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Restoring less than a full volume 'to'  XML
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Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
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I want to use QRecall to 'restore' my startup volume to a new external drive, but NOT with the System and associated files. It's time to do a clean install and I want QRecall only to restore User files.

How can I do that? I only find Restore To for a full volume.
James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1548
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"Restore To..." is a specialized command for restoring an entire volume to a different volume. Anything less is just a recall.

I want to use QRecall to 'restore' my startup volume to a new external drive, but NOT with the System and associated files. It's time to do a clean install and I want QRecall only to restore User files.
Install the operating system, set up a new account with the same short name (say "bobtyson") as your current system. Start QRecall and drag your archived home folder ("bobtyson") into your new Users folder so that it replaces the empty home folder you just set up.

The only potential problem you might have is if the User ID (UID) of the new bobtyson isn't the same as UID assigned to bobtyson on your existing system. If bobtyson is the only account on both systems, then they are likely to be the same. If not, post a follow up and I'll give you line of Terminal Voodoo that will fix up the mismatched UID.

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Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
Messages: 28
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Thank you, sounds like a go. Since I have 3 user partitions on my current startup volume - admin plus two others - and the one I want to 'restore to' is not the admin volue - I bet I'll be back for your voodoo. For now though I'm off to give it a shot.
Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
Messages: 28
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Hmmmm! Actually I think I'm going to do something more straightforward, and suggested by QRecall's basic structure. Maybe this will save you a bit of fussing on my behalf.

What I'm out to do, really, is to exchange the OS and user partitions from my iBook internal drive with the OS and user stuff on an external bootable drive.

FWIW my reason is to have my personal data and confidential stuff on the external drive because I tote the iBook around, use it teaching and so on and worry about security. Schemes such as Apple's FileVault work out to be very clumsy and time-wasting. At any rate this I hope will give me peace of mind, and also more elbow room because the external drive is large.

Thank you, again for your help.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 25-Jul-08 08:09

Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
Messages: 28
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For James B, hope the feedback may be useful.

I did not attempt the partial restore, but instead worked from a volume capture and later a restore-to. It worked without a hitch, as to doing it. When I tried to boot from the 'restored-to' volume however OSX didn't make it past the gray screen with the apple. No twirly dealie. So I Archive-Installed OSX and that cured that.

The only other thing that seems amiss is that Adobe wanted me to re-install Photoshop, saying some elements were missing. And re-authorize my license.

Only now after doing that, I remember that I did the Startup Volume capture FROM the startup volume, running the OS from that volume. Next time I'd run from a different volume and see if that didn't go any differently.

Thanks again, it's a great piece of work of yours. I just like how it feels day to day, after using it a month. Obviously nothing horrible here at all.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 25-Jul-08 13:15

James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
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Bob Tyson wrote:For James B, hope the feedback may be useful.
Feedback is good.

I did not attempt the partial restore, but instead worked from a volume capture and later a restore-to. It worked without a hitch, as to doing it. When I tried to boot from the 'restored-to' volume however OSX didn't make it past the gray screen with the apple. No twirly dealie.
One problem with QRecall is that it will happily restore a captured volume to another volume that is set to ignore ownership and privileges. This results in a copy of the operating system that's useless. I plan to add a feature so that QRecall will warn you (or fix the volume) when you attempt to do this.

So I Archive-Installed OSX and that cured that.
I can't tell you, after the fact, if that was the problem. The OS installer always clears the "ignore ownership" setting on the volume, which in turn fixes that problem.

The only other thing that seems amiss is that Adobe wanted me to re-install Photoshop, saying some elements were missing. And re-authorize my license.
Adobe detects that you've reinstalled the software on a new volume.

Only now after doing that, I remember that I did the Startup Volume capture FROM the startup volume, running the OS from that volume. Next time I'd run from a different volume and see if that didn't go any differently.
Should not be necessary. QRecall can preform "live" captures and restores of the OS.

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Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
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Well, not ALL feedback is so good....

I'm afraid my 'review' of the Capture-Volume-RestoreTO-Volume cycle is negative at this point.

Just to respond to your message above, I zeroed out the volume to which I restored that first go-round, before making the restore. Dunno if that has anything to do with what you describe about ignoring permissions.

I have now 'Restored To' a SECOND volume. This time on startup the gray screen + apple appeared, and the spinning dealie. Nothing more. Restarting in Single User Mode (Apple + S on reboot) and doing and fsck -fy, THEN logout, many many lines of error appeared, then everything stopped and hung.

Went back and re-installed OSX, did the updates to current.

NOW there are permissions problems out of whack all over the place. In the admin partition, had to manually re-set access permission for Desktop, Images, Movies, and a couple of other user folders - for the Admin user.

