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DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

Joseph Palarchio
Occasional Contributor

DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

I have replaced at least 10 Compaq 40/80 DLT drives since the beginning of the year. In all cases, the drives pull the tape in part way and then stop with all four LEDs on the right side flashing. I have tried updating the drive to firmware V080 and the same problem exists. These are all with different customers and some with brand new tapes. One thing I noticed with the cover off is when the drive spool is pulling in the tape, it seems to slow down just before the drive goes failed, causing the tape to sort of "back up" on the spool.

Has anyone else experienced similar issues? I've contact HP/Compaq and they have no known problems.
38 REPLIES
Steve W
Trusted Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

4 LEDs flashing on the right hand side indicates a mechanical or servo problem. Usually this is a symptom of what's known as the "dropped leader problem". You should check *each* of your cartridges for the presence of the buckling loop at the start of the tape, it may be missing or broken on one or more of them. Look under the flap at the front of the cartridge.

Every drive you insert such a tape into will be rendered inoperative and need to be returned for repair.
Eugeny Brychkov
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

In addition to Steve's... See http://h20015.www2.hp.com/en/document.jhtml?lc=en&docName=lpg50338 - looks a great document. But remember - broking warranty label at the rear of the drive will REALLY void warranty - Quantum's and HP's
Eugeny
Joseph Palarchio
Occasional Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

I am familiar with dropped leaders and although similar symptoms, it is not the case in these situations. I have reseated the leader and placed brand new tapes in these faulty drives, only to have the drive pull the tape in a bit and then stop with the flashing LEDs.
Steve W
Trusted Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

OK, then it must be another mechanical or servo problem. I'd suggest collecting a HP Library & Tape Tools support ticket from this drive. Near the end, you should see a "Drive Error Log" section. Open that and look at the error packets for clues about what might be the cause. Check for Axxx error events especially.
D Mancini
Occasional Visitor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

I have replaced 5 Compaq 40/80 DLT drives... in THREE months... I get exactly the same problem... on the backup Software (Veritas 8.6 media server is installed on Windows 2000 server, the device shows up as in red as off-line. Also, now all the LEDs on the right are flashing and the device is making a churning noise... HP also advise me they do not know of the problem??? I have also updated to the relevant firmware and also the problem stays... surely they do not expect us to just keep changing the tape devices every five seconds!!! There must be a fix!!!!
Jason Booms
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

HELP

I am having this problem now. I have read all the questions and answers to this on the site and none seem to be exactly what is going on to me. After returning from X-mas break I was performing my latest back-up when it happened. All the lights on the right side of my 40/80 drive are lit up and flashing. Everytime I hit the unload button I hear the drive grind and after a minute or so the lights are flashing again. My drive is less than a year old along with my tapes. Is there a way to get the tape out and possibly save the drive - or has it given up the ghost?
Just an ME in a CE world
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs


> Everytime I hit the unload button I hear the drive grind and after a minute or so the lights are flashing again. My drive is less than a year old along with my tapes. Is there a way to get the tape out and possibly save the drive - or has it given up the ghost?

There is a process for manually unloading a tape out of a DLT library drive. It's covered in the SureStore 2/20 manual (removing a stuck DLT tape - page 152):
http://h200006.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/lpg28861/lpg28861.pdf

Off hand, I can't remember if you can also do this on a standalone drive (I think you can). However, if your drive is still under warranty, don't attempt this unless the call center walks you through it. The standlaone DLT manual doesn't cover removal of stuck tapes.
The journey IS the reward.
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

> I have tried updating the drive to firmware V080 and the same problem exists.

The current firmware for all HP/CPQ DLT8000 drives is V86. You can used HP Library & Tape Tools (www.hp.com/support/tapetools) to update your firmware.

> I am familiar with dropped leaders and although similar symptoms, it is not the case in these situations. I have reseated the leader and placed brand new tapes in these faulty drives, only to have the drive pull the tape in a bit and then stop with the flashing LEDs.

