls when transferring Snapshots to:

  • A new Backup Set
  • An existing Backup Set when the “Match source Catalog File to destination Catalog File” option is turned off

Synthetic fulls allow you to quickly seed a new Backup Set with only the most recent Snapshots (for example) from an existing Backup Set. This allows you to start a fresh cycle of backups without losing the time-saving benefits of Progressive Backup. Subsequent backups to the new Backup Set will copy only new and changed files.

After the transfer, the destination Backup Set contains the same data it would after a full backup. You get a full backup without having to perform the more time-consuming process of executing a actual full backup.

  • A synthetic full backup is the equivalent of a full backup done at the time of the most recent Snapshots. It does not include files that are new or changed since the date and time of those Snapshots, nor does it include older versions of files contained in non-current Snapshots.

Synthetic fulls are also useful for creating a Backup Set that contains all its files in one contiguous session. This allows Retrospect to restore entire volumes more quickly, since it does not have to search through multiple sessions to find all the required files.

The steps to create a Transfer Snapshots script are:

The steps for scheduling and saving are the same for all scripts:

Creating a Transfer Snapshots Script

  1. From the navigation bar, click Automate then click the Manage Scripts button.

    The script editing window displays.

  2. Click the New button to create a new script.

    The script selection window displays.

  3. Select Transfer Snapshots from the list and click OK.

    The script naming window displays.

  4. Enter a name and click New.

    The script appears in its own window.

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    This script window is very similar to the immediate Transfer Snapshots summary window, with information for the source Backup Set, destination Backup Set, file selection criteria, and options. Since this is a script, it also includes schedule information.

  5. To change information, click the appropriate button.

Source lets you specify source Backup Sets and Snapshots.

Destination lets you choose the destination Backup Set.

Selecting lets you choose a selector, a kind of filter for selecting files and folders to be transferred.

Options lets you specify various options, including verification and data compression.

Schedule lets you set the script to run at a specific time or at regular intervals.

Selecting the Transfer Snapshots Source

Because this is a new script, Retrospect says “No Backup Set selected” in the Source section of the script summary window.

  1. Click the Source button to display the source window.

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  2. In the source selection window’s top list, select the Backup Set containing the Snapshot(s) you want to transfer.

    If the Backup Set you are looking for is not listed, click the More button to access additional Backup Sets by opening or recreating their Catalog Files.

    Retrospect displays a list of the selected Backup Set’s active Snapshots in the window’s bottom list, along with the date and time of the Snapshot and the name of the backed up volume.

    The list of Snapshots is only displayed if you select one of the following options: “Selected Snapshots” or “The most recent Snapshot for each source selected”. Only Backup Sets with a date next to them contain Snapshots.

    By default, Retrospect saves the most recent Snapshot for each volume (or subvolume) that was backed up in its Catalog File. These Snapshots are considered active. All Snapshots, including older ones, are saved on the backup media (tape, disk, or CD/DVD). Following each successful backup or archive operation, the old Snapshot is replaced in the Catalog File with the new one. The old Snapshot remains untouched on the backup media and can be retrieved when needed.

  3. A disk Backup Set with grooming enabled saves all the Snapshots required by its grooming policy in the Catalog File. For example, if you told Retrospect to save the last 10 backups, then up to ten Snapshots for each volume will be active. In addition, any Snapshots that have been manually locked are also active.
  4. Click Add Snapshot if the Snapshot you want to transfer is not listed.

    Retrospect displays a list of all Snapshots in the Backup Set. Select a Snapshot and click Retrieve to copy the older Snapshot from the Backup Set media (which may require you to insert media) and add it to the list in the source selection window. That Snapshot is now active.

  5. The Retrieve button is disabled when you select a Snapshot that is already available.
  6. Select the Snapshot(s) to transfer.

    Once you select a source Backup Set, there are a number of ways to select which Snapshots to transfer.

  7. The most recent Snapshot for each source transfers the most recent Snapshot and associated files for each volume (or subvolume) in the active Snapshots list. Retrospect transfers whatever the most recent Snapshots are at the time the script runs.
  8. The most recent Snapshot for each source selected transfers the most recent Snapshot and associated files for each volume (or subvolume) you select in the active Snapshots list. Retrospect transfers whatever the most recent Snapshots are for the selected sources at the time the script runs.
  9. All active Snapshots for each source transfers all active Snapshots and associated files. To see the list of active Snapshots and their sources, temporarily choose the “Selected Snapshots” option. Make sure to choose “All active Snapshots for each source” again before clicking OK. To make an older Snapshot active, click Add Snapshot.
  10. Selected Snapshots transfers only those Snapshots (and associated files) that you select from the active Snapshots list. Control-click or Shift-click to select multiple Snapshots. To make an older Snapshot active, click Add Snapshot.

    “The most recent Snapshot...” options are very useful for Transfer Snapshots scripts since the list of a Backup Set’s active Snapshots changes each time you back up.

  11. Transfer Snapshots scripts only copy active Snapshots. To copy all Snapshots, use a Transfer Backup Sets script. See Scripted Backup Set Transfer for more information.
  12. Click OK.

The Backup Set and Snapshot information is displayed in the source window.

To transfer additional Snapshots, click Add.