I don't know what's up. The OS installs on both volumes were good before the swap.

What I - DO - know is that I would be very unlikely to put my faith on a QR backup archive as the way out of a severe disk crash, that is, thinking that 'Oh no prob, we'll be back up in an hour or two'.

It isn't that that is so terrible, but I can say I will not soon let my OSX install DVD stray any farther away from my iBook than my regular (QRecall-ed) backup archives.

It may be that there are subtleties here that I missed. I'm not deeply savvy, though I'll follow instructions. In this case it seems to work out might be less hassle to backup/restore important files on one hand with QRecall, and be prepared to reinstall and initialize a failed system the old-fashioned way, on the other.

Until something slicker proves up.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 26-Jul-08 08:38

James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
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As I mentioned before, the permissions feature of the external volume is critical.

What you need to do is to erase the volume, then (from the Finder) perform a Get Info and make sure the "Ignore owner and permissions" option is NOT checked. Then, you can preform a Restore To...

If you restore a volume to a volume that is ignoring permissions, it will be non-functional. It will try to boot, but you'll get all kinds of errors and it will eventually hang.

If you then performed an upgrade or a archive install over that, it will still be a mess because none of the files (including the ones belonging to the admin user) have the correct permissions. So any files left over from the initial restore will have the wrong owner and permissions.

It sounds very much like this is the obstacle you've encountered. Now, if the volume was erased, the ignore permissions option turned off, then restored from QRecall and the still didn't work ... I'd be very interested in hearing about that.

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Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
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Re: 'Ignore Permissions'

I confess, it is only NOW that I even realized that option existed. I have never SET, i.e. checked the checkbox, to 'Ignore Permissions'.

However now that I look, every one of my external drives has that feature checked. Is that a default that OSX or Disk Utility goes by?

To review, when I started out on this particular swap of system and files between the two disks, the first, was the external FW disk, which I wanted to have become the new, preferred startup volume.

I re-formatted the disk - OSX - Journaled, and zero-ed all data. Then used QRrecall to 'Restore To' the system and all files, that is the existing startup volume, internal disk, on the iBook.

As I noted for you before, there WERE problems with permissions but minimal and things seem ok now. I'd have a hard time remembering just what I needed to tweak but it wasn't much, other than the Adobe licensing issues.

That, by the way, did not surprise me, although it still seemed to be at odds with your presenting QRecall's Restore To as producing a ready-to-roll clone on the new disk. A detail.

The second transfer was to the internal drive and I did not zero all data, so I think what you now say must have been correct, although I do recall seeing the Ignore Permissions check-box. I can't now remember whether I un-checked it.

But I would plead for a more complete instruction set for this procedure.

And now I have another question that arises from the same series of experiences.

I used QRecall to make a backup archive of the newly-christened firewire disk, but when I look to do a new capture or incremental backup it doesn't look the same as for the 'ordinary' kind of archive and backup, that is the options seem to break down to making a new capture of the whole volume or ???

What, for me, would make all of this moot is to have a feature by which one could 'Restore To' for any folder or portion of an ordinary archive, not just a full-volume.

In fact in this case what I would have preferred would have been to have re-installed OSX from scratch on each volume, THEN 'Restored To' from the QRecall Archives. But you can't do that. And the issue of restoring to folders, and whether or not that replaces System-ordained folders such as 'Documents', or creates still ANOTHER set of folders, baffles me.

More detail in the documentation, maybe?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30-Jul-08 06:36

Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
Messages: 28
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By the way I DON'T want you to assume from this that I'm unhappy with QRecall. I'm a switcheroo from Apple Backup and I'm much more satisfied with QR. No question.
James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1548
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Bob Tyson wrote:However now that I look, every one of my external drives has that feature checked. Is that a default that OSX or Disk Utility goes by?

Yes, the default is to create a new volume that ignores owners and privileges. The OS X installer always resets this option whenever you install the OS, so if you format a volume and then install OS X it will all work fine, even if you're oblivious of the ignore permissions option.

To review, ...

I re-formatted the disk - OSX - Journaled, and zero-ed all data. Then used QRrecall to 'Restore To' the system and all files, that is the existing startup volume, internal disk, on the iBook.

As I noted for you before, there WERE problems with permissions but minimal and things seem ok now. I'd have a hard time remembering just what I needed to tweak but it wasn't much, other than the Adobe licensing issues.
As I remember, it was initially a disaster.

In your original post, you said that after the Restore To... the volume wouldn't boot. You then reinstalled the OS getting it to work, but with some permission problems. That's consistent with Restoring to a volume that's ignoring permissions. When you installed the OS, the OS X installer fixed the setting and re-installed all of the system files with the correct permissions. The only thing left was your user files with default ownership and permissions.

