server 2008R2 backup to USB device - rotating drives

EGLTech used Ask the Experts™
We are attempting to use Windows Server Backup to backup to a Seagate FreeAgentGo USB drive.  This is a 1TB drive that slips into a USB caddy hanging off the server.  Our customer has several of these drives, the idea being that they rotate the drives to take off-site,  just like tapes in the old days.  Pop last night’s drive out of the caddy, put tonight’s in.

Here is how I set it up, and the result:
I create the job using the backup schedule wizard from the Windows Server Backup GUI.  I choose the destination as the device that is in the caddy – the wizard sees it as a FreeAgentGo device. (Disk manager also sees it by the way.)  That job will work every time.  BUT, after they replace the drive the backup will fail, saying it can’t find the destination device.  I believe this is because when the job is created the first time, the device is formatted and named with a date stamp.   Windows backup cannot accept the fact that the backup destination drive is going to change every night.  When it sees that the device is not the same as the one initiated when the job was created it fails.  There must be a way to set this up so Windows Backup will accept whatever drive is rotated into the caddy, but I haven’t found it.  Any advice appreciated.
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I have had a similar problem.  I had 2 drives that we wanted to go back and forth with.  What we had to do was create a different job each day that sent it to the different drives.  We would label the drives odd and even so that we knew which day it was for.  You could do something like this where you label the drives for a day of the week, or 1, 2, 3, 4, ect.  That way they can put the right drive on for the day and the backups should work.
EGLTechProject Manager


Thanks for the reply.  Hmm - Yes, a bit kludgy to set up but could work.  You must have created the jobs via cmdlets? I don't see a way in the Windows Server Backup GUI to create multiple jobs.
Top Expert 2007
Some other options that may be useful

The problem with external USB is that the drive letters tend to change.

2 options

Control USB drive letters changing USB drive letters
USB Drives are not retaining assigned drive letters

Create permanent folders and share over a network

The storage manager in Windows XP
, like Windows 2000 before it, allows you to mount a partition (which would normally be represented with a drive letter like c: or d:) as a directory inside a different partition. Using this method, you could add a new hard drive to your computer and mount it in a directory on your existing c: drive called 'new drive,' for example. The target drive (where the directory is located) must be formatted with the NTFS file system to do this.

This is already a cool feature, but it takes on a new twist when used with USB drives, especially if you use more than one drive on your system or network. While drive letters are assigned dynamically, drive mount locations as we described above are not. The upshot of this is, if you give your USB drive a folder location, that particular drive will be associated permanently with the disk location. Every drive can have its own 'home folder' which will be active and available whenever that drive is plugged into the system, and inaccessible when it is not.

I hope this helps !
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015

This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program.  See my comment at the end of the question for more details.

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