To remove a source, select it and click Remove.

When you are satisfied with your selections click OK.

Selecting the Transfer Snapshots Destination

Because this is a new script, Retrospect says “No Backup Set selected” in the Destination section of the script window.

  1. Click the Destination button.

    The Backup Set Selection window displays.

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  2. Select the destination Backup Set.

    If you do not want to use any of the Backup Sets in the list as the destination, click Create New to create a new Backup Set. See Creating Backup Sets for more information.

  3. Click OK.

Selecting the Files to Transfer

By default, Retrospect transfers all files from the selected Snapshots to the destination Backup Set. You can choose a different selector to transfer a subset of all files.

  1. Click the Selecting button.
  2. Click a selector, then click OK.

You can also click More Choices to use Retrospect’s file selection criteria to create a custom selector. Selectors are explained in detail in Using Selectors.

Setting Additional Options

Retrospect includes a number of execution options that are specific to Snapshot transfers.

Click Options in the summary window to change the default settings for Media Verification, Data compression, Recycle source Backup Set, and other options.

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See Transfer Execution Options for more information about these options.

Click the More Choices button to access additional execution options. See Execution Options for more information.

Setting the Execution Unit

If your edition of Retrospect is capable of running multiple simultaneous executions, you can specify which execution unit to use for this script (or choose “Any Execution unit’). Make your selection in the summary window’s list box. See Assigning Execution Units for more information.

Scripted Grooming

Groom scripts provide the ability to schedule a time to reclaim disk space. When a Groom script runs, Retrospect deletes older files and folders from the source disk Backup Set(s) based on its specified grooming policy. In the absence of a Groom script, Retrospect won't delete older files and folders until it requires more disk space.

See The Options tab for more information on enabling grooming for disk Backup Sets.

The steps to create a Groom script are:

The steps for scheduling and saving are the same for all scripts:

Creating a Groom Script

  1. From the navigation bar, click Automate then click the Manage Scripts button.

    The script editing window displays.

  2. Click the New button to create a new script.

    The script selection window displays.

  3. Select Groom from the list and click OK.

    The script naming window displays.

  4. Enter a name and click New.

    The script appears in its own window.

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  5. To add information to the script, click the appropriate button.

Source lets you specify one or more Backup Sets. See Selecting the Source to Groom.

Schedule lets you set the script to run at a specific time or at regular intervals. See Scheduling Scripts.

When the information in the script window is correct, you can save the script. See Saving Scripts.

Selecting the Source to Groom

If this is a new script, Retrospect says “No Backup Set selected” in the Source section of the script summary window.

  1. Click the Source button to display the Backup Set Selection window.
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    • Retrospect displays only disk Backup Sets, since grooming is not supported with other media types.
  3. Select one or more Backup Sets containing data you want to groom.

    If the Backup Set you are looking for is not listed, click the More button to access additional Backup Sets by opening or recreating their Catalog Files.

    • If you select a Backup Set that does not have grooming enabled, Retrospect will report an error in the Operations Log when the script runs and then continue grooming any additional source Backup Sets.
  4. Click OK.
  5. The Backup Set(s) are listed in the script window.

Setting the Execution Unit

If your edition of Retrospect is capable of running multiple simultaneous executions, you can specify which execution unit to use for this script (or choose “Any Execution unit’). Make your selection in the summary window’s list box. See Assigning Execution Units for more information.

Scripted Verification

Verification scripts provide the ability to schedule Backup Set media verification. This “offline verification” is a useful tool for maximizing your backup window. To manually verify media, choose Tools>Verify Media from Retrospect’s navigation bar. See Verifying Backup Set Media for more information.

For example, if your backup script is unable to complete during the evening when users are away from their computers, you can choose “No verification” for the backup script, then schedule a separate verification script to run in the morning. Since the backup script no longer includes a verification phase, it will finish more quickly.

Whenever possible, verification scripts verify data on Backup Set media by comparing the files in the source Backup Set to MD5 digests generated during the backup. This means that Retrospect does not need to access the backed up source volumes, which prevents slowdowns on those volumes.

In certain circumstances, Retrospect does not have access to MD5 digests generated during backup. This is true for all backups created using versions of Retrospect prior to Retrospect 16.1, as well as backups that took place when Retrospect’s “Generate MD5 digests during backup operations” preference was disabled. See Verification Preferences for more information.

In these cases, Retrospect still checks all files on the Backup Set media to make sure that they are readable.

  • Verification scripts do require you to reinsert media when verifying backups that span media.

The steps to create a Verification script are:

The steps for scheduling and saving are the same for all scripts:

Creating a Verification Script

  1. From the navigation bar, click Automate then click the Manage Scripts button.

    The script editing window displays.

  2. Click the New button to create a new script.

    The script selection window displays.

  3. Select Verification from the list and click OK.

    The script naming window displays.

  4. Enter a name and click New.

    The script appears in its own window.

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  5. To add information to the script, click the appropriate button.

Source lets you specify one or more Backup Sets. See Selecting the Verification Source.

Options lets you specify the verification options. See Setting Additional Options.

Schedule lets you set the script to run at a specific time or at regular intervals. See Scheduling Scripts.

When the information in the script window is correct, you can save the script. See Saving Scripts.

