Restrospect backup is a pretty expensive piece of software. promising big results, for individual clients, servers, virtual machines and what not. I personally haven’t heard about it ever. But Now i know more than I need and I am going to share this with you.

last week we had a client with a dell pc desktop that was infected with some kind of virus. they had a computer tech they have been using for years. he was on it right away. cleaned virus up, but many problems with registry persisted. So the tech gave up and stopped answering guys calls and basically left him hanging. So he turned to Yelp where he found us Overnight PC repair with over 45 five star reviews! check them out for yourself

he called and talked to us then decided to bring his computer in next day. The problems they were having related to screwed up windows registry. when that happens there is little one can do. except maybe reinstall windows or maybe repair windows if one knows how. His previous tech guy didn’t. Windows reistallation was not an option for the client though. because he had lots of software installed and he didn’t want to lose it or have to reinstall everything this would be too much of a hassle. he had organized his desktop icons and has had this setup for few years. so reinstallation was not an option whatsoever.

More interesting thing is (and back to the story) unlike 99% of people that we see, he was diligently backing his computer up with Software called Retrospect backup. He was backing up every week on sunday. he was proud of it too. and we were too! I dont many many people who back up. most people don’t even back up after their hard drives crash and they lose data.

so when we heard that he was backing up and had what we thought copies of entire hard drive. my first thought was – there is nothing to worry about! we can just restore computer from one of those restrospect backups and it will be fine! I told him give me few hours and I will be done.

Now mind you, what needed to be done on his computer was windows xp repair. it is a function that reinstalls windows, leaving software and application and user files intact. it is a very cool feature windows xp had. it has saved a lot of computers! but the problem was from about 10 windows xp disks that we own none only one worked. All others were throwing blue screen of death without even getting to the main installation page. after trying to repair windows for some time i decided to go to plan B – which was the great retrospect backup! I thought I’d give it a shot, just restore from a backup image and everything will be fine! Fine however was only a fruit of my imagination. What I have encountered was totally opposite of fine. it was actually a disaster.

so then I tried to do the rescue disk retrospect offers, but it didn’t work either. Then I decided to give them a call. to find out they don’t offer support if you have a little older version. ours was retrospect 7.6 and current is retrospect 8.1. but since I called 4 times already they guy said he would give me some tips. and he did. he explained that I need to actually try to restore data from the catalogs not the backup set files, which was what I was doing. And he explained the way I was doing it wouldn’t work. he told me I had to reinstall windows and then restore everything to the latest date and it would work!

I didn’t want to mess up clients hard drive with windows, therefore I just got another hard drive installed windows xp on it and went ahead to restore from existing backup. When I opened the catalogs (there were two) I noticed that the latest date saved on them was January 5 of 2013. And the guy was backing up automatically every weekend. somehow all the latest snapshots have disappeared. so ok. I decided to try to do the latest we have january 5th 2013. I figured at least we’ll have the programs and files we can recover later right? Wrong. january 5th backup didn’t work out either. So I called Retrospect support again and the guy explained if I’m missing snapshots in catalog I would need to rebuild catalog from existing backup sets. I started doing it while on the phone. and he said If I get an error message that says some files are missing I won’t be able to recreate a catalog and I am pretty much screwed. Which is exactly what happened with both of the backup sets of retrospect that I was recreating. I got error message on both Retrospect saying some files were missing and catalog maybe corrupt.

I don’t know what kind of disappointment the client has lived through this experience. when he was trusting retrospect backupwith all his business files and programs. Only at the end to find out nothing has been really backed up at all. I mean after spending 4 days trying to restore something I am really convinced this software is a piece of junk and without any expert support one can not even be sure you are even backing up correctly. So people save your money invest in acronis or something else. be aware of Retrospect backup. its not very user friendly and I found many people post of forums with very basic errors that they experience all the time. there are many better and easier and more reliable options out there for sure!

and to finish up. The repair actually was successful. 4 days later, all but last hope lost. customer totally discouraged. I decided to do last thing. to try all of my windows xp discs again one by one to see if I can get to repair windows xp. First disc I put in that I haven’t tried before booted up and gave me a windows repair option. I did it and voila! windows was fixed. no more errors poped up. all of the programs that didn’t work before were working. client was very happy and couldn’t believe I did it! but I did. We never give up on problems and that’s why you can trust overnight pc repair with your pc or mac! we are the best at computer repair and if you are in woodland hills, calabasas, west hills, topanga or around west san fernando valley area bring your pc or mac here and you won’t be disappointed! call us at 818-532-9333 or stop by at 22941 Ventura bl Woodland HIlls, ca 91364