04-20-2009 02:45 PM
For some reason Maxtor chose to put its Password program for their BlackArmor external USB hard drives in a place or form that makes Windows XP (and other?) operating systems see it only as a "Virtual CDROM" drive, under the "Devices with Removable Storage" catagory of "My Computer". So NORTON 360's BACKUP program cannot see or list it as one of the possible "Destination" drive choices to which a user can send their backups. (Yet NORTON 360 can see it as one of the "Source" drives from which it can pull information for a backup.) Elsewhere in this Maxtor forum for BlackArmor external drives, I see that someone's Vista operating system also cannot recognize the drive. I suspect the problem exists for all programs that might want to access the drive, except probably for Maxtor's own Backup utility which it provides pre-installed on the drive.
To make the drive visible to other programs like NORTON 360, one must FIRST (BEFORE NORTON 360 or such is opened), paddle through START, then MY COMPUTERS, then double-click that BlackArmor "virtual CDROM", which brings up Maxtor's Password window. AFTER the password is properly entered and you leave or close the MY COMPUTER screen, then open it again, you will see that the BlackArmor USB drive has properly moved itself under the "Hard Disk Drives" heading along with your other hard drives or HD partitions. IT IS ONLY THEN that you can leave that screen and start your non-Maxtor Backup program like NORTON 360, or other programs that might have to see or use the BlackArmor drive.
One can find many frustrated computer users out there who are talking on internet forums trying to find out why their hard drive is seen as a SOURCE by NORTON 360, but not as a DESTINATION. They and Norton (and possibly others) are talking by email and chat and working their butts off for a problem that should not exist, and is not the fault of THEIR software, computers or operating systems.
However, NORTON 360 does add to the problem a bit, because they show all of their Source drives in one window, while seeing their Destination drives often requires a person to SCROLL DOWN a list, if the user happens to have more than 4 possible destinations, such as 3 partitions, a CD/DVDROM, and an external hard drive (such as a USB drive). A user can go into NORTON 360's destination window (simply called "WHERE"), and not notice that he or she must scroll down to see less common destination driveds such as CD/DVD ROMS and External USB drives.
This frustrated user (me) wasted a couple days chatting with a Maxtor rep and exchanging email several times with more than one NORTON 360 tech rep, before discovering for myself, Maxtor's tricky identification of their hard drive as a CDROM and their requirement that the drive first be opened by a password before it can be properly recognized. Even the Maxtor rep (with Asian Indian name of course) was willing or able to identify the problem. The problem was compounded because even when I first opened the BlackArmor drive, I did not find it in NORTON 360's destination drives list because their source list which did not require scrolling, blinded me to the fact that there was a scroll bar for their destination drives.
So I hope the above will help the hundreds or thousands of other frustrated BlackArmor users. Meanwhile, can anyone tell me if Maxtor-Seagate plans to correct the blunder of identifying their virtual drive as a CDROM? Is it possible to get it to INITIALLY appear as a virtual or true Hard Drive so that programs can recognize its existance without the user FIRST going through the MY COMPUTER to double-click the drive and enter the password? Wouldn't it be better to design things so that the password window pops up regardless of who or what tries to access it?
Yes, maybe it backups would be easier if I installed Maxtor's own HD Manager which they supply on the BlackArmor drive. But it seems that every software writer wants to install bits and pieces that, along with other needed or unneeded software, simply slows a good computer to a crawl. I'd like to not clutter my computer with still more stuff that mostly just takes resources and usually uses communication bandwidth to talk back to their owners.
By the way, it was only by me explicitely asking the Maxtor tech rep, that I found out users cannot (or should not) save FULL IMAGE backups to a BlackArmor drive. I am told that because of the hardware encryption and the fact that it needs that external "virtual CDROM drive" password program, it cannot be used for image backups.
As for me, I'm kinda frustrated. My previous USB drive, a Western Digital "PASSPORT" drive, was Soooooo much easier to use, more versatile, recognized by all operating systems and programs, and amazingly fast as well. I'm now sorry I let the wife have it for HER computer.