Selecting the Verification Source

If this is a new script, Retrospect says “No Backup Set selected” in the Source section of the script summary window.

  1. Click the Source button to display the Backup Set Selection window.

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  2. Select one or more Backup Sets containing data you want to verify.

    If the Backup Set you are looking for is not listed, click the More button to access additional Backup Sets by opening or recreating their Catalog Files.

  3. Click OK.

The Backup Set(s) are listed in the script window.

Setting Additional Options

Retrospect includes an execution option that is specific to Verification scripts.

Click Options in the summary window to change the default setting for which backups you want to verify.

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See Verification Execution Options for more information about this option.

Click the More Choices button to access additional execution options. See Execution Options for more information.

Setting the Execution Unit

If your edition of Retrospect is capable of running multiple simultaneous executions, you can specify which execution unit to use for this script (or choose “Any Execution unit’). Make your selection in the summary window’s list box. See Assigning Execution Units for more information.

Scheduling Scripts

Although you can manually execute a script at any time, scripts are designed to run unattended. In order to accomplish this, you need to create a schedule to specify when and how often to run the script.

If you want to execute the script only upon your command and in your presence, see Manual Script Execution.

You can schedule a script to run automatically on specified days or on a repeating schedule, such as every two weeks. You can define multiple schedules for the same script and specify the kind of backup you want for each scheduled execution.

For more information about using scripts as part of an overall backup strategy, see Backup Strategies.

To schedule a script:

  1. In the script summary window, click the Schedule button.

    The Schedule window displays.

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  2. Click the Add button.

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  3. Specify the type of scheduler you’d like to add, then click OK.

    Day of week lets you define a schedule for one or more days of the week and specify a weekly repeating interval. For example, you could schedule a script to run on Monday and Wednesday, every other week. Keep in mind that a week starts on the Sunday of the week of the start date.

    Repeating interval lets you define a schedule that is repeated after a specified interval. For example, the last Friday of every month or every three hours.

    Single date lets you define a schedule for a single date and time. For example, April 19, 2003 at 6:00 a.m.

  4. A script can contain any combination of one or more of these schedulers.
  5. Create the scheduler as described in Creating a Script Scheduler, then click OK.

    The Schedule window displays.

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  6. Click Add to create additional schedulers; click Modify to change the selected scheduler; or click Delete to remove the selected scheduler.
  7. Click OK when you’re done scheduling the script.

The script summary window displays.

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It lists the next six scheduled executions based on the scheduler(s) you created.

Creating a Script Scheduler

There are three types of schedulers available in Retrospect:

  • Day of week
  • Repeating interval
  • Single date

While these schedulers have some common elements, the process for creating each type is somewhat unique.

Common Scheduler Elements

All scheduler types have a few common controls and settings. They are:

  • Start Date and Time: This determines the earliest time at which the script is permitted to execute. To change the start date and time, click on any individual part of the date or time. When the item is selected, type the new information or click the arrows to change the information. (You can also press the up and down arrows on your keyboard. Press the Tab key to move the selection among the different elements.)
  • Backup Action Type and Destination: If you are creating a scheduler for a backup script, you can also specify a backup action and destination. From the Action list box, choose Normal, New Member, Recycle, or New Backup Set. (backup and transfer scripts only)

Start Date and Time This determines the earliest time at which the script is permitted to execute. To change the start date and time, click on any individual part of the date or time. When the item is selected, type the new information or click the arrows to change the information. (You can also press the up and down arrows on your keyboard. Press the Tab key to move the selection among the different elements.)

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For Day of week schedulers, specifying a start date does not mean a script will execute on that date, or even in the same week. Check the summary at the top of the window to see the actual date the script will first execute.

Backup Action Type and Destination If you are creating a scheduler for a backup or transfer script, you can also specify a backup action. From the Action list box, choose Normal, New Member, Recycle, or New Backup Set.

  • Normal is a typical Progressive Backup. It selects only files that are new, newly-modified, or new to the Backup Set and appends them to existing members.
  • New Member skips to a new member of the specified Backup Set. Retrospect will use an existing member with the correct name, or any new or erased media of the correct type. New Member is just like Normal, except files are copied to the next member of the Backup Set.
  • Recycle clears the Catalog contents (if any) of a Backup Set so it appears no files are backed up. Then it looks for the first media member of the Backup Set and erases it if it is available. If the first member is not available, Retrospect uses any available new or erased medium. Everything selected from the source is backed up to the Backup Set.
  • New Backup Set makes a new Backup Set (with a name similar to the old one) using a new or erased medium. The original Backup Set and its Catalog remain intact for long-term storage in a safe place. The new Backup Set and its Catalog are named with a number in sequence.

Retrospect allows you to have more than one Backup Set for a script so you can rotate media as part of your backup strategy. If the script has multiple Backup Set destinations, use the To list box to choose the Backup Set to be used for the scheduled execution.

The list box is not displayed if only one Backup Set is specified in the script.

Using the Day of Week Scheduler

If you want to run a script on specified days of the week, use a the Day of week scheduler.

To create a Day of week scheduler:

  1. Select the Day of week radio button in the Scheduler dialog box.

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  2. Click OK.

    The Day of Week scheduler window displays.

