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Catalog operation fails (a00084ca / "SFMB not found") repeatedly on removable (off-site) USB disk drives.

Level 3
We have BackupExec running on Windows 2000 Server.  It has large disks and backups run every day backing up to Backup To Disk (B2D) folders named Mon to Thu.  More comprehensive weekly backups are taken to a folder called Weekly.
In addition to this, off-site backups are taken to removable USB disk drives.  We used to use an HP tape drive but recently switched to using "250GB USB Seagate Expansion Portable Drives", all newly purchased from Amazon.  Each night we back up around 110GB of data, including raw file data from file servers and data from our live Lotus Notes server using the Notes connector.  We currently have 10 of these drives and use them in rotation, with four drives for Mon-Thu working set backups, and three more used on a weekly rotation for full backups for Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3, taken over the weekend.  These drives are then taken off-site for use in the event of a fire, etc.  We use backup-to-disk folders on these drives, and so have ten separately-named folders on each, one for each media set, even though each drive only holds one media set (I believe this is due to a weird limitation of BE that means each drive needs its own B2D folder, but BE replicates these folders on each drive - each folder has a folder.cfg and changer.cfg file, but only the relevant folder on each drive contains the .bkf files - folder "Mon" on the Monday disk, for example).  We used to have the default 1GB .bkf files, but I found that when cataloguing these during a restore I then had to click Confirm on the Catalog Confirmation dialog 110 times (!), which was a real pain, so I increased the file size limit to 10GB and we now have around 11 of them, with the last one of smaller size as it is not full.
If we have a fire we need to restore these disks off-site on a different machine.  For this process we have a virtual machine image that runs under Microsoft Virtual PC.  This machine runs Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition SP2 and has BackupExec installed on it.  This VM image is backed up (copied) onto each off-site disk so that if we have a disaster each disk provides all that is necessary to restore our files: they contain the Microsoft Virtual PC installation file, the virtual machine image (.vmc/.vhd files) that can be run under Microsoft Virtual PC, BackupExec (installed on the VM), and the .bkf files to restore, placed on the disk by our live backup machine.
The problem is that restores aren't working!  Backups seem to run fine every night (well, most nights!), but we are unable to restore the files off-site from these disks.
This is the procedure I am using:
  o  Fire up a suitable machine/laptop and plug USB drive into it.
  o  Start Virtual PC and fire up the virtual machine on the USB drive.
  o  Share the Backup-to-disk folder on the USB drive with the running virtual machine, which makes it show up as a network drive within the running virtual machine.
  o  Run BackupExec in the virtual machine and add a new Backup to Disk (B2D) folder, browsing to the shared folder containing the backup files.
  o  Right click on the new B2D folder and do an "Inventory" - this loads up the "Media" in the list and takes around 20 minutes (not sure why so long for 11x 10GB files - drive is NTFS).  This succeeds.  Oddly, when I look at the Media it says for all of them "Total Capacity 1.00 GB" and "Bytes Written 2.00 GB" apart from the last file that is smaller, for which it says "Bytes Written 3.36 GB", despite the fact that these files are 10GB each, apart from the last one, which is 7.7 GB, so it looks like something is already wrong.
  o  Select all of the media files and run "Catalog" - I believe I need to do this prior to a restore so BackupExec knows what's on the disk.  This fails on each .bkf file with the following errors:
"Category name: Job Failed", and "Catalog 0001 - The Job failed with the following error:  The data being read from the media is inconsistent"
Looking at the Job History it says:  "Error category: Backup Media Errors", and "Error: a00084ca - The data being read from the media is inconsistent"
Looking in the Job Log, one or two sets succeed and the last one says:  "An inconsistency was encountered on the storage media in Backup-to-Disk Folder 1."
After all the catalog runs have finished the Job History overview shows eight of my nine files (this particular backup had nine .bkf files) with exactly "Byte Count 203,933,524" (way too small) and the last shows "Byte Count 2,763,988,969" (also too small) and neither of these sizes match what Inventory showed (2.00 GB and 3.36 GB) or what the actual file sizes are (around 10,485,770 kB and 7,720,054 kB, from Windows Explorer).
If I look in the Windows Event Log I have four events for each failed catalogue run:
   (1)  33808: "An error occurred while processing a B2D command. Drive: ReadFMTable() SFMB Not Found (F:\Disk3\B2D002251.bkf).  Error=13"
   (2)  57620: "A format inconsistency was encountered while attempting to access or process tape based catalogs on device "Backup-to-Disk Folder 1". For more information, click the following link:"
   (3)  33808: "An error occurred while processing a B2D command. Drive: ReadFMTable() SFMB Not Found (F:\Disk3\B2D002251.bkf).  Error=13"
   (4)  57612: "A format inconsistency was encountered during a tape read operation on device "Backup-to-Disk Folder 1". For more information, click the following link:"
   (5)  34113: "Backup Exec Alert: Job Failed (Server: "BACKUP") (Job: "Catalog 0001") Catalog 0001 -- The job failed with the following error: The data being read from the media is inconsistent."
I've tried turning off the media-based catalog, and the catalog operations then still fail but show a different "Byte Count" in the Job History view.
I've also tried explicitly turning on buffered reads in addition to buffered writes, and again they fail, with yet another different Byte Count.
This happens every day with different drives each day.
I'm using BackupExec 9.1 Rev 4691.
Does anyone have any idea what is going wrong?

Level 3
I have tried connecting to the USB drive across the network (connected to the virtual host machine) and it seems to work better, but I am still getting some errors as above, plus some complaining that some media has not been Inventoried, despite having run Inventory on the drive.

Restoring with BackupExec seems to be rather flakey.

Any ideas?