Quick Start Guide

Retrospect Backup is a powerful data protection suite with a multitude of features. Before we dive into the details, let’s walk through a simple example of using Retrospect Backup to protect a Word document on your desktop.

On-site Backup to a Drobo with Retrospect Backup for Windows – 04:02

We are going to back up the Word document, and then we are going to restore it.


You see the Word document at the top left of the screen on the Desktop. Let’s back up the Word document using Backup Wizard. The Backup Wizard is how you set up your backup strategy using sources (volumes and clients), backup sets (destinations for your backups), and scripts (the backup plan for your sources and sets).

  1. Here is our document that we are going to back up.

    Quick start win 1 document

  2. In Retrospect, select "Backup" on the left navigation.

    Quick start win 2 backup

  3. In Backup Wizard, select "Set Up Custom Backup". You can learn more about 1-Click Backup below.

    Quick start win 3 backup wizard

  4. For this guide, we will switch to "Advanced Mode". "Wizard Mode" has a great set of features for protecting your entire computer, but "Advanced Mode" makes it easy to configure a backup of just the Desktop. Click "Sources".

    Quick start win 4 immediate backup

  5. We are going to back up only the Desktop. Select "Local Disk", select "Subvolume…​", navigate to the Desktop, and click "Define". You have now defined "Desktop" as a subvolume to back up, allowing you to protect only the Desktop. Now select "Desktop" and click "OK".

    Quick start win 5 source

  6. Click "Destination".

    Quick start win 6 destination

  7. We are going to create a Backup Set for the destination of your backups. Click "Create New".

    Quick start win 7 backup set

  8. Select "Disk" and click "Next". You could also pick a different type of backup set, like a Tape Set or a Cloud Set.

    Quick start win 8 backup set type

  9. Type in a name for your backup set, and then click "Select…​".

    Quick start win 9 backup set name

  10. You can now select where you want your backups to be stored. If you have an external hard drive, it will appear here. If you want to use a NAS share, like a Drobo, use "Advanced…​" to type in its network path. For this demo, we will use a Drobo path.

    Quick start win 10 backup set destination

  11. With your media selected, you can adjust the amount of storage that your backups can take up. You also have the option of using a Storage Group rather than a backup set. Click "Next".

    Quick start win 11 backup set size

  12. Your backup set can be encrypted. Retrospect supports AES-256 encryption for extremely secure backup data. Only you have access to the data, even if you store it in the cloud. Please write down the password, because no one can decrypt your data if you lose it.

    Quick start win 12 backup set encryption

  13. Select the destination for your backup set’s catalog. The catalog is where analytics about your backup set are stored.

    Quick start win 13 backup set catalog

  14. You have now created a backup set. Click "Finish".

    Quick start win 14 backup set done

  15. With the source selected and the destination backup set selected, you can start your backup. Click "Backup".

    Quick start win 15 backup set selected

  16. You can see the backup is running. Your Desktop is being backed up to your destination.

    Quick start win 16 backing up


Let’s now delete the Word document from the Desktop and restore it with Retrospect.

  1. We moved the Word document into the Recycle Bin.

    Quick start win 17 recycle

  2. To restore the document, click "Restore" in the left navigation to launch the Restore Wizard.

    Quick start win 18 restore

  3. In the Restore Wizard, select "Next". We will use "Wizard Mode", but "Advanced Mode" is also available.

    Quick start win 19 restore wizard

  4. Select the backup set the Desktop was backed up to. Click "Next".

    Quick start win 20 restore backup set

  5. Select the backup for your Desktop. It will be listed with the user and the date of the backup.

    Quick start win 21 restore snapshot

  6. You can decide where to restore the files to. In this case, we will use "Original location".

    Quick start win 22 restore location

  7. For the type of restore, you can either select which files to restore, or you can restore everything, making a point-in-time restore of the source and deleting all other contents. For this guide, we will use "Restore files and folders".

    Quick start win 23 restore type

  8. Click "Select Files…​".

    Quick start win 24 restore selection

  9. Click the checkmarks next to the files you want to restore and click "OK".

    Quick start win 25 restore files

  10. Retrospect offers different ways to restore your files. You can replace always existing files, replace them if the backed up file is newer, or never replace them. In this case, we will use "Never".

    Quick start win 26 restore options

  11. You can see your restore summary. Click "Start".

    Quick start win 27 restore summary

  12. Your restore is complete.

    Quick start win 28 restore successful

  13. You can see the file is restored to the desktop.

    Quick start win 29 restore document

1-Click Backup

1-Click Backup allows you to click a single button to create a complete backup strategy for your environment:

One click backup win

  1. Click "Backup" in the left navigation.

  2. Select the destination you would like the backups to be stored on.

  3. Click "1-Click Backup".

Retrospect automatically creates a ProactiveAI script named "1-Click Backup" that includes all available sources and goes to the selected destination, named "1-Click Destination". Retrospect is even smart enough to back up the data on the destination that is not within the backup.

Note that you cannot run this more than once. It will generate an error that the catalog and set already exist: "A Catalog with this name already exists at this location (-2262)". This workflow is designed for the first launch of the product to get you up and running.