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  3. Set the start date and time as described in Common Scheduler Elements.
  4. Retrospect’s Schedule preference (see Schedule Preferences) defines the time period during which scripts are allowed to execute. Scripts scheduled to execute outside this period will not run.

    If necessary specify the backup action and destination Backup Set.

  5. Click the checkboxes for the days of the week you want the script to execute.
  6. Enter a number to use as the repeating interval for the weeks.

    For example, if you enter two, the script executes every other week (or every two weeks).

  7. When all of the settings in the scheduler window are correct, click OK.

Using the Repeating Interval Scheduler

If you want a script to run at a specified hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly interval, use a Repeating interval scheduler.

To create a Repeating interval scheduler:

  1. Select the Repeating interval radio button in the Scheduler dialog box.

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  2. Click OK.

    The Repeating interval scheduler window displays.

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  3. Set the start date and time as described in Common Scheduler Elements.
  4. Retrospect’s Schedule preference (see Schedule Preferences) defines the time period during which scripts are allowed to execute. Scripts scheduled to execute outside this period will not run.

    If necessary specify the backup action and destination Backup Set.

  5. From the Repeat list box, select the time unit (Hours, Days, Weeks, or Months) for the repeating interval.
  6. Type a repeat interval in the Hours, Days, Weeks, or Months field.

    The Repeat list box changes to reflect the Repeat Interval you enter.

  7. When all of the settings in the scheduler window are correct, click OK.

Using the Single Date Scheduler

If you want a script to run once at a specified date and time, use the Single date scheduler.

To create a Single date scheduler:

  1. Select the Single date radio button in the Scheduler dialog box.

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  2. Click OK.

    The Single date scheduler window displays.

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  3. Set the start date and time as described in Common Scheduler Elements.
  4. Retrospect’s Schedule preference (see Schedule Preferences) defines the time period during which scripts are allowed to execute. Scripts scheduled to execute outside this period will not run.

    If necessary specify the backup action and destination Backup Set.

  5. When all of the settings in the scheduler window are correct, click OK.

Saving Scripts

After you’ve specified all the script settings, you need to save the script. There are three options for saving:

  • Save: Click the Save icon 197 to save the script using the name you created it with. You can also just click the OK button in the script summary window.
  • Save As: Click the Save As icon 198 to save the script using a new name. You can save a script once, modify the settings, then Save As to create a new script.
  • Save and Run: Click the Save and Run icon
  • 199 to save the script and display the Manual Script Execution window. You can then choose to execute the script immediately, or create a “run document”.

For more information on executing saved scripts, see Executing Scripts.

Scheduled Operations

Retrospect keeps track of all of your scheduled scripts and automatically executes them at the time you specified. To view a list of scheduled scripts, click Activity Monitor from Retrospect’s navigation bar, then click the Scheduled button.

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Retrospect’s Schedule preference (see Schedule Preferences) defines the time period during which scripts are allowed to execute. Scripts scheduled to execute outside this period will not run.

Retrospect checks the computer’s clock and compares it to the next time a script is scheduled to run.

Retrospect is ever-vigilant about scheduled script executions. If a script is scheduled for automatic execution within the look ahead time (normally twelve hours), Retrospect will not automatically quit (or shut down or restart, depending on a preference setting described in Startup Preferences). It instead remains open and waits to execute the script.

For more information about the Activity Monitor’s Scheduled tab, see Scheduled Tab.

Testing Scripts

You can check the validity of a script from the script summary window at any time. Retrospect lets you know if the script is missing any required information or if it’s ready to run. If the script requires storage media, you can also check to make sure it’s ready and available.

To test a script:

  1. From the Retrospect navigation bar, click Automate> Manage Scripts.
  2. Double-click the script you want to test.

    The script summary window displays.

  3. Click the Check icon 201 in the toolbar.

Retrospect displays a dialog reporting on the validity of the script, as well as the next time the script is scheduled to run.

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If the script is invalid, Retrospect provides information on what is wrong with the script.

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  1. If the script is valid, and it requires media, you can click the Check Media button to make sure the backup device is ready with the required media.

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  2. Click OK to return to the script summary window.

Executing Scripts

Retrospect provides several ways to execute scripts:

For information on interacting with and controlling scripts, see Controlling Scripts.

Automatic Script Execution

Scheduling Scripts, describes how to schedule times for Retrospect to automatically execute a script. Retrospect keeps track of all your scheduled scripts and automatically executes them at the time you specified. The Activity Monitor window (described in Viewing Scheduled Scripts) shows upcoming scheduled events.

Manual Script Execution

To initiate a script manually, you can:

  • Execute the script immediately from within Retrospect.
  • Make a “run document” file that enables you to run the script at any time, upon your command, from your desktop (or wherever the file is saved).

Use the Manual Script Execution dialog to specify the method you want. There are three ways to access the Manual Script Execution dialog:

  • Click the Save and Run button
  • 205 from the script summary window’s toolbar.
  • Choose the script from Retrospect’s Run menu.
  • Click the Run Script button
  • 206 from Retrospect’s main toolbar, then select a script and click OK.

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To execute the script immediately:

  1. Select the Execute now radio button.

    The execution unit list box (if available) lets you override the selection you saved with the script. See Assigning Execution Units for more information on execution units.

