For some time I've been using/attempting to use Toast to make backups of my Mac OS X home directories to Blu-ray data discs.
The reason for wanting to make a backup of entire home directories is that the OS X system folders within the users' home directories contain important stuff like e-mails, bookmarks, calendar, address book, as well as hidden application data and preferences and so on -- naturally, stuff you'd want to back up.
Along the way I've come across many different issues and some workarounds which I thought I'd share on here.
Some of these are known and previously discussed issues (that is, they're known on these forums, not apparently to technical support).
1. Random "-43" errors while trying to backup home OS X directories
While trying to backup Mac OS X home directories, I was getting random "-43" errors, especially for files in the user's "Library" system folder, for example:
The file "com.apple. …… .plist" could not be accessed (Data fork, -43)
Result Code -43
The file "8B554403-AFA1-4F72#11CD138.data"
could not be accessed. (Data fork, -43)
Couldn't complete the last command because a file couldn't be found.
Result Code = -43
I found that these -43 errors are all over the Roxio support forums with no solution. Creating a disc image or temporary partition did not help.
I tried speaking to Roxio support but they didn't have any idea, nor could they tell me whether Toast officially supports backing up Mac OS X home directories or not in principle.
Workaround: I eventually managed to workaround this issue by using the Mac disk-to-disk backup application SuperDuper! (http://www.shirt-poc...com/SuperDuper/) to clone my system HD to another backup HD, and then using Toast to burn a BD-R from the backup HD, instead of the original HD.
I suspect this may work because SuperDuper excludes a whole bunch of transient and temporary system files that cannot be (and don't need to be) backed up - you can see that from the SuperDuper logs. Maybe Toast just isn't smart enough to do this on its own.
2. The "hanging at 99%" bug
Sometime later I updated Toast from 11.0.4 to 11.0.6, and then tried to make another backup of my home directory to BD (of course using the SuperDuper clone of my home directories, rather than the actual live home directories, to avoid the -43 error).
Then, I repeatedly got the "hanging at 99%" bug where it writes up 99% progress and then just hangs. Even when I tried copying to a disc image (.toast file) instead of an actual blu-ray disc, it still hung at 99%.
Again I find that this issue is all over the forums, with no real fix.
3. Verification errors with the 11.1 beta
So to avoid the "hanging at 99%" bug, one of the threads suggested that I try the Toast 11.1 Beta, so I downloaded and installed the beta 11.1.0a1(35) from the link given in that forum thread, and this time was able to burn the entire disc successfully - no hanging at 99% - however, it failed on verification with the following error:
Mismatch at byte 0/sector 5391379. Verification failed.
At first I thought this was due to bad media, but then this happened two more times - generating 3 consecutive coasters, each with the exact same verification error. I hardly ever got verification errors with 11.0.4 or 11.0.6 - certainly never 3 in a row - so I concluded this MUST be an issue with the Toast beta, and not with my media.
Workaround: In the end I resolved this by downgrading(!) to 11.0.4. One of the forum threads said that the "hanging at 99%" issue did /not/ occur with 11.0.4, and that it was an earlier bug which actually re-appeared in 11.0.6.
So I actually managed to avoid both the "hanging at 99%" error (which occured with 11.0.6) and the verification errors (which occured with the 11.1 beta) by downgrading Toast to 11.0.4.
Surprisingly, the Roxio downloads page shows 11.0.4 is the only version there. I'm not sure why that is, seeing as 11.0.6 is the latest version according to the "Check for Updates" within the app itself. But anyway, this enabled me to "downgrade" my Toast installation to 11.0.4.
This has finally allowed me to burn my home directory to BD again. So, yes, I eventually got it working again in the end.
4. Toast can only burn files belonging to the user who is currently logged in
This is not a bug, more a feature request.
I waste a lot of disc space because I could fit multiple users home directories on one BD, but I can't do this easily because Toast doesn't support it (it gives permission errors if you try).
Other backup tools don't have this limitation. For example, I use SuperDuper! and JungleDisk which can both see ALL users' files and back them up. I'm assuming they install themselves with a form of run-as-root (a.k.a. setuid) privilege so they can backup files belonging to all users on the system.
I know that SuperDuper backs up to disk, and JungleDisk backs up to the cloud, whereas Toast backs up to optical media. That's not the point; they're all backup tools, and the others have this feature whereas Toast does not.
As a backup tool it would be nice if Toast could do this. Just a thought.
Tech support: intense frustration
I spent many hours dealing with the bugs and issues but I wasted even greater number of hours speaking to Roxio technical support which was really one of the worst tech support experiences I've ever had in my life.
I know this is probably typical for many tech support these days, but these guys just bombard you with an endless sequence of almost completely random "try this" suggestions most of which bear no relation to the actual problem.
They never show any inkling that part of their job might be to report bugs to their engineering team so they might eventually get fixed.
I doubt if I can use 11.0.4 forever - at some point I'll probably need to upgrade.
If anyone from Roxio reads this: it would be nice if a future version of Toast doesn't have these bugs, and can be used to backup Mac OS X home directories?