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  1. #1
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    Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    I have an odd problem with the backup program in Windows XP. When I start it, I get a message box which says, "Looking for backup devices." The box remains open for anything from a fraction of a second to several minutes. Then the backup program's normal window opens and everything proceeds normally.

    While the message box is open, there is no entry for the backup program on the taskbar. Also, the message box itself has no "OK" or "Cancel" button, and no Close box in the upper right corner, so there is no way I can close it before it is good and ready.

    My backup device is an HP DAT drive in an external enclosure connected to an Adaptec 2910 controller. I am using a premium-quality terminator and a 6-foot cable, both of which have served me for years with no problems.

    I have had my current computer for about a month. Prior to that I used the same backup device, cable, and terminator for about nine months with another computer and adapter, also running Windows XP, and I had the same problem. Prior to that I used them for about three years with yet another computer running Windows 2000, and never had the problem.

    I asked this question in one of Microsoft's Usenet newsgroups, and got a typical runaround from a Microsoft MVP: he didn't know how to solve the problem off the top of his head, so he tried to persuade me to solve a different problem instead. Can anybody here help?

  2. #2
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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    I do not know if this problem can be resolved. I would recommend not using Windows Backup as it has too many limitations being a watered down version of another backup program, Veritas Back Up Exec. Check out the threads beginning with <post#=357946>post 357946</post#> and <post#=357535>post 357535</post#> for alternatives.

  3. #3
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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    >I do not know if this problem can be resolved. I would recommend not using Windows Backup...

    I earnestly hope the problem can be solved, because I have a number of strong reasons for not wanting to switch.

    First, I know that Windows Backup works. I have had too many experiences with disastrous flaws in supposedly excellent utilities to willingly abandon a known quantity for an unknown one. This is true of backup utilities above all other types, where any flaws are likely to have disastrous consequences, and are liable to remain hidden until the damage has been done.

    Second, I would expect any commercial alternative to offer more features, which is the last thing I want. More features mean more things to figure out, more things that can go wrong, more options that can get set incorrectly without my knowledge. As long as Windows Backup does when I need -- and it does -- a more complicated program would be just a liability.

    Third, I cannot afford any unnecessary expenses at this point in my life. As long as the stuff I've got works at all, it's not going to be replaced, no matter how great the alternative might be.

  4. #4
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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    Given your last response, I won't try to jump on the bandwagon of convincing you to switch! However, all the elements of backing up that you find as "negatives," I've also encountered when I used tape and/or the MS backup programs. So, I guess it's the old expression "whatever floats your boat." Back to your original question: Have you made any inquries to HP on the question? Even though Win XP is the best of the MS OSs, there are hardware devices that just will not work as they're supposed to with XP. In other threads here in the Lounge, you'll find folks (including me) who have had operational difficulties with scanners and the like and get no support from either the vendor of the device or MS. In my case it's a UMAX scanner that is NOT supported by UMAX for Win XP, but sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I wish you luck on your quest.

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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    I have not contacted HP because my long experience of perfect behavior with Windows 2000 indicates pretty conclusively that this is a Windows XP issue. At this point, though, it seems like a reasonable next step. Thanks for your advice.

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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    It does not necessarily indicate an XP problem. It could be an HP problem if they do not supply XP drivers. Or if you do not have the most current drivers. Do you have up-to-date XP drivers for the tape drive? Are there any updates for the Adaptec card? Anything out of the ordinary in device manager?

    Joe
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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    I posted the question in an HP forum and also got advice to get the latest drivers. This was news to me, because Windows NT and Windows 2000 both operated the drive perfectly without any such help. I will investigate the driver issue as soon as I have time, probably over the weekend.

    Adaptec drivers are another puzzle, but probably an unimportant one. Adaptec's web site lists no drivers for Windows XP, but does list them for Windows NT and Windows 2000. I assume this means that they dropped support for the card with Windows XP. But again, I used it with the older systems and no drivers, and had no problems, so it's not clear what the drivers contribute to correct or incorrect operation. Also, I had exactly the same problem on a laptop computer running Windows XP with an Adaptec USB2-to-SCSI converter, which was a current device with driver installed, so it's hard to give this issue much weight.

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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    Drivers are how the OS 'talks' to a device. Without a driver the device would not function. With a prior OS just because you did not have to do a separate driver install does not mean that the drivers weren't there. It more likely means that the vendor (Adaptec) was able to get the drivers to MS in time to be qualified as part of the OS release. If XP recognizes the device it has a basic driver available for the device. That does not necessarily make all features of the device available. Many times you need to get an updated driver from the third party vendor to enable all the features. If Adaptec does not have a newer driver either it is unsupported and an older driver just happens to work or the basic driver is sufficient.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    Just to keep the thread on track, I know what drivers are (I have, in the distant past, done maintenance on them). The news was that proprietary drivers might be necessary for this device -- and that such things even exist. As I mentioned, Windows recognizes the device just fine without them, and before XP, it worked perfectly.

  10. #10
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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    "Windows recognizes the device just fine without them, and before XP"
    XP must have a "Generic" driver that finds the device, but do not contain the FULL capabilities of the device.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  11. #11
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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    Exactly! Well, as I said, I wish you luck in your quest. I hate to keep drawing parallels, but that's exactly what happened with my UMAX scanner. XP recognizes it and it (sometimes) works.

  12. #12
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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    I'll preface this by saying I know almost nothing about MS backup. But, if it uses any parts of Windows Explorer it could be searching for network devices. You may want to try un-checking 'Automatically search for network folders and files' in Tools | Folder Options | View.

    Joe
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  13. #13
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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    >You may want to try un-checking 'Automatically search for
    >network folders and files' in Tools | Folder Options | View.

    I tried that, but no joy. It was a long shot; I think Windows Backup is substantially unchanged since before Microsoft started reusing bits of Explorer in other programs.

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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    "I think Windows Backup is substantially unchanged "
    Wrong, as each version will work ONLY with the OS that it came with. One can NOT restore a backup from a 98 OS on a XP OS box.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  15. #15
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    Re: Windows Backup: looking for devices... (XP)

    You could try the Win2k drivers from the Adaptec site. That's kind of a long shot too but some win2k drivers work ok with XP. Be sure that you set a system restore point before attempting to install. Also, do you have the Adaptec SCSISelect configuration utility? If so, it might be interesting to see what you can timeout values you may be able to configure.

    Joe
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