Dantz Retrospect Backup software/Maxtor HD

  Southernboy 13:53 05 Oct 04
Locked

Having just purchased a Maxtor 120Gb USB hard drive, it came with the above software. It appears to be an excellent product, but I have some questions which I hope someone out there will be able to answer.

It came with a clear and helpful manual, which gave step-by-step instructions. However, the first thing that puzzles me is the backup choices offered, which were USER FILES AND APPLICATIONS or USER FILES ONLY. In my innocence, I selected USER FILES ONLY, thinking this would confine the backup selection to my work files. When checking the report after the first backup, I was astonished to many other files had been backed up, including all the example files and templates that came with the Office Suite I use. Since these are included in the CD-ROM that came with the software, I don't need to back them up - all I need to back up are the files I have created. It even seems to have backed up up the remnants of two programs I uninstalled some four years ago. I have plenty of space but I do not want to backup unwanted garbage.

Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find anything in the manual which tells me how I can choose exactly what files I wish included. After all, if I were to move to a new PC, I would simply install my Office Suite and add my work files, which is what I did when I purchased my current PC. I have no way of knowing what many of the other folders are. They certainly do not seem to relate to the two applications I use, so I don't know what they are doing there and why they were backed up.

I wouls also like to keep several gerations of backups. There is nothing in the manual which tells me how to do this. One thing that occurs is to simply rename the backup folder on the Maxtor, and assume that the software would assume it did not exist and carry out another full backup. If anyone uses Retrospect v6.0 I would be interested in their views on this.

Finally, this may sound silly, but please bear with me. I would like to run ScanDisk on the new drive to satisfy myself that it has no surface problems. The manual states that Scandisk can be run with W98SE and with XP, but not with Windows ME. I am just puzzled why this is - does anyone know? It seems strange that a standard MS utility cannt be used with one version of windows.

Thank you. Please keep answers simple so I can follow them!

  Southernboy 13:55 05 Oct 04

I meant "generations"!

  Pappyon 15:35 05 Oct 04

I have the same problem as you. I have the Maxtor 300GB external and Dantz Retrospect 6 came bundled with it. I only want to duplicate 2 files in Microsoft Money and Lotus Organize(separately of course) and end up with literally hundreds.

You could try sifting through the posts here, viz:click here, but don't expect to get the response you get on the PC Advisor forums if you post any questions. I posted 3 times and it took a fortnight to get an answer.

I am sorry I have to disagree with you about Retrospect 6. As far as I am concerned it is the least user-friendly program I have ever used. Or maybe I am just obtuse.

I hope you have better luck than me if you ever have to use the Retrospect Disaster Recovery. You might care to read my posts on the subject on the forum.

  Southernboy 16:29 06 Oct 04

I looked at the Dantz site and did not really understand very much of it. Most of the replies went completely over my head.

I was attracted to the Maxtor/Dantz combination because it appeared user-friendly and not too technical. However, apart from the basic installation guide, I am now completely lost!

I do not know what "scripts" are and the other options, including "disaster recovery" are Greek to me. All I wanted was a secure and simple method of backing up my many years of research in the event of my elderly PC failing or purchase of a new PC. My use of a PC is confined to my use of Lotus Smartsuite and Microsoft Money, so my needs are simple. I simply want to replicate what I used to do with my previous Iomega software, namely to carry out incremental backups for a few days and do a full backup. I want to keep each full backup in a separate folder, so that I have several past generations available should I need them. How hard can that be?

I have already wasted money on an Iomega 750 Zip drive as the software simply refused to do more than one backup set, even though the "manual" said it would. I was advised that I could do this with the Maxtor/Retrospect set, but cannot discover how to do this. And, of course, I need to know why the software is backing up so many files. What is the definition of a "User File"? Most of them I have never heard of and I can't believe I created them all. By the way, my PC is not connected to the internet, so it cannot be anything caught from the net.

I was getting some help but the chap (who had been very helpful) appears to have bailed out, so I am on my own.

Advice to a non-techie would be gratefully received.

  Southernboy 15:53 11 Oct 04

please?

  wee eddie 17:59 11 Oct 04

Just create a dated folder on the Maxtor, and Copy from your PC and Paste to it, the files you want to keep copies of.

Incidentally. M$ Outlook stores its information in Windows > Programs > Outlook.pst, a copy of this file will reinstall the Outlook information.

It is unlikely that Lotus will store its Diary with the same suffix but the general idea will be the similar.

  Southernboy 16:14 18 Oct 04

of buying this package was to use the Retrospect Backup program. This is the purpose of the "One Touch" facility. It rather defeats the object to return to the old "Cut and Paste" option.

In any event, I would like to understand my software which alleges it is much more versatile than a bog-standard backup programme.

Anyone out there can help, please?

  Southernboy 15:02 20 Oct 04

Refresh

  It's Me 20:31 20 Oct 04

Hi! Remember me. The problem with the Iomega stuff that doesn't work. It still will only do one set and not automatically, well it sometimes does then shoots the disk out of the drive at about 100MPH and it flies across the room in a sort of triumphal victory role. I use the Nero Back itUp for the DVDs and that does its stuff there incrementally although it is a begger to set up.

I'm glad you have told of your experiences with Danze as I had heard that it was the best thing since sliced bread.

I suspect that all these Back Up programmes will work well if you can understand all the obtuse language that is used. It sounds, that like me, you don't, but then neither do the vast majority of PC users and it is not surprising that backing up is neglected; the reason being that it very difficult to do.

  Southernboy 14:20 21 Oct 04

I think you are right.

I think software writers sometimes forget about novices and assume that everyone who buys their stuff is either a Techie, or in business with an IT specialist on the books.

Frankly, I think PCA is going that way too. When I started out 10 years ago, PCA was a beacon in the darkness, explaining things to me in simple language. With computers increasing in sophistication, so have the articles in PCA and I now find that I understand something less than 10% of what is written therein. I guess the majority of readers must be clued-up enthusiasts. I am certainly not a beginner anymore, but my knowledge is confined to what I need to know to use my PC and programs, and I really shudder at the steep learning curve that come with anything new. I must be honest and say that I DO try to understand, but the poor old brain just cuts out when the going gets technical.

My other complaint is the dearth of paper manuals. I really DO dislike on-screen help which is something of a minefield. Whether paper or on-screen, however, most manuals simply do not provide basic information, which takes us back to Iomega, whose manual is sadly lacking in a lot of necessary information to actually get things working. Most of my queries should have been answered in the manual, but they were not.

I think Dantz is probably one of the best programs around if only certain information were included. The manual is very good on setting up, but stops there.

  It's Me 21:15 21 Oct 04

I reckon that you are quite right. And Yes. on screen help is a total pain.

Well at least we now know that there is at least the two of us dinosaurs, and we have the courage to admit that we don't follow most of the explanations given, not only in the PCA , but other mags. as well. And they are getting worse.

I don't know how you feel, but when someone here says 'click' this, and I do, I usually finish up at a site where they might as well be written in Outer Mongolian for all it means to me, that is if I can find anything that is even vaguely to do with the problem, such is the maze you have to search through; I usually give up, in disgust.

And if you dare criticise anything, or a business, Oh dear!(Kindly note that I didn't say anyone) You get jumped on from a great height by all the 'experts' for being incompetent, and that it cannot, just cannot be the fault of the great billionaire software writing firms.

Moan over. What good is a day without a good moan.

Backups. A ridiculous situation.

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