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Drive Letter Anti-Dependence

Posted: Sat May 07, 2016 3:55 am
by dslee
Please create solution for BackupAssist to attempt to find external USB drives that are prepped for a backup job, rather than require the drive have the correct letter assigned in the job.

Case in point: I have a client with a 4-drive and a 1-drive external dock so we can have 5 disks attached at a time (labelled Monday-Friday).

We have 5 different jobs set up to back up to each drive, and every couple of weeks we swap out the sets of drives.

We are using Bitlocker as well.

The ONLY way we can get backups to work correctly is if we manually unlock each drive (so we can see the drive labels), and then reassign drive letters with Disk Manager so the backup jobs see the drive correctly.

BackupAssist has the perfect solution for this: the tag that gets put on the drives when they are prepped!

So if a backup drive isn't mounted to the drive letter BA is expecting to find it, why not look at all the other connected drives to find the matching drive prep tag? And if the drives are locked, well, then unlock them with the key in the backup job (and if it doesn't unlock, then it's not the right drive).

Thank you,


Re: Drive Letter Anti-Dependence

Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:35 pm
by casey.burns
Hi there,

My name is Casey, and I'm with the BackupAssist team. Thanks for posting on our forum.

We also thank you for submitting a feature request for BackupAssist. Requests such as these help us ensure that the software has the capabilities that will help our users the most.

I have forwarded your feature request up to our developer team for further review.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have anything further to add.
Kind regards,

Casey Burns
BackupAssist Support

Re: Drive Letter Anti-Dependence

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 10:28 pm
by dslee
Hi Casey,

I really appreciate the acknowledgement. This issue has become so troublesome for my company that we are presently considering moving away from BA in favour of something like Datto.

This one issue will save incredible amounts of time and renew our love for BA.

How about going a step further (if this is even possible): could external drives be connected _without_ a drive letter, and have BackupAssist dynamically assign and remove drive letters from an attached drive when a job is executed?

The main reason for this is to remove the potential window for ransomware to be able to encrypt those attached drives. Obviously, if your backup drives are attached to a system with cryptolocker-style malware, you have bigger issues, but that's kind of the point of a backup.

Yes, this can be done today with iSCSI, but NAS's aren't generally all that portable, and we want our clients to swap out and take disks offsite.

Re: Drive Letter Anti-Dependence

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:03 am
by dslee
Can someone please update on this request.

This issue has me seriously looking at other backup options, and fixing this problem should not be a difficult thing.

I have great difficulty believing nobody else has this problem.

Please advise if I should be looking elsewhere.

Re: Drive Letter Anti-Dependence

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:59 am
by Stuart
Hi David,

Thanks for your post.

The software values the drive letter input into the job as the highest priority. It already trys and detect the drive based on it's file - however the software will attempt to change the drive letter to that which is expected by the job.

If the drive letter is already in use, then it will fail as it's unable to reassign the drive letter to meet the requirements of the priority. It's recommended that you assign/reserve a drive letter for your backup devices to allow BackupAssist to detect and move the drive letter if need be.

I hope this helps moving forward David.

Re: Drive Letter Anti-Dependence

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:13 pm
by dslee
Hi Stuart,

This is really too bad. There may be a good reason for requiring the drive letter originally assigned to the job, but it doesn't get around the issue as I've already described in this thread.

If USB allowed reserving drive letters for unique drives, that _would_ be a solution, but USB does not have this capability (believe me, I've looked).

IMO, this is a major flaw in BA, and one that could be fixed, if someone wanted to do it.


Re: Drive Letter Anti-Dependence

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:43 pm
by dslee
ACTUALLY, with 9.5, I've just noticed that if I create a NEW job, there is a checkbox option in the destination setup for external disk settings that states:

"Back up to my prepared media, even if it is at the wrong drive letter"

Is this what I've been asking for, or will it still fail if another disk is occupying the drive letter that is set in the job?

Please be the answer I'm looking for!



Re: Drive Letter Anti-Dependence

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:46 pm
by dslee