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DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

Jane_13
Occasional Advisor

DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

We have a Compaq 35/70 DLT internal tape drive in a Compaq Proliant ML530 server running Windows NT4. We use Seagate Backup Exec to run backups on all servers every night.

In the last month we have had serious problems with this tape drive, having it replaced 5 or 6 times under a carepaq warranty.

When we put a tape in, whether new or old, we have the dreaded buzzing noise and then the cleaning light comes on. The same happens with the cleaning tape. Eventually we can get the drive to accept the tape and try to run the backup. It fails at the beginning, middle and verify of the backup on almost every occasion. The errors reported are that it cannot read the data, write the data and hardware fault.

We have tried to illiminate software problems by trying the NT Backup but that also fails with a hardware fault.

It is driving us mad as we can only get about 1 deccent backup a week on our most important file server.

Has anyone any idea how we can get round this?
15 REPLIES
Donald Kok
Respected Contributor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

Hi, maybe some trouble with dust, humidity, or temperature?

(btw this question is better posted under some proliant or tapedrive forum, since this is the hpux forum)

Goodluck
Donald
My systems are 100% Murphy Compliant. Guaranteed!!!
Eugeny Brychkov
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

Buzzing sound is head calibration, should occur normally only at drive powerup. I agree with Donald: check temperature inside server: should be not more than 35C (check all fans are rotating, try getting drive out a server to well cooling place, connect to another SCSI channel using another cable etc)
Eugeny
Leif Halvarsson_2
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

Hi,
I don't think this is a drive problem, if you have replaced the drive several times and still have the same problem. Is it possible for you to test the drive on another computer ?
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

Hello,

The buzzing sound is normal when the tape drive is just switched on.

Maybe you have bad cartidges. I once had a similar problem and was solved by replacing the cartidges with new ones.

HTH,
Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Jane_13
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

Compaq have had the latest drive on test for a week. It ran 1 backup and it has failed already.

We have put new tapes in.

The temp is 31 degrees c.

I have attatched a file with the various error messages.
Eugeny Brychkov
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

Jane, where did you measure temperature - inside the server? Please know that temp in drive can be much more than around the drive. For HP devices there's a great utility called HP Library and Tape Tools availble at http://www.hp.com/cposupport/information_storage/support_doc/lpg50128.html . You may try to install it and generate support ticket to see which temperature is REPORTED BY internal DRIVE'S SENSOR.
I saw these problems you have when temp around the drive was 28C but drive had reported 43C inside and it caused write/read/crc errors. I recommend you to get this drive out of the server to well cooling place with ~24C around and try operate it in these conditions
Eugeny
Jane_13
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

Hi Eugeny,

I have installed teh tools software but could you tell me where to find teh temperatures.

Thanks
Eugeny Brychkov
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

If you installed LTT please generate support ticket (.ltt file) and attach it to your next reply
Eugeny
Jane_13
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

I have attached the file.
Eugeny Brychkov
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

Looking to ST I see drive has fw V097. I remember there's new firmware available from HP. Try using LTT to update firmware. Go to "File->get files from the web->firmware tab" (please note that if you have drive not from HP then LTT can refuse to update firmware... in worst case drive will die).
Indeed, there's no temperature indicated. New firmware may fix it. I checked with other drive models and found DLT8000 can report temp. If after fw upgrade your drive will not report temp then it may not be able to report it at all :o(
After update please make another support ticket and post it here
Eugeny
Jane_13
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

I have checked Compaq drivers and we ahve the latest one.

Any other ideas?
Eugeny Brychkov
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

I see the latest available from HP is v106. Please use LTT to check for latest firmware. Do not worry... it will not update immediately. Go to the menu I mentioned above and try searching for fw files for 'devices on the system'. What LTT will tell you? Will it find v106?
Anyway, if we suspect environmental problems (excessive t) please manage to get drive out a server and run it in well conditioned environment to check if it will work.
Eugeny
Horacio Moglia
Occasional Visitor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

Jane:

I have 3 units DLT40i of Hewlett-Packard, installed in 3 HP Netserver.
I have 2 operating systems: windows NT and windows 2000.
All with the last service pack and the firmware of the DLT, and it happens me exactly the same thing that to you.
I have changed the units about of a dozen of times.
The last time was due to that after inserting the cartridge, it comes off the leader of the unit and it gets out of service with all the lights blinking.
I already have several reports facts to HP but apparently there is not solution to this.
According to my opinion this is due to flaws in the design of the units.
Curtis Ballard
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

There is a post in this thread regarding the temperature reported by the tape drive.

Please note that the value reported by the tape drive should always be around 40 degrees C. Temperatures into the low 50's are not problems.

The temperature reported by the drive typically is 15 degrees above ambient and the drive should not have problems with temperature until the value reported by the drive is in the mid 50's. A value of 43 is not a problem.

I'm not familiar with the Compaq tape drive numbers but I believe this drive is a DLT7000. If that is the case then when the drive is replaced you should ONLY use new tapes. DLT7000 drives when worn will cause abrasive particles to build up in the tape cartridge and re-using that tape will deposit the particles in the new drive. Loading a tape for a single restore shouldn't be a problem but using an old tape multiple times is not a good idea. If you have a replacement drive and a new tape and still have problems then there is probably a problem with the quality of the replacement drive.

As mentioned several times the buzzing noise when a tape is loaded is perfectly normal but if it repeats multiple times it means the drive is having difficulty calibrating on this tape.

Also you should check your cleaning tape. I have seen a few cases where an expired cleaning tape was being used and once the calibration fails the drive is unable to report that the tape has expired.
Paul R. Dittrich
Esteemed Contributor

Re: DLT tape drive nightmare! Please help.

One more possibility:

I've seen these identical symptoms in an EXTERNAL tape drive (DLT) when the power supply was marginal, verging on failure.
We replaced several drives unnecessarily before the bad PS was diagnosed and replaced.

HTH,
Paul