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Extract Directly from Time Machine

Normally you use Time Machine to restore lost data in a file like this: within the Time Machine interface, you go back to the time the file was not yet messed up, and you restore it to replace the file you have now.

You can also elect to keep both, but the restored file takes the name and place of the current one. So, if you have made changes since the backup took place that you would like to keep, they are lost, or you have to mess around a bit to merge changes, rename files, and trash the unwanted one.

As an alternative, you can browse the Time Machine backup volume directly in the Finder like any normal disk, navigate through the chronological backup hierarchy, and find the file which contains the lost content.

Once you've found it, you can open it and the current version of the file side-by-side, and copy information from Time Machine's version of the file into the current one, without losing any content you put in it since the backup was made.

Submitted by
Eolake Stobblehouse



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New Retrospect 6.1 Updates

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After releasing Retrospect 6.1 several weeks ago (see "Retrospect 6.1 Gains Full Tiger Compatibility" in TidBITS-799), EMC Dantz has pumped out a few more minor updates. Most interesting is Retrospect Express 6.1, which is a free update for anyone who received Retrospect Express 6.0 bundled with an external hard drive; Retrospect Express isn't sold separately any more. (Note that you must install Retrospect Express 6.0 before attempting to update to 6.1). As with the full Retrospect 6.1, Retrospect Express 6.1 now supports Tiger's extended attributes and access control lists, along with providing some bug fixes and tweaks for full Tiger compatibility. Also released recently was an update to the Retrospect Client software that fixes a bug that caused Net Retry errors; Retrospect Client wasn't properly deleting the old retropds.log file on the client system. If you installed Retrospect 6.1 before 12-Oct-05, be sure to download and install Retrospect Client 6.1.107 or later. You may have to install it manually, since the Net Retry problem can affect updating remotely from Retrospect, but the benefit of installing manually is that the new Retrospect Client installer can automatically add exceptions to the Mac OS X firewall for itself.

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Also, there was some confusion related to our initial coverage of Retrospect 6.1, since we said that Retrospect 6.1 provided full Tiger compatibility, and yet there's a note in the Read Me that talks about how Retrospect doesn't back up the Spotlight database (specifically, it excludes the .Spotlight-V100 directory). Retrospect is doing the right thing here - since the Spotlight database won't be correct for the content on a restored volume, there's no point in backing it up and restoring it. Spotlight rebuilds the database in the background after you restore.

Other Notes of Interest -- Retrospect 6.1 now always creates separate data and catalog files by default, and these files must be stored together in the same directory and not renamed. This approach is necessary to avoid the Mac OS-imposed limit of 16 MB in a file's resource fork, which was where Retrospect previously saved catalog data. Although Retrospect 6.1 supports backup sets created with Retrospect 6.0, once you write to a Retrospect 6.0-created backup set, you may receive errors if you try to restore from that backup set using the older Retrospect 6.0 again. Similarly, Retrospect 6.0 cannot use new backup sets created with 6.1. Lastly, to back up and restore Spotlight comments correctly, you must back up and restore an entire volume or subvolume to avoid the Spotlight comments going missing or being out of date; EMC Dantz says this limitation is due to the way Apple implemented Spotlight comments. For more, be sure to check out the full Read Me.

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