That, by the way, did not surprise me, although it still seemed to be at odds with your presenting QRecall's Restore To as producing a ready-to-roll clone on the new disk. A detail.
It more than a detail, it's a bug. When testing QRecall I have always set the correct permissions option without thinking about it. It honestly never occurred to me that someone would try to restore a system volume without clearing that option. The hazards of testing your own software.

QRecall will be a ready-to-roll recovery application. My current plans are to either warn the user that they are restoring to a volume that ignores permissions or capture and restore all of the volume-level settings, which would automatically restore the permissions flag during the restore. There are technical issues with the later, which I'm looking into.

And now I have another question that arises from the same series of experiences.

I used QRecall to make a backup archive of the newly-christened firewire disk, but when I look to do a new capture or incremental backup it doesn't look the same as for the 'ordinary' kind of archive and backup, that is the options seem to break down to making a new capture of the whole volume or ???
I'm not quite sure what you mean. All captures are incremental. If you want to capture something other than the full volume, remove the volume from the list of items to capture in the action then add the individual folders you want to capture instead — or just create a new action.

What, for me, would make all of this moot is to have a feature by which one could 'Restore To' for any folder or portion of an ordinary archive, not just a full-volume.
That's a recall. Open archive, select item, drag to location with existing item. QRecall will ask you if you want to replace it. Click OK.

In fact in this case what I would have preferred would have been to have re-installed OSX from scratch on each volume, THEN 'Restored To' from the QRecall Archives. But you can't do that.
Absolutely. Once the OS is installed you can recall any portion (say a home folder or maybe just Documents) from the archive to the new volume.

And the issue of restoring to folders, and whether or not that replaces System-ordained folders such as 'Documents', or creates still ANOTHER set of folders, baffles me.
It's no more baffling than the Finder.

Recall (command or drag-and-drop): Copies items from the archive to the chosen destination. Like the Finder, if you drag it to a location that already contains an item of the same name it will be replaced.

Restore (command) - A shortcut for recalling an item to it's original location. If the original still exists, it will be replaced. No different than dragging an item back to where it was captured from.

Restore To... - A very special command for recalling a volume to a different volume. This command exists solely because there's no top-level container in the OS X interface where you can drag-and-drop a volume over another volume.

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Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
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James Bucanek wrote:That, by the way, did not surprise me, although it still seemed to be at odds with your presenting QRecall's Restore To as producing a ready-to-roll clone on the new disk. A detail. It more than a detail, it's a bug. When testing QRecall I have always set the correct permissions option without thinking about it. It honestly never occurred to me that someone would try to restore a system volume without clearing that option. The hazards of testing your own software. .


Hi, back again, mostly to refresh myself once more on the 'Ignore Permissions' check-box. Let's see if I can get it right this time! And thank you for your detailed responses.

I especially liked the 'mia culpa' above about testing one's own software!

If I were to offer any - very modest - suggestion it would be to incorporate some of the meat of what you've offered here into the Help and Manual docs that come with QRecall.

Thanks again, off to the races - er sumpin.
Bob Tyson



Joined: 24-Jul-08 12:59
Messages: 28
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OK, I think I've got this thing wired. Success at last. I again performed a RESTORE TO to move the complete volume from one hard drive to another. In this case, back onto the iBook's internal drive.

I checked that 'Ignore Permissions' was NOT checked, and turned QR loose.

There was one hitch. On bootup, the blinking '?'. And now I can't quite recall how I fixed that. I think I rebooted into the previous system, on the external FW disk, then repaired permissions on the newly restored one.

In any case, second time around everything worked, with one oddity.

When I logged in to each user partition - 3 in this case - none of the Home folder contents were visible. Click to open Images, for example, and see nothing. I used Get Info to reset the ownership of each home folder and contents to that user name, logged out and back in, and all was perfect.

I think that situation could be from the permissions fiasco when I originally did the Restore To some time back, without deactivating Ignore Permissions.

Things seem right, now. The only detail I can report is that the icons I had stashed in the folder toolbar have to be re-set, manually. But so far I can't see any other quirks.

Thanks again. All this going on while QR also did captures, merges, and compacts on other archives, of course.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07-Aug-08 12:21

James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1548
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Thanks for the feedback.

I'll look into some the anomalies you encounter. One thing on my to-do list is to determine if a newly restored system volume must be "blessed" first. This happens automatically when you choose a new startup volume from the System Preferences, but will not happen if you just restore and restart.

As for the icons, wiping a volume and copying all of the files back will break some aliases; not all aliases, but inevitably it will break some. This will occur no matter how you copied the files back as it reassigns the unique ID associated with every file.

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