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Compaq AIT 35/70Gb Hard Error

James Brydon
Occasional Visitor

Compaq AIT 35/70Gb Hard Error

We have a Compaq ML350, running Windows 2000 SP3, with a Compaq 430 Smart Array controller.

We recently bought a 35Gb hot-plug AIT Tape drive. When I put the drive in the server while windows is running, it comes up with an error stating "Unknown Hard Error". If you then try to scan for new devices the server hangs.

Even if the server is booted with the tape drive in the cage, it still doesn't detect the new hardware. Running new hardware wizard returns no new devices.

Any ideas would be very welcome.
Regular Advisor

Re: Compaq AIT 35/70Gb Hard Error

Try to use Ultra2 SCSI or Ultra Wide SCSI LVD for isolation. Remember that you have to provide a seperate scsi card that is dedicated for your tape backup. If your using it with RAID disk controller make sure that your using dual channel card otherwise provide a separate scsi for you tape.
Also check the following:
-bent pins
-scsi proper termination
-provide unique ID settings
-update tape driver and firmware
"You should be working"
Stuart Whitby
Trusted Contributor

Re: Compaq AIT 35/70Gb Hard Error

Sounds like it's a SCSI problem of some description. Are you sure the target ID you're using is free on that bus? If you've got your OS hard drive on the same target, there's probably the reason for the failure (though this seems a little more complex than that).

Check to make sure you're using the same type of SCSI all the way through. The simplest way to check this is to look at the symbols on the cards, cables and terminators. These should be identical throughout.

Symbol examples - apologies for the ASCII implementation, which will probably look a mess...

// \
<< -- High Voltage Differential
\\ /

<< -- Low Voltage Differential


You do *not* need to run tape drives on seperate SCSI cards. Make up your own mind depending on the amount of throughput your drives can handle versus how much will be coming through that bus.

You do not have a problem with the tape driver at this time. Unless the tape drive can be detected, no driver will be in operation.

However, I'd agree that you should check for correct termination, bent pins etc.
A sysadmin should never cross his fingers in the hope commands will work. Makes for a lot of mistakes while typing.