In an interesting twist the daily backup on my main PC ran this evening and attempted to copy all of my data onto an innocent thumb drive which just happened to have been assigned the same drive letter normally assigned to my external hard drive. Needless to say it filled up all the free space on the thumb and then proceeded to log errors for the remaining directories - 8 pages worth of log file which fortunately was set up to open in a web browser window.
How did this happen? Well, I have been having issues lately with my PC not recognizing my external hard drive at boot up but the root cause of the problem is my backup software - SyncBack. It's really quite powerful as non-business backup solutions go but it does have one fatal flaw: it only pays attention to drive letters. In a World of removable media this is a cardinal sin for backup software.
I have at least four USB thumb drives floating around here as well as a couple of external hard drives and a number of SD / MMC / Sony Memory Sticks. I can plug any of them into my PC at any time and they get assigned a drive letter by Windows. Because it doesn't pay attention to the names I give them - a feature which as far as I can recall has been available since Windows 3.x and floppy discs - SyncBack has no idea which is which.
This had been bugging me for some time with the thumb drives and now it has finally come to a head. Time to look for a different backup solution, one capable of dealing with with realities of 21st Century home computing. Great, yet another research task to add to my already overflowing plate.
If anyone is reading this, I am open to suggestions... I can pay in bananas! :)