    If the script being run is a backup script, use the Action list box to set the backup type. See Backup Actions.

    If the backup script has multiple destinations, use the other list box to specify the destination Backup Set.

  2. Click Execute.

To make a run document:

  1. Select the Make a “run document” radio button.

    If the script being run is a backup script, use the Action list box to set the backup type. See Backup Actions.

    If the backup script has multiple destinations, use the other list box to specify the destination Backup Set.

  2. Click Save.

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  3. Browse to a location to save the run document, enter a file name, then click Save.
  4. Do not change the file extension. All run documents must have the extension .rrr.
  5. Double-click the run document from the desktop or Windows Explorer, to execute the script.

To run several scripts sequentially, select the run documents and choose Open from the File menu. When you open several run documents at once, the scripts associated with them will run in alphabetical order by script name, regardless of the run document file names.

You can create more than one run document for the same script, each specifying a different backup action and destination Backup Set.

Controlling Scripts

You can control automated operations in much the same way that you control immediate operations. See Controlling Operations for more information.

There are a number of preferences that are specific to scripts that must be set correctly. Scripts are designed to run unattended, even after you’ve quit Retrospect and gone home for the night. Make sure that you have selected the Retrospect’s Startup preferences to enable the Retrospect Launcher service and to allow the application to automatically launch to run scripts. See Startup Preferences for more information.

The Startup preferences also determine what Retrospect does when it has auto-launched and is finished executing the script. By default, Retrospect quits, unless Proactive Backup is running or another script is scheduled to run in the application’s look ahead time. See Schedule Preferences for more information.

If you manually launch a script, you can use the “Stay in Retrospect” list box in Retrospect’s toolbar to determine what Retrospect does when it is finished executing. By default, Retrospect does nothing, but if you want to start script and then go home, you can choose to have Retrospect quit when the execution is complete. Unless Proactive Backup is running, or another script is scheduled to run in the application’s look ahead time, Retrospect will quit (or shut down) when done. See Schedule Preferences for more information on specifying the look ahead time.

Proactive Backup Scripts

Backup scripts are powerful and versatile, but in backup environments that change regularly, another kind of operation—Proactive Backup—may be better suited to your needs. A regular backup script copies specific volumes in a certain order to a designated Backup Set. If the backup environment changes and volumes or media become unavailable, the backup will not happen until its next scheduled time, if ever. This is why Retrospect offers a Proactive Backup option.

Proactive Backup is only available if you have the appropriate license code. Click Configure>Licenses to view your current licenses or purchase new ones.

Proactive Backup Benefits

Retrospect’s Proactive Backup technology accommodates changing network and disk configurations. Whereas a regular backup script follows a rigid schedule for its clearly defined source volumes and destination Backup Sets, a Proactive Backup script is driven by the availability of those resources and their need for backup. Source volumes are backed up in order according to need—that which was backed up least recently is first to be backed up. The volumes are copied to the best available Backup Set media, so Proactive Backup scripts give you greater freedom to use the media of your choice.

Proactive Backup scripts are ideal for environments in which computers and volumes irregularly appear on the network. For example, in an office that has ejectable disks and mobile computers that appear on the network at unpredictable times, Proactive Backup recognizes the new volumes when they become available and backs them up. Client users can even initiate backups of their volumes.

Though Proactive Backup scripts can be used independently, it is often best to use them in concert with regular backup scripts to produce a comprehensive backup strategy.

How Proactive Backup Works

You start with a Proactive Backup script, which is similar to other Retrospect scripts. The backup computer running the script becomes “proactive” during its scheduled time of operation and is idle during its scheduled period of inactivity. You may want to dedicate a computer to Proactive Backup operations during periods of activity and avoid running other programs while Proactive Backup is active.

Proactive Backup makes a queue based on the most recent backups of the source volumes. The least recently backed up volume is moved to the head of the queue and other volumes are arranged in descending order according to the priority of need. Then Proactive Backup examines the local computer and polls the network, looking for the volumes.

Polling the network does not adversely affect network performance.

Proactive Backup starts at the top of the volumes queue, determining the availability of each source volume and, if there is a choice, backing up each to its most suitable Backup Set. Retrospect moves the most recently backed up volumes to the bottom of the queue as it goes along. When it is satisfied that all available source volumes are backed up for the current backup interval, Proactive Backup periodically polls clients on the network. Polling involves checking for volumes that have recently appeared, and checking whether any client users have requested backups of their volumes. This whole process ensures a volume in need of backing up gets it.

If allowed by the backup administrator and Proactive Backup, a client user can, at any time, request to be backed up as soon as possible. When Retrospect next polls the client, it will recognize the ASAP request and back up the client.

When the Proactive Backup script’s wrap up time is reached, Retrospect continues the current volume backup but will not start any new backups. When the script’s stop time is reached, Retrospect halts the backup in progress, if any, and will not start any new backups until the script’s next scheduled start time.

Proactive Backup uses only the Normal backup action because New Member, Recycle, and New Backup Set backups are inappropriate for use with Proactive Backup scripts.

When to Use Proactive Backup

The following table includes information comparing standard backup scripts to Proactive Backup Scripts

.

