Well, I'm very sorry to hear about your poor experience with Drive Bender (Division M)'s customer service. That's never fun.
As for your questions, I'll try to answer all of them (though the images makes it a bit harder, as I can't just quote you, but that's not a problem). And I apologize for the massive info dump here (but I suspect that you won't object!).
For the first image, that is the "Create a new pool" page, for a lack of a better term. It shows all of the available disks that can be added to a pool. This shows up, when you want to create a secondary pool as well. Once you've clicked the "+ Add" button, it will add that disk to the pool, and go to a different page, as you can see.
Additionally, we ONLY list eligible drives. This means that the Pool is not shown in this list ever, and that certain other disks are not show here (such as flash drives and dynamic disks).
When you add a drive to the pool, it doesn't change the letter, and it doesn't move the content around. You can continue to use the drives however you want, and use it for the pool.
Additionally, when adding the first drive, it creates a new drive letter, which IS the pool. (you can hide the drive letter or mount it to a folder, like how Drive Bender does, but we give you the option, rather than forcing you to do so).
This also means that the content doesn't just appear in the Pool unfortunately. That's a bit more hands on, to "fix". But it means that we don't break your existing configuration.
As Saitoh183 has said, this new drive letter shows you the contents of the hidden PoolPart folders on each drive added to the pool, but as one single drive (pooled, even ).
And you can "seed" the pool, which we have detailed instructions on how to do (that's what he's referring to by moving the files into these folders):
And as for the drive letter, as you've already discovered/mentioned, it can be changed. Specifically, we use the windows API whenever we can. So that is what assigns the letter (automatically).
As for balancing, we do have some options for that. However, by default, the files shouldn't be moved around very often, at all.
In fact, with the default configuration, the only time you should see a lot of data being moved around ... well there are two events that will trigger that:
- If you have StableBit Scanner installed on the same system, and it marks a disk as damaged.
This will cause StableBit DrivePool to evacuate the data from the drive, to prevent corruption of your data.
- If the drives get too full. The "Prevent Drive Overfill" balancer will attempt to clear out some of the data to make sure the drive isn't more than 90% full, or so that it has at least 100GBs free.
Otherwise, the balancing system should be rather idle most of the time.
Additionally, there are a number of options that you can tweak to get it running how you want.
We definitely do recommend leaving balancing enabled, because of the above mentioned reasons.
However, it should only balance once every 12 hours. And you can change that, as well.
If you have any more questions, or if you need any clarification, don't hesitate to ask.