Retrospect 9.0 for Mac Read Me


This document contains important information about Retrospect 9 for Mac. Please read it carefully.

The Retrospect website is regularly updated with the most recent support information for Retrospect and related products, including the following:


  1. New in Retrospect 9.0

  2. Tips and late-breaking information

  3. Known issues with this release

  4. Retrospect 9 system requirements

  5. Upgrading from Retrospect 6.1

  6. Uninstalling Retrospect 9

New in Retrospect 9.0

This release offers improved stability and performance over version 8 and introduces several new capabilities, including an all-new Retrospect Client for Intel Macs that adds on-demand backup and restore, the ability to utilize WebDAV cloud storage, and support for Mac OS X Lion.

  • All-new Retrospect Client for Intel Macs

    • 64-bit System Preference pane

    • On-demand backup and restore

    • Animated, interactive menu bar icon

    • Growl notification of backup operations

    • Easier marking of files, folders, and volumes as private

    • Network link encryption now employs the strong AES-256 standard

    • Support for S.M.A.R.T. hard drive error reporting

  • Improved performance in several areas, including the ability to run up to 16 simultaneous executions (configuration permitting)

  • Support for WebDAV cloud storage

  • Management control of new client features and additional Wake-on-LAN options

  • New upgrade process no longer requires two downloads to complete

  • Ability to view only those files that were copied during a backup

  • Improved network share support

  • Improved use of search and scope buttons, including the ability to search for sources by assigned tag

  • Support for Mac OS X Lion

  • Over 250 bug fixes, including improvements to the media request process, a config file backup process that provides better protection against corruption, and the elimination of certain spurious errors

For information on the new capabilities of Retrospect 9, see the Retrospect User’s Guide Addendum __ installed in /Applications/Retrospect/. A complete list of changes is listed in the Retrospect 9 Release Notes.

Tips and late-breaking information

About Growl notification and the Retrospect Client

The Retrospect 9 Client software can provide information on backup operations to users using Growl notifications. To learn about or download Growl, visit

About the Mac OS X Lion "Recovery HD" partition

The Mac OS X Lion installation process modifies a Mac’s startup disk to add an invisible 640 MB "Recovery HD" partition that can be used to start up the Mac in the event of a problem with the primary startup volume. This partition is not visible in Retrospect or Disk Utility.

Retrospect users should be aware of the following information regarding the Recovery HD partition:

  • The creation of this partition changes the size of the startup volume, so Retrospect may show the startup volume twice in the Sources view. If this happens, remove the original volume from the Sources list and redefine any favorite folders.

  • If the disk containing the Recovery HD partition is repartitioned and erased with an application like Disk Utility, or if a new hard drive is installed, the Recovery HD partition will no longer be present. Running the Lion installer on this disk will recreate the Recovery HD partition.

Restoring from Retrospect 6.x backups

Retrospect 9 can restore from Backup Sets created by Retrospect 6.x for Mac (except those of type Internet). However, it is not possible to add more data to these Backup Sets using version 9; Retrospect 9 treats version 6.x Backup Sets as read-only.

Before it’s possible to search or restore from a 6.x Backup Set using Retrospect 9, a Retrospect 9 Catalog must first be created. To create a version 9 Catalog from the 6.x media, go to the Media Sets view in Retrospect 9, click on the Rebuild button in the toolbar, add the Backup Set members (like "1-Backup Set A" and "2-Backup Set A") that contain the backup data, click Next, and then click Rebuild. You will need to tell Retrospect where to save the new Catalog. Retrospect will then scan over the backup media and generate a new Catalog. This will take some time. Once this process completes, you will be able to restore from that Backup Set.

To rebuild a Catalog from an Optical Disc Backup Set, it is first necessary to activate optical device support. The instructions for activating optical support can be found in the Retrospect Knowledgebase.

Communication errors with VXA-320 tape drives

Some VXA-320 tape drives respond to a different command length than other VXA-320 drives. Unfortunately, Retrospect cannot resolve this difference without user intervention. If your VXA-320 drive exhibits communication problems with Retrospect 9, such as "incorrect scsiServiceResponse" messages displaying in the Mac OS X system log (viewable with the Console application in /Applications/Utilities/), then you will need to edit the retro.ini settings file to correct the problem, as outlined in the VXA-320 Retrospect Knowledgebase article.

Restoring a Windows client using the optional Retrospect Emergency Recovery CD

When restoring a Windows client computer that is booted from the optional Retrospect Emergency Recovery CD for Windows, drive letters might change. Pay special attention to which volume(s) you are restoring.

