Open File Backup Tips


Retrospect Inc. recommends that you perform a full backup of your line of business servers while all applications are closed before using Open File Backup for the first time. Although Open File Backup is designed to back up line of business servers while they are up and running, closing the servers down prior to performing the first backup adds an extra degree of safety. For the best results, schedule subsequent backups of up and running line of business servers for off-peak times.

Delays Before Copying

When using Open File Backup, you may notice a delay between when the backup is initiated and when copying begins. During this time, Retrospect is looking for a "disk inactivity threshold" on the disk it is backing up. Retrospect tries to meet the disk inactivity threshold from the time Open File Backup is initiated, until the "Retry timeout" period elapses. Thus, the delay before copying could be as long as the Retry timeout (the default is ten minutes). See the Retrospect User’s Guide for more information on specifying the Disk inactivity threshold and Retry timeout.

Administrator Privileges

If you are logged on to the backup computer and manually launch Retrospect, or if you are using the Retrospect Launcher service to automatically launch Retrospect for unattended operation, you must be logged on with administrator privileges in order to use Open File Backup to back up the local computer.

Windows Error Messages

Open File Backup requires a certain amount of free disk space on the disk that is being backed up. If you run Open File Backup in a low disk space environment, Windows may generate error messages, such as "The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable" or "Delayed Write Errors." If the error message includes the word "Snapshot," this indicates that Open File Backup was unable to back up the requested volume.

In these cases, no data is lost and the disk is not corrupt, rather the Open File Backup could not be completed. Freeing up disk space on the disk being backed up and rebooting the computer solves this problem. If you do not reboot, subsequent Open File Backups may also fail.

Virus Scanning Software

Retrospect Inc. recommends not running active virus scans during Open File Backup. Anti-virus software can be installed and enabled, as long as there are no active scans during the backup.

Norton CleanSweep

There are known issues when using Open File backup with Norton CleanSweep. Retrospect recommends uninstalling CleanSweep, or disabling the installation monitors, csinsmnt.exe and monwow.exe.

Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 7, and 8

Retrospect uses the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to backup open files. If your log reports an error "Can’t Use Open File Backup for C: error -1017 Insufficient Permissions", then the VSS Service is failing to work correctly on your computer. Check the Windows Event Log on the source computer for VSS errors. You can then use the Windows Event ID to identify the cause of the VSS Failure and consult with Microsoft for a solution.

Last Update: February 14, 2012