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HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

 
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Occasional Advisor

HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

We are using an external HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, since this is 10 years old hardware, there is no warranty.

Today, the capture pin on one of our tape cartridges broke off the tape (reportedly a common LTO cartridge failure mode), this caused the drive to refuse to ejct the cartridge.  By carefully opening up the drive, the cartridge could be removed and the loose pin dislodged and removed from the take-up reel.

However after reassembly, the drive refuses to operate with an intact cleaning tape, it doesn't grab the cartridge and the LEDs change from blinking ready to the and tape drive LEDS both blinking.

Is there a download for the technical repair manual or some other instructions for restoring the drive to normal operation?, I suspect some switch, lever, cable or other internal part ended up in the wrong position during the removal of the damaged cartridge.

I have noticed that the usual HP lists of spare parts treats the entire drive as a single spare part, which is not usuful for practical repair by professional technicians.

13 REPLIES 13
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Occasional Advisor

Re: HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

Further info: It is the "Drive" and "tape" LEDs that blink.

Partsurfer indicates that the complete 1760 drive (as a spare part) is no longer available, making it even more essential to find a way to repair the current drive.

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HPE Pro

Re: HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

Hello,

Please follow the below documents.

HPE StorageWorks LTO-4 Ultrium 1760 Tape Drive - Troubleshooting

https://support.hpe.com/hpesc/public/docDisplay?docId=emr_na-c01444483

If you feel this was helpful please click the KUDOS! thumb below!   

Regards,


I am a HPE Employee

Accept or Kudo

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Occasional Advisor

Re: HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

Sorry, that lUser document is completely useless.  And the referenced SPOCK website provides nothing but a "compatibility matrix", which is not exactly troubleshooting information.  The LED guide just tells me to call for a service technician.  I am the in-house service technician and I am asking about the service manual.

Note, the L&TT software was not used as HPE stopped providing it for Debian Linux.

As this is a very old drive model, warranty was long expired, so there was no in-warranty service option.

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HPE Pro

Re: HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

Hello,

I would suggest you to have a proper case be logged with HP, and share the appropriate logs for further analysis.

Regards,

 


I am a HPE Employee

Accept or Kudo

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Occasional Advisor

Re: HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

So how is such a case started, there are no logs, only physical symptoms and there is no ongoing warranty to associate a case with.

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Re: HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

Unfortunately, even internally, there was no published service manual for these tape drives.  I'm sure there was service documentation somewhere but the drives were always returned to a service center and the developers and service center were the only ones that had the documentation.

HPE support wouldn't be able to help.  As you already know they'll just have to point you to getting a replacement drive.

I've sent out some feelers to see if I can find any information or a person that remembers these drives enough they could provide some tips.  I can't promise anything but something might come back. 

I worked on a product that used LTO-4 drives and repaired a swallowed leader back in the day following some damaged tape testing but don't currently have access to an LTO-4 drive to refresh my memory.  As I recall I had to very carefully rethread the leader and seat the portion that grabs the pin correctly.  I don't remember having to reset any switches, sensors, etc.


I work for HPE

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Occasional Advisor

Re: HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

Thanks for at least trying to provide useful information, unlike the other guy that just pointed to superficial end-user documentation that didn't cover the broken tape scenario.

From what you wrote, I guess the trick is to reposition the tape-catching plastic item on the end of the leader attached to the take-up-wheel.  For my next attempt, I will try threading the plastic grabber backwards through the tape path, past the head to the cartridge.  It's a tight space in there, especially between the head and the chasis.

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Re: HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

I heard back from an engineer in the team that designed/built the LTO-4 drive.  He read the thread and said that it is hard to say from the level of detail provided but it doesn't sound like the leader block has been correctly repositioned.  The leader block or "tape-catching plastic item" as you described it has to be positioned correctly on the opposite side of the head from the take-up reel with the leader that is attached to it threaded through the rollers, past the head, and back to the take-up reel.  It is hard getting it threaded through the path without damaging the head so it is usually only done in a service center.

Note that if the leader block isn't positioned correctly then the next time a tape is loaded it will miss grabbing the pin and the leader will get pulled back into the take-up reel and you will have to start over.

I remember it being really hard to get that leader block past the head.  I can't remember now how I did it.


I work for HPE

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Occasional Advisor

Re: HP 1760 LTO-4 drive, repair problem (tape pin broken)

A belated update: After successfully threading the plastic tape catcher with the leader behind the head to its proper position, I found that I had somehow caused the cartridge ejection mechanism to get stuck, so the sacrificial cartridge used during the threading could not be removed from the drive, even by trying to force rotate the ejection motor via the 6mm nut.

In the end we purchased a refurbished 1760 drive and installed it in the cabinet, the new drive seems to be working, although it has an uncertain service history, (L&TT doesn't report anything useful, such as the production date or the number of operational hours).

The old drive still has a cartridge stuck inside with no idea how to remove it short of using a chainsaw to destroy the drive.

Once again I am in dire need of a service manual for the mechanism.