NTBackup to CD-RW via Direct CD

When trying to use the Windows Backup utility (NTBackup) to back up to a file on a CD-RW drive (running Roxio/Adaptec Direct CD), I am getting the error message

Backup Error
<drive letter>: is not a valid drive, or you don’t have access

I have seen several other reports of this problem, but never a solution.

The system is running Windows 2000 Pro with SP3, but I have seen reports of this error from Windows XP as well.

Roxio/Adaptec Direct CD version 5.3 (packet writing software) (part of Roxio/Adaptec Easy CD Creator 5.3) makes the CD-RW drive look like a big floppy drive. I am able to successfully copy files to the CD-RW drive via drag-and-drop in Windows Explorer, so the drive is writable using a standard file system.

NTBackup is a utility that is included with Windows XP, 2000, and NT. The version included with Windows 2000 and later is more fully featured than the version that is included with Windows NT. The Win2K version of NTBackup can backup to tape media and to a file (the file emulates a tape cartridge). I am trying to backup to a file and that file happens to be located on a CD-RW drive.

I get this error when logged on as an administrator on both a standalone workstation and a member of a domain. So, it does not appear to be a permission error.

The problem appears to be related to the Removable Storage Manager (RSM) in Win2K. RSM somehow is seeing the CD-RW drive as a CD-ROM drive.

Microsoft Product Support Services says that a RSM Aware driver is needed to be able to use a CD-RW drive in NTBackup. The CD-RW drive and the mounded media (a formatted CD-RW disk) show up in the RSM MMC snap-in console. So it appears that the device driver allows RSM to be aware of the drive. However, RSM somehow thought the drive was a CD-ROM drive. I changed it (in the RSM MMC snap-in on the physical lication, media type property) to include CD-RW and CD-R as well as CD-ROM media types, but I still get the same error message when trying to backup. Any media that is mounted somehow ends up in the CD-ROM pool, not the CD-RW pool.

Both systems are using the same Sony CRX195E1 CD-RW drive, but I have seen this error reported with an HP CD-RW drive as well as others CD-RW drives. Direct CD version 5.1d and later include a driver for this Sony CD-RW drive.

Microsoft knowledge base articles 262006
(http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;262006&) and 315255
(http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;315255&) discuss using NTBackup to a CDRW drive. These
articles seem say that it is not possible to use NTBackup to backup to a CD-RW drive because of limitations in RSM. I am not sure if they saying that the CD-RW media cannot be used like a tape cartridge (I didn’t think it can) or are they saying that a CD-RW drive cannot be used as the destination for a backup-to-file (which is what I am trying to do). RSM is also discussed in Microsoft knowledge base article Q250468. How Removable Storage Manager and Programs Recognize Media (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q250468).

Does anyone know a trick to allow NTBackup to write a backup-to-file to a file located on a CD-RW disk that has been formatted using packet writing software (speciafically Direct CD)? Or do I need to give up and shell out the bucks to buy some other backup software (such as Stomp/Veritas Backup MyPC) that knows how to backup to a CD-RW drive?


Darryl J. Roberts

Microsoft unequivocally states that CD-RW drives are not supported by Ntbackup.exe.

I would not recommend using packet written CD-RW discs for backup. Rather than buy a standalone backup program for this purpose, I would recommend buying a separate hard drive for backup purposes. Hard drive backup time will be a fraction of CD-RW time, much more reliable, not require changing of discs, and data to be restored will be easily accessible and the process much faster.