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Surestore T20i - error reported: Unrecognizable Data

Simon Stocks
Occasional Contributor

Surestore T20i - error reported: Unrecognizable Data


I have a Surestore T20 installed on an NT 4 server running Small Business Server and using the NT Backup utility. This has worked fine for the last 3 years, but 2 weeks ago it stopped working, returning the following error when I initialise the backup utility:

Tape device reported an error on a request to get a device status.
Error reported: Unrecognizable data

In the event viewer there is an error stating:
The device, \Device\Tape0, has a bad block.

I have tried reconnecting the drive in case was a lose connection and have tried using different tapes, including 2 new ones, but all return the same error. I have downloaded the HP Tape Library & Tools but it doesn't support the T20.

I have also downloaded the HP TapeAssure utility and run that - it runs the self test and passes, it runs the Connection Test and passes that, but skips the Read/Write Test irrespective of whether there is a tape inserted or not.

In Control Panel/Tape Devices, the system detects the drive OK and knows there is a driver loaded.

I thought it might need a clean, but looking elsewhere on the site, it states that the T20 should not be cleaned as cleaning will damage the thin film magneto-resistive head on this drive.

I am at my wits end and would really appreciate it if someone had any more bright ideas? I appreciate that the obvious answer is to replace it with some more up to date hardware, but I am keen to avoid that expense at the moment if at all possible.

Many thanks in advance

Kind regards

Simon Stocks
Joachim Haberer
Occasional Visitor

Re: Surestore T20i - error reported: Unrecognizable Data

As the warranty is expired, cleaning becomes an option ;-)
I do this the following way:
- Use compressed air to remove any dust
- Use a cotton swab (?) and pure alcohol to clean the head
Only wipe in direction of tape transport, not sideways!
I bought at the pharmacy cotton swabs that have a kind of protective clothing around them, so no fibers get lost. The alcohol is a 95% pure ethanol(? drinkable theoretically), so there are no residues of denaturing.

On the other hand, I had several of these drives die after about two years, so you can consider yourself lucky...

I recommend Onstream ADR-Drives now; faster, more capacity
Greetings J. Habere
Simon Stocks
Occasional Contributor

Re: Surestore T20i - error reported: Unrecognizable Data

Dear Joachim

Many thanks for taking the time to reply - it is appreciated. One question about your suggestion - I have purchased an Imation Travan NS Dry Process Head Cleaning Cartridge by mistake (it arrived with a message on the box stating that it is not for use with HP drives) - am I right in assuming that your "wet" method would be better for the machine and that even though it is out of warranty, I should not use the dry cleaning cartridge?

Thanks again