USBDLM is Awesome!

If you have read my previous post about my backups and trying to get 2 different 2 TB drive to hots wap then you know that I am a person that believes in doing my backups the correct way. I wont go into details on my backup¬†strategy¬†as I¬†already¬†talked about it on my earlier post (Article here) But needless to say Windows 7 has finally fixed the issue in SP1 and I can hot swap my drives now with no issues…yeahhhhh. The next problem I kept facing was the fact that my local backup script said to always backup to the B drive.¬†Instead¬†of scripting 2 different tasks that were exactly the same but one backed up to drive A on week 1 and the other to drive B on week 2. This would have forced me to have the right drive home at the right time and if I forgot to swap the drives well then the backup would fail. If I added a new directory to script 1 and I forgot to add it to script 2 then my backups would be incomplete…. you get the¬†idea¬†why it was a bad idea. The only reason I wanted two different scripts was because Windows is awesome (sarcasm) and only remembers the last dive to use a drive letter. Meaning if I took out drive 1 that was mounted as B and then I inserted drive 2 and then changed its drive letter to B then remove that one and put drive 1 that was originally B, well you would think Windows would say “Hey I have seen this drive before and it was using the B drive, why do we just make things simple and give it B again” but no Windows has forgot this drive¬†entirely, why? because I don’t think practical people engineer this operating system to be honest.¬†Instead Windows only remembers the last drive to be assigned the drive letter B. So the only way to make things simple and not require myself to every week insert the new drive and then remember to change its drive letter to B, I though make one A make one B that way they are different and will always stay the same and windows never gives out A or B automatically because it¬†reserves¬†them for floppy drives. I soon found the error in my ways as mentioned above, it was just not a good idea and by solving the one problem I created 5 different ones, so I decided that I can live with the one issue of needing to change the drive letters each week.

 

I was explaining this issue to a fellow IT friend the other day as to why I have to keep renaming my drive letters each week and he said “I think there is software for that called USBDLM” I assumed he¬†meant¬†some crappy freeware change your drive letter program for newbies¬†instead¬†of using disk manager. When he found the site http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html¬†the showed it to me, I was still not impressed as it looked like my 9 year old coded the HTML and it was basic on top of basic. If it was not for him saying others speak highly of this program I would have never gave it a second look. Man am I glad I¬†didn’t, USBDLM is hands down the best program out there, and installs as a service with blew me away, it was x64¬†compatible¬†which took it even a step further with me.

 

So after about an hour with this product I¬†almost¬†wanted to¬†yell¬†at the developer because it was not working for me. I created my INI file line for line to give my drive any letter ¬†and it¬†would¬†not work. So I stopped and took a breath and decided to jump into the log files to see if they could tell me anything, 20 minutes later I could see it reading in my INI file but doing nothing with it. Only after another 20 minutes did I have an epiphany, my drive is not USB it’s SATA or ATA as the program saw it (I used the “ListUsbDrives_To_Notepad.cmd” in the install folder to figure this out) . So after this I started to look and sure enough USBDLM works natively¬†only on USB unless I specify otherwise. So after that I added a single line to my INI ¬†and it was working awesome. So I¬†just¬†wanted to share with everyone else my joy for this program and my configuration for using USBDLM in the following configuration:

 

2 Hot Swapable SATA drives
Neither drive will every be in at the same time as the other
Both need to get the letter B when inserted
What drive letter they should be is held in an INI on the drive I insert

 

 

 

Please make sure you use the “ListUsbDrives_To_Notepad.cmd” that is included in teh install directory to figure out what yourBusType is. From what I read Windows XP can see it as RAID or SATA etc.. so to be sure run that command to see what windows sees that drive as.

 

And that’s it, I hope this helps other people in configuring 2 hot swappable drives that need to be the same letter. Take my word for it, USBDLM is not¬†easy¬†to configure because you have to know what your doing, but once you figure it out it is the most¬†powerful¬†Drive Letter¬†Manger¬†out there period exclamation point .!

 

USBDLM – Download PageHelp Page (Read this it’s long but tells you¬†everything)

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© Caspan 2011