External Drives and "fooling" the OS Can you make it seem like two external drives, whne swapped out have the same drive letter for backup

I have a Windows 2003 Dell Server with Raid.

In past installations we were able to have 2 WD external drives. Swapping them out on the same USB connection on a weekly basis to keep 1 Ext drive with the the previous weeks backups off site.  On this installation every time I swap the drives, the one currently plugged in is F drive and when I swap it out, the OS knows as when I plug it in...it assigns G to the swapped drive.

As the backups are set to go to F....this will not work.


We have this working on other systems. What am I missing. I formatted the 2nd drive and it is clean.

Any other suggestions to end up with the same result are welcome. We are using Windows Backup.
tvaccAsked:
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Carlo-GiulianiCommented:
Plug in the drive that is being mounted at G: and then remount it as F:
(right-click My Computer, Manage..., Disk Management, right-click F: and then Change Drive Letter and Paths...)
I think that, as long as you never plug in both at once, they will then both mount as F: by default.

Each disk has a randomly-generated signature.  Windows remembers what drive letter was last used for each signature and will try to assign the same next time it finds the same disk signature.  

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I do similarly, though when I set the drive letter, it usually sticks, F: for me as well.  Nevertheless, one work around is to put a simple text file on the drive, say "backup.txt".  Then copy the command line of the scheduled task you use for backup and put it in a batch file.  The batch file would look something like this:

Rem Check for the backup drive
If Exist F:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=F:
If Exist G:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=G:
If Exist H:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=H:
If Exist I:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=I:
If Exist J:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=J:
If Exist K:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=K:
If Exist L:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=L:
If Exist M:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=M:
If Exist N:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=N:
If Exist O:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=O:
If Exist P:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=P:
If Exist Q:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=Q:
If Exist T:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=T:
If Exist U:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=U:
If Exist W:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=W:
If Exist X:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=X:
If Exist Y:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=Y:
If Exist Z:\backup.txt SET BackupDrive=Z:
If "%backupdrive%" == "" (
    set Error=No backup drive found.  Please connect a backup drive.
    Goto Error
)
REM Your backup line may vary.  Where you specify the backup file name,
REM make sure you reference the drive letter using %backupdrive%
ntbackup backup "backupfile" /j "Normal Backup" /f "%backupdrive%\backupfile.bks" /d "Normal - JobName" /v:yes /r:no /l:s /m Normal /snap:off /rs:no /hc:off
Goto End
:Error
:End
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tvaccAuthor Commented:
I plugged them in seperately....one at a time.

I will try and change it like you describe...let you know

Where is the signature stored....I completly formated the drive...and it still went to G.
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Carlo-GiulianiCommented:
Format is an operation that wipes the contents of a partition.  Signatures are part of the master boot record (which also contains the parition table).
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tvaccAuthor Commented:
i did delete the partition ...but I suspect it is in the boot record.

In the old days we used to "low level" the drives..but dont know if that is done anymore...
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