Mac OS X Panther (10.3.3): "Restoring Panther with Retrospect Desktop
I have successfully done what Paul Spector is trying to do several times, both with Retrospect 5 and 6. The trick that took me a couple of attempts to learn appears to also be missing from Paul's attempt.
After initializing the volume you want to restore, change the ownership to be root and group admin with privileges of rwx for the owner and group and r for the world. Then as long as the volume is set to observe permissions (i.e. the 'Ignore ownership on this volume' is unchecked), then Retrospect should properly restore the directory and file ownerships and permissions.
However, it appears that Retrospect doesn't modify the ownership/permissions of the root of the volume you are restoring to (this is likely why Dantz recommends restoring the backup over a fresh OS install as all the permissions and ownerships will already be correct).The other thing that I've found that should be done prior to booting from the restored volume, delete all the caches (including the kernel caches). Since technically, this is a new machine, these caches all need to be rebuilt (which means that the initial boot could take a few minutes).
Anyway, that has been my experience in using Retrospect for an OS restore. It works and can be faster than a new OS install (particularly if you have a lot of 3rd party programs or data), but you have to be careful of the ownership of the volume prior to starting the restore."