Saturday, July 30, 2005

Restoring Retrospect data to an OS X disk image

When my iBook crashed my last complete system backup was only 8 hours old (for once, somehow, Retrospect worked). It was easy to restore all my data to the G5 iMac. I wanted, however, a disk image of the iBook that I could use to either clone a new version of the old drive or as reference. I find disk images very handy for that purpose.

How could I do this?

Actually, it was pretty easy. Here's what I did:
  1. Create a sparse disk image on iMac of 15 GB (Tiger Disk Utility has a GB and TB option now.) Give it the same name as the old, extinct, drive (eg. iBookDrive.sparseimage) - I think that may be pretty important.
  2. Mount image.
  3. In Retrospect Professional for Windows 6.5 open client view and go to tools. The mounted image appears as a volume. Select it so it's "known" to Retrospect.
  4. Do a complete volume restore to the mounted image.
That's it. Disk Utility reports the resulting image is bootable. I have a hunch this method may also be the only effective way to create a true restore from Retrospect! (Create image as above from Retrospect backup, mount iBook using target disk mode, clone using Disk Utility.)

Update 8/4: Well, it kind of worked as a boot image -- but only with some massaging and not all that well. OS X Disk Utility rejected using it to create a boot sector; some kind of error condition. Carbon Copy Cloner did use it, but the permissions were completely wrong (an issue with Retrospect, you have to disable permissions when doing a Retrospect restore, didn't do that on the image, I don't know if it's possible). I had to use Disk Utility to restore permissions and I safe booted. At that point the image did work, but some extensions didn't work. I gave up and used another image -- this was just an experiment to see if the image I create above could be used to clone a bootable disk.

[1] I'm using the Retrospect 6.0/Mac client on my Tiger machine -- a temporary option while I figure out how to replace Retrospect entirely -- but that's another story.

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