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How do you reset an Ultrium 1 drive from the HP-UX command line?

Richard Lloyd_8
Occasional Contributor

How do you reset an Ultrium 1 drive from the HP-UX command line?

We have an Ultrium 1 drive (with firmware revision 007.046 from Sep 2003) and an accompanying 1/9 Autoloader (also with firmware from Sep 2003) attached to an A500 box running HP-UX 11.00.

Recently, the Ultrium 1 drive is completing a successful backup overnight and will accept the next tape from the autoloader, but then any commands issued from the A500 (e.g. "mt rew" or any other operations on the drive that normally work via the Amanda backup software we use) give the impression that the tape can't be "seen" by the drive.

"mc -r D" reports that the correct barcode-labelled tape is in the drive and if I power cycle the whole drive/auto-loader unit, it comes back up and the mt/backup software commands work (I then do the next night's backup OK and then it fails to recognise the next tape loaded the following day...grrr..another power cycle fixes it...).

Obviously, power-cycling each day is no good (we run unattended backups over the weekend for example - this is where the autoloader is worth its weight in gold of course), so is there a command line program in HP-UX I can use to do a full reset of the Ultrium 1 drive (so I can put it at the end of the backup jobs) ? Note here - rebooting the A500 only (and not the drive) has no effect on the problem before you ask.

I can't see anything with the "stm" command for example ("Tools -> Diagnose -> Run" or "Tools -> Expert Tool -> Run" does nothing) - I have a sneaking feeling that there's some extra add-ons you can get for stm that will do what I want, but are limited to HP engineers only...

So any clues from anyone about how to command line reset an Ultrium 1 drive in HP-UX ?
4 REPLIES
Alexander M. Ermes
Honored Contributor

Re: How do you reset an Ultrium 1 drive from the HP-UX command line?

Hi there.
I have a little tool to reset a scsi bus.
file is attached ( to be compiled ).

If it is unreadable, pls let me know.
Rgds
Alexander M. Ermes
.. and all these memories are going to vanish like tears in the rain! final words from Rutger Hauer in "Blade Runner"
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: How do you reset an Ultrium 1 drive from the HP-UX command line?

Richard,

I believe that sending a reset down (which may not work anyway) is addressing the symptom without addressing the problem.


I assume the autoloader is direct connect SCSI, is that correct?

STM does not support the tape autolader from a diagnostic perspective. The better tool is HP Library & Tape Tools (www.hp.com/support/tapetools). There is a HP-UX version that uses a command screen interface (CSI).

The following would help us to troubleshoot your problem(s):

1) The STM logtool logs for a day where the drive went from working to not working.

2) A support ticket from LTT for the whole autoloader (just click on the autoloader icon, not the drive). You can collect this after you have power-cycled.
The journey IS the reward.
Richard Lloyd_8
Occasional Contributor

Re: How do you reset an Ultrium 1 drive from the HP-UX command line?

One thing I forgot to mention - I upgraded to that Sep 2003 firmware release only a few weeks ago and the problem kicked in about a week later. I thought I'd try and downgrade to the Apr 2003 release to see if the problem would go away and was *astonished* to see that I couldn't ! Both the stm and hp_ltt utilties forbid firmware downgrades, which I think it somewhat ridiculous.

Apparently, you're supposed to contact HP support to get a password, but the whole hardware is out of warranty now and we have no support contract. However, HP allow me to download stm, ltt and the matching latest firmware bundles for free - I can then apply firmware upgrades without a password, but if I want to reverse the upgrade, I'm locked out. This is an appalling situation in my books - I'm willing to take on the risk that the downgrade might mess the drive/autoloader up, but I bet it doesn't (otherwise why does HP support offer passwords to allow people to do it ?!).

I guess it's possible that HP support won't issue passwords for firmware downgrades that aren't possible, but there again, the password looks generic to me (only 8 chars max), so it probably doesn't apply to specific downgrades at all. Anyone want to shed light on this somewhat bananas policy from HP (i.e. upgrades can be done by anyone, but you have to pay to do downgrades - madness !) ?
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: How do you reset an Ultrium 1 drive from the HP-UX command line?

> I thought I'd try and downgrade to the Apr 2003 release to see if the problem would go away and was *astonished* to see that I couldn't ! Both the stm and hp_ltt utilties forbid firmware downgrades, which I think it somewhat ridiculous.

It is intended to protect you from introducing problems that could ultimately lead to additional issues or product failures.

> Apparently, you're supposed to contact HP support to get a password, but the whole hardware is out of warranty now and we have no support contract.

HP is more than willing to provide you with telephone support even if your product is out of warranty. All it takes is a quick call (or email) to HP and we can give you a password. Just for you - send an email to ltt_team@hp.com, and I'll send you one in about 5 minutes.

> However, HP allow me to download stm, ltt and the matching latest firmware bundles for free - I can then apply firmware upgrades without a password, but if I want to reverse the upgrade, I'm locked out.

Two reasons: 1) to protect you; 2) so we can better understand what issues you are having and hopefully identify a better solution. Alternately, if there is something wrong with newer firmware, we would like to know about it so we can take action to have it investigated.

Hopefully that answers your questions.
The journey IS the reward.