Feature

Backup Script

Proactive Backup Script

Destination Backup Sets

Copies to a single Backup Set as specified in the schedule or at execution. Fails if media is unavailable. Media rotation is scripted.

Copies to the most ideal available Backup Set in the destinations list. Automatic media rotation among multiple available Backup Sets.

Source Volumes

Backs up volumes in the order of the source list. If a backup fails, the next backup does not occur until the next time the script runs.

Backs up volumes in the priority order of their most recent backup dates. After each backup, the queue is re-evaluated, including previously unavailable volumes.

Schedule

Starts backup at a specific time and stops when the last source is completed. Optionally ends at a specific time.

Runs between start and stop times. Backups of available volumes occur as necessary.

User Requested Backups

No.

Yes.

See Network Backup Strategies for descriptions of situations which are suited to Proactive Backup and for instructions on implementing a strategy based on Proactive Backup.

Managing Resources

With abundant resources (large storage capacity, fast network, and powerful backup computer with plenty of time to operate) and relatively few source volumes, Proactive Backup can completely back up all volumes during its window of opportunity. However, with limited resources (small storage capacity, slow network, slow backup computer with little time to operate) and relatively many source volumes, Proactive Backup is not likely to completely back up each volume during its given time period. Fortunately, Retrospect’s Proactive Backup effectively manages limited backup resources so that it eventually completes all of its backups.

Trust Proactive Backup to Do Its Job

Whether your setup is resource-constrained or resource-abundant, Proactive Backup always backs up the volumes in order starting with those which need it most. For example, if you need to back up 100 client computers but you can do backups only during an eight hour period each night, chances are Retrospect will be unable to back up all 100 clients the first night before the script’s eight hours are up. Leftover volumes will be backed up the next night, and so on, until all 100 volumes are backed up. After the initial backups, Proactive Backup will move more quickly through the queue as it performs subsequent Progressive Backups.

As the backup administrator, you do not have to separate the clients into different groups for different days based on your estimation of backup times. Proactive Backup distributes the load over the scheduled time period.

The main thing to remember about Proactive Backup is that all of the source volumes eventually are backed up with no additional effort on your part. In the worst case, the period of time between backups of a given volume will be too long for comfort and you must allot more resources.

If you want your volumes to be backed up more often than they are, you must allocate more resources to the Proactive Backup script. Increase the script’s operating time, use selectors to limit the files to back up, use a faster backup computer, or speed up your network. Setting up a second backup computer with Proactive Backup handling half of your clients effectively divides the load in half for each backup computer.

Monitoring Progress

Periodically view the Backup Report (see Viewing the Backup Report) to see which volumes were backed up by Proactive Backup and their intervals between backups. Of particular interest is the “Elapsed Days” column which shows how many days have passed since each volume’s previous backup.

The interval between backups will tend to be smaller when Retrospect is performing Progressive Backups after the first backup of each volume. Progressive Backups require far less time for most volumes and thus can occur more often.

Deleting a backup event from the Backup Report causes Retrospect to not consider that backup occurrence when it evaluates the priority of volumes to be queued for backup. Consequently, that volume is given a backup priority higher than its previous priority.

Interaction with Other Scripts

You can use multiple Proactive Backup scripts operating simultaneously to manage limited backup resources. You can also use multiple scripts with different schedules to give some volumes a higher backup priority.

For example, one script could run eighteen hours a day, backing up volumes from the sales department. Another script could run six hours a day, backing up volumes from the accounting department. The sales department would be more likely to get completely backed up, whereas the accounting department script may not complete all its volumes in a single six hour period. Still, these volumes would eventually get backed up because volumes in greatest need of backup are backed up before volumes which have more recent backups.

As another example, consider volumes that are available intermittently, such as removable disks and notebook computers. Another script could back them up twenty-four hours a day, because they are available at random times during the day.

For further discussion of Proactive Backup strategies, see Backup Strategies.

Other, non-Proactive Backup scripts scheduled for execution during the active operating time of Proactive Backup scripts can run without conflict.

Proactive Backup Tips and Techniques

To get the most out of Proactive Backup, you should follow a few simple guidelines.

Choose the Right Proactive Backup Computer

The computer you use for Proactive Backup is important. Proactive Backup scripts work best on a dedicated backup computer that is not running other file serving or sharing software. Proactive Backup runs best on a backup computer with a powerful processor.

Proactive Backup does not quit or shut down the backup computer when it is finished; rather, it waits idle until the next scheduled start time.

Use Containers as Sources

Use containers (see Containers) to specify sources in your Proactive Backup scripts, not individual volumes, especially when you back up clients. When you use containers, any new volumes added to a client are automatically included in backups.

Rotate Among Backup Sets

Create multiple Backup Sets and use them all as destinations in your Proactive Backup script. Rotate through the sets by inserting different media in the backup device each day. Proactive Backup uses whatever media you inserted.

Introduce New Media

Periodically do New Backup Set backups to introduce new media. Store old media off-site after each New Backup Set backup. Between New Backup Set backups, periodically do Recycle backups to prevent Catalogs from becoming cumbersome and to ensure fast restore operations.

When you want to rotate or introduce new media, do Recycle or New Backup Set backups by executing regular backup scripts using the same Backup Sets used by your Proactive Backup scripts. You can schedule these, execute them from Retrospect’s Run menu, or save them as run documents and execute them.

