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Ultrium 448: Clean + Tape LED flashing in sync

New Member

Ultrium 448: Clean + Tape LED flashing in sync



HP StorageWorks Ultrium 448 SAS Internal

A short summary:

  • HP StorageWorks Ultrium 448 SAS Internal tape malfunctioning and not completing the daily week night backup.
  • The Clean and Tape amber LED lights flash in sync with the Ready green LED light on.
  • The cleaning tape has been used a couple of times since the lights have flashed, but no apparent effect.
  • HP Technical Help unfortunately wasn’t of much assistance
  • I was unable to source any apparent information on the wider web of what the Clean and Tape LED lights flashing in sync means.
  • Is there a fix to this problem?


We’ve had the above unit in our server (HP ProLiant ML150, Windows Server Small Business 2003 R2) for a couple of years without any issue.


We use official HP Ultrium 2 C7972A 400Gb tapes, with separate tapes for each weekday and a spare used month end. We also have an official HP Universal Cleaning Cartridge C7978A which has been used around 10-20 times. Backup typically starts at around 2300 each night with tapes stored in a safe environment away from daylight, and in their original cases.


One weekday morning, I entered the office to discover that the drive was making an odd sound (or what I presume is the sound of the drive doing the backup – for which I’ve never been around to witness). Naturally I left it to do its business, but after a period of time I decided to check on the server to see why it was still doing the backup.


Logging onto the server showed the Backup Utility open and apparently stuck on writing the backup at around 90%. There was no error message or other message to indicate that there was a fault, so I went to click Abort/Cancel. Eventually the tape ejected (I didn’t force it or insert anything) on its own accord, yet I could see no signs of damage or anything wrong. Thinking that nothing was amiss, I inserted a new tape into the backup drive for that evening’s backup.


The next morning, I noticed that the Clean and Tape LED’s were both flashing in sync. I proceeded to load a cleaning tape which took about 5mins and stopped the Clean and Tape LED’s from flashing. I then inserted a new tape for that evening’s backup.


The following morning I came in to notice that the Clean and Tape LED’s were again flashing. I then decided to look at the Backup Logs on Server Management which showed that there had been failures to complete the backup.


I then loaded up the HP Library & Tape Tools program which highlights the Ultrium 448 drive. The first message that pops up indicates that there is new firmware available and whether I would wish to download it, to which I click yes. Yet apparently nothing would appear to happen and clicking on the Firmware tab simply brings up the message:


There are no matching firmware files in the currently selected firmware folder.


I then proceed to carry out an LTO Drive Assessment Test on a tape; however it would appear to get stuck on the ‘erasing’ operation (around 3mins of 5-second bouts of whirring, with the sound of as if the tape is about the be ejected mid-way through) and comes up with the following message:


Test execution completed with some Failures.

See the ‘Test/Utility Results’ tab for more details on the test results.


It then refers to the Test results tab with various detail (which I attach a copy of); I then tried this with other tapes but with the same result. Interestingly each Analysis Result refers back to out-of-date firmware which doesn’t quite add up.


I have not used the last known ‘pure’ week day backup and month end backup in either the tests (which wipe data) or attempt a new week night backup) in fear to not having a backup at all.


I presume that it is a problem with the tape drive itself, but was curious as to whether there was a simple fix or whether I would need to replace the entire drive unit?


Any assistance is greatly appreciated.







P.S. This thread has been moved from Tape Backup (Small and Medium Business) to Tape Libraries and Drives. -HP Forum Moderator

New Member

Re: Ultrium 448: Clean + Tape LED flashing in sync


Was this ever resolved?


We have a problem which looks pretty much the same.


Would appreciate any help anyone canc provide.




Regular Advisor

Re: Ultrium 448: Clean + Tape LED flashing in sync

If an LTO tape drive is often requesting cleaning it means it is busted and need replacing.
Normally cleaning them once or maybe twice a year should be sufficient.

Create a Support ticket in LTT and send this to HP, they will have sufficient information to see the thing needs replacing (if still under Warranty/Care Pack).
Did my post help? Thank me with kudo's! :)
Regular Advisor

Re: Ultrium 448: Clean + Tape LED flashing in sync

Btw the log Nick attached shows the thing definitely needs replacing.
Did my post help? Thank me with kudo's! :)