store all of my files in two places: on an external hard drive (which gives me easy day-day access) and on CDs/DVDs.
My external HDD has just failed. I'm in the process of arranging a replacement. However, once this is setup I will have to recopy everything from all my backup CDs onto the HDD. The problem with this is that I group files together on the HDD and so will need to recreate the file structure from scratch. (i.e. most of my CDs contain some letters, some faxes, some emails etc. but on the HDD is a folder called correspondance in which there are folders for each year and within these folders for each type of communication.). I can't keep to this structure on the CDs/DVDs because each of these just contains as much data as they can hold.
I'm wondering therefore if it's possible to make a backup which is an index of the external HDD, but not the files themselves, and then use this to recreate the file structure in the event of disaster. (i.e. I want to create a file that would be able to reorganise files if I were to just copy all of the CDs onto the HDD).
Can anyone advise if this is possible and what software I would need?
(I realise I could achieve a similar outcome using incremental backup software, but don't find this a particularly satisfactory solution because I like the CDs and DVDs to be stand alone so I can just open them up and drag individual files off them, not have to extract files through a backup application.)