I don't mind saying I've been backing up since day one. My first computer was a 486SLC. It only had a floppy drive. And that's what I originally used. They would only hold about 1.4 MB of data. At the time you really didn't need more than that. For files to large to fit on a floppy I used a program called Axeman - no longer available and HJ-Split which is still available at http://hjsplit.org/
These days with DVD burners and flash / external hard drives, there isn't much of a need for splitting up files. For documents backup I still use CD's and DVD's. For image backups I have a Verbatim store 'n' go external hard drive. I also have a few laptop drives and two desktop SATA hard drives. Doesn't hurt to have a few backups.
I use both Macruim Reflect - http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx and Windows 7 built in backup. Normally I would just plug in my backup drive and run the backup program but this time when I plugged it in the drive, it did not show up in Windows explorer (My Computer). I tried the other hard drives and had the same problem. Flash drives worked perfectly well.
So I went to the Start button and then right clicked on Computer in the start menu. Then click on Manage. Then I clcik on Disk Management in the Computer Management window. The drive(s) I pluged in where listed but for some reason Windows did not automatically assign a drive letter. I could of did this in this utility but I wanted the automatic thing back.
So online I went and found the simple solution. Open up a cmd prompt (run as adminstrator) and type the following, press enter after each line:
If done properly, you should get a message: Automatic mounting of new volumes enabled.
I don't know why or how this happened. But luckily it was easy to fix. If your drive letters don't show up right away after this fix, unplug your drive and then plug it in again.