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HP Surestore C1537A

Andrea Clarke
Occasional Visitor

HP Surestore C1537A

I have a HP Surestore External DAT attached to a single server, everything was OK until a couple of days ago, nothing has been changed and no reconfiguration has taken place, but all of a sudden it will not back up to tape an gives an error message "unable to write file mark to tape, unrecognizable data". I dowloaded the HP Tape Tools utility and it fails the tape drive on the Data Compression Test saying "The test function encountered an unrecoverable error condition, the test failed" then "SCSIScript:autoabort triggered Line1,Error:AutoAbort triggered" Anybody have any ideas why one day everything was OK and teh next unrecoverable errors, and how to fix? Attached report from HP Tape Tools utility.
6 REPLIES
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Surestore C1537A

Hello,

Try to replace the tape cartridge. Try a cleaning tape.

If same thing happens, most probably you have a defective tape drive, which needs to be replaced.

HTH,
Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Andrea Clarke
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Surestore C1537A

Thanks for the answer, however, if I clean the drive anymore won't have any heads left (I cleaned it 14 times yesterday). Haven't tried a brand new media though so will give that a try.
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Surestore C1537A

Hello,

Too much cleaning is bad as well, as you will wear the heads more quickly.

3 times in a row is a good-enough test. This is only performed when you have problems with your drive, as you had. Usually, 1 cleaning cycle is enough to clean the heads properly.

HTH,
Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Dave COTTLE
Frequent Advisor

Re: HP Surestore C1537A

disconnect the drive and run your testing on a workstation. you can do this without rebooting your server.

if it works stand-alone, then try rebooting your server after reconnecting the drive.

i've seen backup software require a power cycle of the device (generates a SCSI bus reset) after write errors before the device can be re-used.

remember that h/w devices do fail -- if the blank tape also fails, you'll probably need to get the device replaced.
learn concepts, not methods -- a good mind devises its own methods
Dave Unverhau_1
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Surestore C1537A

Andrea,

As Vince said, you may very well have a worn-out tape cartridge. You can expect to get anywhere from 20 to 40 uses from a DDS cartridge. After that, I'd chuck it and get a new one.

Another problem arises from running a lot of tapes through the drive without cleaning. After a while the oxide will build up on the head and create a varnish that no amount of cleaning with a cleaning cartridge will fix.

The corollary is that too much cleaning will wear the head. The best rule of thumb (which I got from a support specialist at the factory in Bristol) is to run the cleaning tape once for every five data cartridges. This would correspond to approximately a weekly cleaning operation for a small single-server backup schedule, probably.

I hope this is of some value...

Dave
Romans 8:28
Andrea Clarke
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Surestore C1537A

The tape drive is cleaned every Monday, which is after every 5 uses. I have tried a new tape in the drive and it works fine (which I admit I thought was far to simplistic a solution, and didn't think it would work, apologies to Vincent for giving it a low mark without testing first!) so it seems the tape cartridges I was using have worn out. Thank You all very much for your input, this has been an enlightening experience.