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Ultrium 215 & 230 drives keep going off-line

Graham Rawolle
Occasional Advisor

Ultrium 215 & 230 drives keep going off-line

We have a number of external 215 and 230 LTO tape drives running under both Windows NT and 2000 server which all ocassionally go off-line part of the way through backup.
We are using Veritas BackupExec backup software. The servers are all Intel STL2 mainboard based and we are running the tape drives from the onboard Adaptec SCSI controller. The tape drive firmware is the latest. We have changed SCSI cables, disabled domain validation on the SCSI controller, turned the speed of the controller and SCSI id right down to 20MB/s.
Nothing seems to resolve the problem, but we are fairly sure it is an issue with the Ultrium tape drives, as DLTs on similar servers have no problems.
Does anyone have any ideas? Our hardware supplier has given up.
8 REPLIES
Alexander M. Ermes
Honored Contributor

Re: Ultrium 215 & 230 drives keep going off-line

Hi there.
Just one question :
is anything daisychained on the same controler as the drives ? If yes, take it off.
These drives need one controler of their own.
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: Ultrium 215 & 230 drives keep going off-line

Mike,

Do you already have the script, and you just need help running it?

If so, just copy the script file, write_unit_serial_number.tst, to the 'scripts' folder under the install directory for HP L&TT. Then run the tool, select the autochanger device, select the test tool, check the library device, and then select 'C6280 set unit serial number to 123456789012' from the test group pull down. Hit 'start test' and the serial number will be updated. You can then reselect the device and click on identity to verify that the new serial number is reported.
The journey IS the reward.
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: Ultrium 215 & 230 drives keep going off-line

Oops - sorry - igore the above post (it was for another thread).

What version of firmware are you on?

The 215 is now at N20D, and the 230 is at E20D. These were released in mid-January 2002, and address some reliability issues.
The journey IS the reward.
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: Ultrium 215 & 230 drives keep going off-line

Just a few other comments:

First, you shouldn't have to dial-down the speed of your controller, as long as your cabling and termination is in spec. These drives need high data throughput to stream.

Second, are there any related messages in the Windows event log?
The journey IS the reward.
Rick Vincent
Occasional Visitor

Re: Ultrium 215 & 230 drives keep going off-line

I am having a similar problem with two internal 215 drives. They run fine for a while and then go offline, the event logs typically show "The device, \Device\ScsiPort3, did not respond within the timeout period." The drive will not respond at all (Ready light flashing), the tape will not eject (even when holding the eject button for 10 sec) and I have to power down the server before I can regain the drive. The servers are Compaq Proliant ML370 and Acer Altos 1200 and both utilse a seperate onboard SCSI channel for the LTO drive. The drive in the Compaq will only run for a few days while the Acer has run for over a month without problems. Onboard controllers are Adaptec 7899 and 7892. Any ideas?
Graham Rawolle
Occasional Advisor

Re: Ultrium 215 & 230 drives keep going off-line

Our 215 and 230's behave the same as Rick Vincent's. Our's are also running off an onboard Adaptec AIC 7899 ultra 160 controller. HP here in Australia (and David Ruska) have recommended we upgrade our firmware from N16D on the 215 and E16D on the 230 to the very recently released firmware (last 2 weeks) E20D and N20D. Also they suggest setting the SCSI id speed to 80MB/s up from the 20 or 40 we have it currently set to.
We will see how the new firmware behaves over the next few weeks.
Marino Meloni_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Ultrium 215 & 230 drives keep going off-line

hi
two more info:
--install LTT and check in the event log if there are temperature warning, these device have powerful motors and the temperature insidde the server can encrease and then the device do off-line
--Be sure to give ultium enougth power supply, these motor require a lot of power to run.
bye
marino
Graham Rawolle
Occasional Advisor

Re: Ultrium 215 & 230 drives keep going off-line

An interesting sidenote is the huge performance gain we have seen since we upgraded our 215 formware from N16D to N20D. Instead of 120MB/min we are now getting between 264 and 813MB/min (the 264MB/min is a disk with huge numbers of small files) for backup, and 900MB/min for verify (using BackupExec on Windows 2000).