Thanks for your reply.
For the last year, I have been using an Iomega Peerless 20GB removable hard drive as my primary data drive, which, on my computer, is drive E:\. The Peerless drive is attached to the computer using a Firewire connection. The removable drive allows me to take all my work home, where I have another Peerless station.
I back up the Peerless data to the C:\ drive. It is a Western Digital 60GB ATA-100 drive.
When the backup process begins, Retrospect says "Preparing to execute..." Then there are no additional messages for the 2-3 minute period. Retrospect sits silently as the C:\ drive works feverishly to complete some unknown task. While this is happening, Retrospect cannot be "stopped" -- it is in "limbo" and must wait until the C:\ drive has finished its "spinning." (It's as if the C:\ drive were performing a total indexing of itself...) After the spinning has stopped, the backup occurs quickly.
I'm home as I write this message, so I can't do the exact check you requested, but will do this on Monday at work.
Thanks for any help!