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Tape drive with DL380

Joshua Small_2
Valued Contributor

Tape drive with DL380

Hey guys,

We've had a very confusing problem, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice.

We have a tape drive that doesn't work. Symptons are that:

1. SCSI bios detects drive in 50% of bootups only
2. HP Tape library tools hang when trying to perform any test
3. Ntbackup detects the drive, starts running, and usually times out with a device error after a few MB, if any.

Platform:

DL380G4.
Ultra 320 Dual Channel SCSI card.
Ultrium 448 in 1U Rack Mount case.

We have tried:
- Updates of every server driver and firmware listed on the Version Control Agent to the latest.
- Changing the SCSI card
- Changing the SCSI cable
- Changing the Tape drive
- Bypassing the cabling inside the 1U case, and connecting directly from the SCSI card to the tape drive.

HP techs were out here all day and whilst very helpful, they've had to go away to re-think the problem.

After they left, we tried a few things ourselves, and this one made things work:

We ran a SCSI cable from the INTERNAL connector on the SCSI card, out a removed backplate and into the tape drive. Now the tape drive works.

Given we have replicated this with multiple SCSI cards, cables and tape drives, we feel we need to conclude there is some sort of issue involving the external interface on the Ultra320 Dual Channel SCSI card shipped.

We have confirmed on the compatibility matrix and then over the phone with HP that the server hardware, SCSI card, and tape drive are all compatible and in a supported configuration. Yet this tape drive seems impossible to make work from anything but the internal interface.


A side note, the 1U rack case we purchased featured an internal cable with a SCSI terminator on the end. The HP phone support tech indicated the tape drive will nto work in this configuration and we should use the onboard termination. Ultimately, our kludge has allowed us to setup this way (where it works). Looking at the supplied 1U case however, there is simply no way, short of taking cutters and trimming off the terminator, to do this out of the box. The HP technician that came onsite to look at this server seemed to feel the "out of the box" configuration was more correct.

Any ideas very appreciated.
10 REPLIES
Derek Porrelli
Occasional Contributor

Re: Tape drive with DL380

We had very similar problems, i think it depends on the drive you are trying to use, we had a ultra 320, and this worked OK with a DDS3 and DDS2 tape drive, but when we tried a DAT72 or AIT sometimes it would detect it and sometimes it wouldn't, I dont think we ever got it to write data.

From what we could tell, the data was getting sent to/from the drive faster than the SCSI card could handle (if someone knows this is wrong, please dont shoot me, it was the best answer we came up with).

Although the Ultra 320 is supposed to handle the above drives in theory, in reality it didn't.

The solution that we found was to install a Adaptec AHA 2930U, then everything worked.

Hope this helps.
Derek Porrelli
Occasional Contributor

Re: Tape drive with DL380

Sorry, told you the wrong card, that was one of the one's we tested which didn't work. It was this one that worked, ASC39320D
Joshua Small_2
Valued Contributor

Re: Tape drive with DL380

Hi,

We are finding a similar thing. However, we paid a lot of money for that SCSI card, and frankly it was only purchased because HP advised it was the only supported card/tape drive combination- so nobody here is going to want to hear about purchasing a new card.

At least we know we're not alone.
Joshua Small_2
Valued Contributor

Re: Tape drive with DL380

Just some further information.
We tried another tape drive (Sony AIT1) and found it worked with no issues.

Yet multiple HP Ultrium drives fail to work. It really looks like some sort of compatability issue between the DL380 and the Ultrium 448 (and yes, I know they are supported together).
Terry Hutchings
Honored Contributor

Re: Tape drive with DL380

Do mean between the scsi adapter and the ultrium 448? What happens when you plug it into the embedded on the server?

I would recommend making sure there is active termination at the drive, in this case, on the enclosure.
The truth is out there, but I forgot the URL..
Joshua Small_2
Valued Contributor

Re: Tape drive with DL380

Yes, between the SCSI and the Ultrium.
We have also tried removing the Ultrium from its enclosure altogether and running a direct cable.

No joy also when using the embedded SCSI port.
Joshua Small_2
Valued Contributor

Re: Tape drive with DL380

Forgot the termination issue..

The enclosure comes with a terminated cable, and all manuals recommend using this.

We have tried replacing it with a nonterminated cable, and using active termination on the unit, to no effect.
Joshua Small_2
Valued Contributor

Re: Tape drive with DL380

Thanks for the replies all, but we have found the cause of the issue.
The power supply in the external encasement was the issue, as we have found connecting a power supply from a standard PC supply, hacked up to run into the unit, runs perfectly.

We're having issues getting a replacement, as the parts are on back order, but we're getting successful backups with our jerry-rigged power setup.
Joshua Small_2
Valued Contributor

Re: Tape drive with DL380

Just a closing on this thread.
After an escalation by HP support, it was found that the power supplies shipped with the rack mounted Ultrium 448 device is known to be faulty, specifically, it outputs an inconsistent power signal.

HP have provided a small "plug-in", which is essentially a filter capacitor to connect to the drive, and informed us all such drives will be shipping with this in future.

This immediately resolved the issue.
Joshua Small_2
Valued Contributor

Re: Tape drive with DL380

Closed