Grooming Tips and Troubleshooting


Below are suggestions for successful Disk Backup Set Grooming.

  1. Choose your grooming mode: "Performance-optimized grooming" or "Storage-optimized grooming". See Documentation for more details.

  2. Make sure you have between 5 and 10 GB of free disk space on the C: drive for each execution unit. Retrospect uses the default Windows Temp directory for memory caching as well as document and settings/all users/application data/Retrospect to store temporary files during grooming. This will insure that Retrospect will not run out of disk space or low on memory during the grooming phase of the backup.

  3. Keep your catalog files saved a local disk (like C:\) instead of a network volume. Do not save the catalog file to the same disk as your backup data files (.rdb files).

  4. Make sure the disk used for your backup data (.rdb files) is not heavily fragmented. Grooming over a long period of time will result in heavy disk fragmentation. You should also defragment the C: disk for best performance.

  5. Don’t groom too often. Grooming will automatically remove data when the destination disk fills up. If you want to make sure the disk never fills, create a grooming script (Automate > Manage Scripts > New) to run once a week. Grooming every day is typically not needed.

  6. Decide how many Snapshots per disk you need to keep. Retrospect will either use the "Defined Policy" or you can select the number of Snapshots PER VOLUME you want (Configure > Backup Sets > Backup Set Properties > Options). Example: If you backup 2 different hard disks and set grooming to "10", then you will have a total of 20 snapshots saved in the backup after grooming runs.

  7. Tip: If you set Grooming to "10", Retrospect will automatically keep as many Snapshots as possible, as long as you have enough available disk space on the destination backup drive. When the grooming operation completes, all but the last 10 Snapshots per volume will be removed. It is not unusual to have more then 10 Snapshots per volume on the backup if grooming has not activated for a long time. Keep in mind, if you delete a file from a hard disk after your second backup, it can not be groomed out of the backup until you have done at least 12 backups of the disk.

  8. If you cancel a grooming operation or grooming fails (see Operations Log for errors), you must perform a catalog rebuild of "all disks" in the Backup Set before attempting to groom again. Just because the backup seems to be working, doesn’t mean grooming will work. You must do the catalog rebuild after a failure. Directions for a rebuild are found in the article Catalog Rebuild of a Disk Backup Set with Grooming .

  9. The faster your computer and the more RAM you have, the faster grooming will run. Even with 2 GB of RAM, it could take 5 to 10 hours to groom a 1 TB backup set. The more "sessions" and "snapshots" you have, the longer grooming will take. We recommend keeping the total number of sessions in the backup set to under 4 or 5 thousand.

  10. More disk space is always better then less. If the initial full backup takes 250 GB of disk space, you may want to reserve an additional 250 GB of disk space for future incremental backups so that have room to retain a high number of Snapshots.

  11. Grooming and NAS: Grooming utilizes temporary files to help with the deleting of backup data. Grooming will copy each 600 MB .rdb file (that contains data to be groomed) from the backup drive to "C:\ProgramData\Retrospect", modify the temporary file (deleting old backup data) and then copy it back to the backup disk. This process utilizes temporary disk space on the C: disk but it also utilizes network resources to copy data from a NAS device to the backup server and then back onto the NAS. If a network connection problem exists during this process, you may experience a corrupt catalog file or even damage to backup data files. See item #7 above for catalog rebuild directions. Grooming a backup set saved to a NAS device will take longer then grooming a local disk backup set.

  12. Only use grooming with backup media that will be "online" or available when the grooming starts. If your backup spans across multiple removable disks (like a REV disk), then Retrospect will need to swap between each disk throughout the grooming process. The media request dialog box can not be canceled during a grooming operation. The user must either insert the requested media or force Retrospect to close. If you force Retrospect to close because your media is not available when requested, then you must do a catalog rebuild as noted in item 7 above. It is best to only use grooming when all members of the backup set can be inserted at the same time (like with several USB hard disks).

Last Update: November 10, 2012