After a failure, run HP L&TT and generate a support ticket. Post the support ticket here, and I can review the drive error logs. That should give us a clue as to what is going on.
The journey IS the reward.
Jason Booms
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

I have followed David's advice and I did get my tape out. Took a while since it looked like the tape ran all the way to the end and I had to rewind by hand. Now that I got the tape out and drive put back in, it still thinks that there is a tape in the drive! I have the internal 1 tape DLT 40/80, using the MS Backup feature on NT4.0 SP6. Is there some way to reset it?
Just an ME in a CE world
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

> Took a while since it looked like the tape ran all the way to the end and I had to rewind by hand. Now that I got the tape out and drive put back in, it still thinks that there is a tape in the drive!

If the drive had a tape half spooled down the tape, and would not retention and rewind the tape after being power-cycled, it most likely indicates that it is having hard servo problems (or it's possible that the tape had packing problems, and the drive could not maintain correct tension).

Can you run HP L&TT and generate a support ticket? I'd like to see what it is returning for SCSI Test Unit Ready status, and also what the drive event/error logs contain. You can just post the support ticket here (.ltt file).
The journey IS the reward.
Jason Booms
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

>If the drive had a tape half spooled down the tape, and would not retention and rewind the tape after being power-cycled, it most likely indicates that it is having hard servo problems (or it's possible that the tape had packing problems, and the drive could not maintain correct tension).

>Can you run HP L&TT and generate a support ticket? I'd like to see what it is returning for SCSI Test Unit Ready status, and also what the drive event/error logs contain. You can just post the support ticket here (.ltt file).

If you can tell me how I would gladly do it.
Just an ME in a CE world
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

> If you can tell me how I would gladly do it.

1) install LTT from www.hp.com/support/tapetools

2) Run the program, and select the drive from the "by product" tab

3) Click on the support tool

4) Click on save support ticket to file

5) Post the resultant .ltt file
The journey IS the reward.
Jason Booms
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

>Can you run HP L&TT and generate a support ticket? I'd like to see what it is returning for SCSI Test Unit Ready status, and also what the drive event/error logs contain. You can just post the support ticket here (.ltt file).

Here it is.
Just an ME in a CE world
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

Here's the diagnoses on Jason's drive. From the support ticket:

---
Vendor ID : COMPAQ, Product ID : DLT8000
Firmware Revision : V080
Controller Serial # : PKB14P0188
Drive Personality : CPQ2 (0x0C02) [Compaq branded]

SCSI Test Unit Ready returns a check condition
- SCSI Info : 0x02 0x0403 (Logical Device: device does not report ready)
---

This says "Unit not ready, manual intervention required. No tape present or mechanical failure has occurred."

And in the drive error log we see:

---
Event # 12 - Packet # 12 - BugCheck Error: A209 [V80-0 12-SEP-2001]
PC= 000741E2 SR= 3000 Cntxt= SCSI 000:18:48.990 POH/PC= 10060/8

Event # 13 - Packet # 13 - BugCheck Error: A209 [V80-0 12-SEP-2001]
PC= 000741E2 SR= 3000 Cntxt= SCSI 000:18:48.980 POH/PC= 10075/10
---

These happened 44 and 69 hours back. An A209 bugcheck is a servo timeout on an operation. It is usually either a dropped leader or a whir (where the gears don't mesh with the tape hub).

Here's a doc on checking for a dropped leader:
http://h20015.www2.hp.com/hub_search/document.jhtml?lc=en&docName=lpg50027

You can look into the mouth of the drive and should see the drive leader portion attached to a little arm. If you don't, the leader is most likely wound up in the drive.

If your drive is out of warranty, here's how to reattach it:
http://h20015.www2.hp.com/hub_search/document.jhtml?lc=en&docName=lpg50338

If it doesn't have a dropped leader, it most likely has other mechanical/electical problems.
The journey IS the reward.
Jason Booms
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

>If it doesn't have a dropped leader, it most likely has other mechanical/electical problems.

Looks like it does. I reset the leader, it was not on very well from my last reset. The drive looked good, then I put in my cleaning cartdrige (so I would not risk any backup data) and the same error resulted. I took the drive out and looks like it is partially on the take up spool. Here is the error file from this.
Just an ME in a CE world
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

The drive has 2 A402 (Drive Error Log) entries, and the sub error is 84H (Servo under speed error).

I've not seen that particular sub error code before, so I can't offer any advice.

If you are getting repeat dropped leaders or tape unspooling (e.g. all the tape ends up in the drive), one common cause is a clogged BOT/EOT sensor. This is an optical sensor in the middle of the tape path that watches for the BOT/EOT holes in the tape. The receiver part of the sensor looks through a little hole in the plastic leader guide that can get clogged up with debris (e.g. shed oxide from the tape) over time.