To manually set a Backup Set for a Recycle or New Backup Set backup, configure the Backup Set and set the media action. (See The Options tab).

Monitor Media Availability

Because Proactive Backup does not initially put up media request windows, you have to monitor media from the Activity Monitor. Click Activity Monitor>Proactive to check on your Proactive Backup Scripts.

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When Retrospect needs media it displays “media” in the status column of the Sources or Backup Sets view. Choose Backup Sets from the list box to see which destination Backup Sets have media available and which do not. Insert media as needed.

If a Backup Set needs a new or erased medium and you have to erase one, stop Proactive Backup, erase the medium from Configure> Devices, then start Proactive Backup again.

Use Other Scripts to Complement Proactive Backup

Retrospect can have multiple Proactive Backup scripts running concurrently, and it will manage the sources and destinations.

Other, non-Proactive Backup scripts can execute while Proactive Backup is running. You can schedule them or run them at will using run documents. Other scripts can complement Proactive Backup scripts by starting Recycle and New Backup Set backups, and by forcibly backing up volumes that do not get backed up by Proactive Backup.

Use Tape Libraries

An automatic tape loading device with Proactive Backup is a powerful combination. All tapes in the library’s magazine are available for backup as Backup Set destinations. Proactive Backup rotates between Backup Sets with no additional effort from you. It uses blank or erased tapes when a backup spans over two tapes, or when you set up a New Backup Set backup with Retrospect’s media action options.

Allow Early Backups

By default, Proactive Backup scripts allow early backups. These occur when Proactive Backup is polling through the list of possible sources and finds a client that has requested to be backed up as soon as possible. When a client user selects this option in his or her Retrospect Client control panel, the client software does not send a message to Retrospect on the backup computer. Rather, Retrospect contacts clients as Proactive Backup polls, which it does when it is not actually performing backups during its scheduled active time.

If many clients are due for backup, a client with a current backup may wait a long time before Proactive Backup gets to it. Regardless of the client user’s desire for backup ASAP, Retrospect backs up other clients that do not have current backups. Retrospect always polls starting with clients who need backups the most.

For more information, see Proactive Backup Interval Options.

Manage User Deferments

When a client user repeatedly defers his or her backups (as indicated in the Operations Log), you should make future backups occur at a time that is more convenient for the user, such as when he or she is not using the computer. Or, create a script with the countdown time option at zero to prevent the user from deferring execution.

Set Priority by Volumes

If certain critical volumes are not getting backed up as often as you would like, consider using multiple scripts with different schedules to give some volumes higher backup priority than others. Schedule the higher-priority volumes script to run for a longer duration than the lower-priority volumes script. With more time allotted to the higher-priority volumes, they are more likely to get completely backed up.

Set Priority by Files

If you find Proactive Backup is not completely backing up all its sources, another way to set the backup priority is by files rather than volumes, though you can also do both. Use multiple scripts with different selectors to give some files or folders higher backup priority than others. For example, a higher-priority selector would include documents modified in the last seven days, and a lower-priority selector would include all files. Schedule the higher-priority script to run for a longer duration than the lower-priority script.

Creating Proactive Backup Scripts

This section takes you through the steps of creating a Proactive Backup script: The process is very similar to creating a regular backup script, although Proactive Backup scripts are scheduled differently.

To create a Proactive Backup script:

  1. From the navigation bar, click Automate, then click the Proactive Backup button.

    The Proactive Backup window displays.

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  2. Click the New button to create a new script, then enter a name and click New.

    The script appears in its own window.

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    This script window is very similar to a regular backup script summary window, with information for the source volumes, destination Backup Sets, file selection criteria, options, and schedule information.

  3. To change information, click the appropriate button.

Sources lets you add or remove source volumes.

Destinations lets you choose one or more destination Backup Sets.

Selecting lets you choose a selector—a kind of filter for selecting files and folders to be backed up.

Options displays the options window in which you can toggle verification and data compression.

Schedule lets you set the script to run all the time or only on specific days at specific times.The execution unit list box (if available) lets you choose a specific execution unit (or use any execution unit) for this Proactive Backup script..

Setting the Proactive Backup Sources

The first step in defining a Proactive Backup script is setting the sources.

  1. Click the Sources button.

    The Source Selection window displays.

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  2. Select a source volume (or volumes), then click OK.
  3. Proactive Backup scripts are especially well-suited for backing up laptop client volumes, or other volumes that appear irregularly on the network.

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  4. Click Add to select additional sources, or select a source and click Remove to remove it from the list. When the list of sources is complete, click OK.
  5. If your script includes multiple sources, they are backed up according to need and availability.

Setting the Proactive Backup Destination

After specifying the source(s) to back up, you must specify the destination Backup Set(s) for the data.

  1. Click the Destinations button.

    If there are no Backup Sets defined, the Backup Set Creation Wizard launches.

    Create a new Backup Set, as described in Creating Backup Sets. The new Backup Set appears in the Backup Set Selection window.

    If there are Backup Sets defined, the Backup Set Selection window displays.

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    You can click More or Create New to access additional Backup Sets or create new ones.