Known issues with this release

The following is a list of issues present in Retrospect 9.

  • System Preference panes are not uninstalled from Lion-encrypted disks. To remove the Retrospect and Retrospect Client System Preference panes from disks encrypted with Lion’s FileVault whole disk encryption feature activated, right-click (or Control-click) on them in System Preferences and select the Remove option.

  • Media Sets with DES encryption created on PowerPC-based Macs running Retrospect 8 cannot be read by Intel-based Macs and vice versa. We recommend that users requiring data encryption switch to the more advanced AES standard.

  • Disk Media Set members cannot be edited on Mac OS X 10.5 64-bit Macs. We recommend running Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" or later on 64-bit-capable Intel Macs.

  • Tape library magazine slot assignment changes don’t update* until the Retrospect console is quit and restarted.

Retrospect 9 system requirements

Retrospect 9 console and engine

The Retrospect console and engine can be installed on separate Macs.

  • Intel processor

  • Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later

  • At least 1 GB RAM

  • 50 MB hard disk space

  • Storage for backups

Recommended configuration

  • Intel Core Duo or better processor

  • Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later

  • At least 2 GB RAM

  • 10-15 GB of temp hard disk space for each concurrent activity (backup, restore, etc.)

Retrospect 9 Client for Intel Macs

  • Intel processor

  • Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server 10.5.8 or later, including Lion

  • RAM that meets Apple’s guidelines for each OS

  • Note: Backing up Mac OS X Server clients requires Retrospect Multi Server or Retrospect Single Server with available Server Client Licenses.

Retrospect 6.3 Client for PowerPC Macs

  • PowerPC G3, G4, or G5

  • Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server 10.3.9, 10.4.11, or 10.5.8 or later

  • RAM that meets Apple’s guidelines for each OS

  • Note: Backing up Mac OS X Server clients requires Retrospect Multi Server or Retrospect Single Server with available Server Client Licenses.

Windows Clients

  • Pentium processor or later

  • Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or 7; Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003 or 2008

  • RAM that meets Microsoft’s guidelines for each OS

  • Note: Backing up Windows Server clients requires Retrospect Multi Server or Retrospect Single Server with available Server Client Licenses.

Linux Clients

  • x86-based system running Red Hat Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Desktop, SUSE Linux Professional, SUSE Linux Standard Server, or SUSE Enterprise Server operating system.  

  • glibc version 2 or later

  • Note: In order to use the graphical user interface (GUI) to change options and preferences, Java version 1.2 or later is also required.

Storage Devices

Retrospect supports a wide variety of storage devices as the destination for backups, including hard drives (both direct- and network-attached), tape drives and libraries (connected via FireWire, SCSI, iSCSI, Fibre Channel), and removable disk drives. See the Retrospect Device Support Database for a complete list of supported tape drives and libraries. Optical device support is deactivated in this release.

Upgrading from Retrospect 6.1

The Retrospect 9 installation process does not overwrite or remove existing Retrospect 6.1 (or earlier) installations. It is recommended that you continue to maintain your existing Retrospect installation until you are comfortable with Retrospect 9.

To keep your existing Retrospect 6.1 (or earlier) installation and prevent that version’s scripts from automatically running, take the following steps:

  1. For each backup, duplicate, and restore script with a schedule, edit the script’s schedule and check the box to "Skip scheduled executions". Enter a date that is several years in the future.

  2. For each Backup Server script, edit its schedule and set the schedule to never active.

Should you instead wish to remove your previous installation of Retrospect, locate the disk image containing the installer for your current Retrospect installation (or download it from the Archives section of the Retrospect website) and follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the Install Retrospect icon and provide your password and agreement to the license.

  2. Choose Uninstall from the Easy Install pop-up menu.

  3. Click the Uninstall button and follow the on-screen instructions.

Uninstalling Retrospect 9

To remove Retrospect 9, follow the steps outlined below.

  1. The Uninstaller preserves Config files (which contain the database of logged-in clients, scripts and schedules, and general Retrospect engine preferences), the Retrospect console’s preferences, and all Media Set Catalog files (which keep track of what files are backed up to each Media Set). If you instead want to completely remove all of these settings and Catalogs, delete the following files and folders:

    /Library/Application Support/Retrospect/Catalogs/
    /Library/Application Support/Retrospect/Config80.bak
    /Library/Application Support/Retrospect/Config80.dat
    /Library/Application Support/Retrospect/retro.ini
  2. Open the Retrospect application folder and double-click the Uninstall Retrospect icon to run the uninstaller.

Last Update: March 1, 2012