If your drive is out of warranty, and you're having that problem, you can try cleaning it out with some compressed air (before reattaching the leader).
The journey IS the reward.
Leon Rosier
Respected Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

I've seen exactly the same behaviour: all leds are flashing at the right side. The leader is not dropped. You see the reel spin and then slow down, at this point you see that the tape slacks. When this happens, all leds start blinking at the right side.
After removing the tape, removed the power and checking the drive I noticed that when you manually turn the reel there is too much resistance. Only replacing the drive resolved the problem. In my opinion this error can occur when: the drive firmware is below V86 and the backup software is set that it has to do a eject after backup.
There is an issue that if you do an eject after backup, you have to remove the tape as soon as possible. If you don't do this, like most customers, there is a possibility to damage the drive. V86 prevents this, after an eject you have a short periode of time to remove the tape. If not the drive will remount the tape.

Leon
Jerry Loyola
Occasional Visitor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

I have heard the 'grinding' noise' described by other users. I think with the last 6 months have had problems with this particular drive of ours and have had them replaced at least 3 or 4 times. One time I had a backup blow up somewhere in the beginning and tried to do it again on a different drive. Same results. I ended up using an entirely different tape and decided to have a look at the bad DLT cartridge. Near the beginning the tape had excessive slack and you can physically see where the tape wasn't aligned and practically almost wrapped up and almost binded the inside of the tape cartridge. We had similar errors with the drive servo going bad in the units. In my case the tape was all the way in, during the rewind of tape, since we do not dismount/unload after our backups. We physically have to unload the tapes and at the begininng of the backups the cartridges are rewinded to beginning by the system. We outsource our backups offsite. Maybe there is an issue with transportation. Just wanted to give a little input with this problem. If it helps anyone.
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

Jerry,
I wouldn't mind looking at the drive error logs. Can you generate an HP LTT support ticket and post it here?
The journey IS the reward.
Jason Booms
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

Just a last update from me. I took out the back up, used 2 cans of air to make sure everything was cleaned out, and put it back in. Works great now. Thanks David for all of your help.
Just an ME in a CE world
Verne Britton
Regular Advisor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

Leon mentions a problem caused by having a cartridge just sit in the drive ... and that firmware V86 changes a timer to prevent problems ... my question, I have three drives that have this blinking light situation ... do I just throw them away ?

I'm hoping there is some easy cheap fix :-)
(in addition to upgrading the firmware of course once they are working again)


Verne
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

Verne,

If you have a problem, please start a new thread rather than continuing a 4 year old one !

Cheers,

Rob
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

Here is the description of the V86 change (taken from the LTT firmware details):
Fixed between versions V059 and V086
Added a low power mode used while waiting for the drive handle to be opened. If after 10 minutes the handle has not been opened, the handle will lock and the holding tension on the tape will be reduced. At this point, the eject button, a SCSI unload command, or library unload command must be used to open the handle and remove the cartridge. A SCSI load command or library load command will load the cartridge and also remove the drive from the low power state.

That was the release notes for the OML3 (library version) of the firmware. For HP standalone drives, I think the change was around V89. Here's a support document extract:
---

QUESTION:
Is there a problem if I cannot lift the unload handle and the green operate handle LED is flashing?

ANSWER:
An improved LED sequence was introduced with V89 firmware. If the unload handle is not operated within ten minutes of a back up completing, the drive enters a low power mode and the unload handle is locked. The amber In use LED is illuminated and the green Operate Handle LED flashes. To unload the tape the unload button should be pressed and the green Operate Handle LED will illuminate and the unload handle can be operated after two seconds.

There is no change to the unload process if carried out within ten minutes of a backup completing.
---

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c00216567〈=en&cc=us&taskId=110&contentType=SupportFAQ&prodSeriesId=63897&prodTypeId=12169
The journey IS the reward.
Christopher J Brown
Occasional Visitor

Re: DLT8000 Flashing LEDs

This thread may be four years old, but it's still fresh and exciting. I just extracted a tape and rethreaded a leader on a Compaq 40/80 DLT an hour ago.

What is the URL for the latest firmware?