  2. Select one or more Backup Sets, then click OK.
  3. Click Add to select additional destinations, or select a Backup Set and click Remove to remove it from the list. When the list of destinations is complete, click OK.

Selecting Files for Proactive Backup

By default, Retrospect selects all files on the source(s). You can choose a different pre-defined selector or create a custom selector to select a subset of all files.

  1. Click the Selecting button.

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  2. Click a selector, then click OK.

    You can also click More Choices to use Retrospect’s file selection criteria to create a custom selector. Selectors are explained in detail in Using Selectors.

  3. Selectors are used to determine which files are considered for backup, not which files actually get copied. For example, if you choose All Files, Retrospect compares all the source files with the files already in the destination Backup Set, then copies only those files that are new or changed.

Setting Proactive Backup Options

Click the Options button to display the options window in which you can specify how often to back up source volumes and whether or not to allow early backup. Click More Choices to see all of the available options categories and notice that many categories parallel those of regular backup scripts. Categories specific to Proactive Backup scripts are Interval, Countdown, and Polling. These options are explained in detail in Execution Options.

Setting the Execution Unit

If your edition of Retrospect is capable of running multiple simultaneous executions, you can specify which execution unit to use for this operation (or choose “Any Execution unit”). Make your selection in the summary window’s list box. See Assigning Execution Units for more information.

Scheduling Proactive Backup Scripts

A Proactive Backup script’s schedule is one of the major differences between it and a regular backup script. From the script summary window, click the Schedule button.

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Select a schedule:

  • Always active makes Retrospect run the script twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Custom schedule brings up another window in which you can customize the script schedule. See Customizing the Schedule.
  • Never active prevents Retrospect from running the script.

The Skip scheduled executions checkbox prevents Proactive Backup from running until the time you specify.

Customizing the Schedule

By default, Proactive Backup scripts are active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you want to specify different hours or days for a script to be active, you can create a custom schedule.

When you select Custom schedule and click Custom, Retrospect displays the custom schedule window. Though similar to the Schedule Preferences window, it is specific to this Proactive Backup script rather than global to all Retrospect executions.

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If the schedule was previously Always Active, all twenty-four hours of each of the seven days of the week are selected, as above.

To select a day of the week, click on it. Click and drag to select contiguous days of the week. Use the Shift or Control key and click or drag to select days without de-selecting the previous selection.

To change a time, click on it and type or use the control.

Start is the time at which the script begins.

Wrap up is the period of time (in hours and minutes) before the stop time, during which Retrospect should complete the current backup but not begin new backups.

Stop is the time at which Retrospect absolutely must halt this script’s backups (until the next start time).

You can also set times by dragging the icons on the hourly schedule bar, but you should first experiment by typing the times to see how these controls work.

When a time is changed, the hourly schedule bar changes accordingly to graphically represent the start, wrap up, and stop times of the script.

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Each selected day has a scaled-down hourly schedule bar, though it does not have controls.

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You can revert a customized schedule with the Always and Never buttons.

Controlling Proactive Backup

There are a number of ways to control Proactive Backup and Proactive Backup scripts, both from the Retrospect application and from Retrospect clients.

You can control Proactive Backup from Retrospect’s Run Menu and the Activity Monitor’s Proactive tab. You can control Proactive Backup scripts from the Retrospect Client Control Panel and the Activity Monitor’s Proactive tab

Proactive Backup is not affected by the selection in the “Stay in Retrospect” list box in Retrospect’s toolbar, or by Retrospect’s unattended Startup preference. For example, Retrospect will not quit when a Proactive Backup script is done.

Run Menu

From the Run menu, you can start/stop and enable/disable Proactive Backup. When you save a Proactive Backup script, Proactive Backup is enabled (unless the script schedule is “never active”) after the backup computer is idle for ten minutes. Retrospect starts Proactive Backup when a script’s scheduled start time arrives. If Retrospect is not open at the start time, it will launch automatically.

You can control Proactive Backup manually by choosing commands from the Run menu:

  • Choose Start Proactive Backup to manually enable Proactive Backup. Proactive Backup scripts will then run at their scheduled times of execution. When Proactive Backup is started, you can choose Stop Proactive Backup from the run menu to stop it.
  • You can also start/stop Proactive Backup using the Start and Stop buttons on the Activity Monitor’s Proactive tab.

When Proactive Backup is stopped, no Proactive Backup scripts will run for 10 minutes, or until you start Proactive Backup again.

  • If you exit Retrospect, then relaunch it (or it is auto launched) Proactive Backup will start automatically (after a short delay), unless it is disabled.
  • Choose Disable Proactive Backup from the Run menu to prevent any scheduled Proactive Backup scripts from executing.

When Proactive Backup is disabled, no Proactive Backup scripts will run until you choose Start Proactive Backup or Enable Proactive Backup.

Activity Monitor

The Proactive tab in the Activity Monitor provides information about Proactive Backup and Proactive Backup scripts.

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From the Proactive tab, you can pause Proactive Backup scripts, start/stop Proactive Backup, override schedules, and view status. See Proactive Tab for more information.

Client Control Panel

You can use the client control panel to request Proactive Backup as soon as possible, or at a specific time. You can also defer a backup that is about to start until a later time.

See Controlling Proactive Backups for more information.