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Re: Please help - suspect drive

New Member

Please help - suspect drive

I have an external Ultrium 2 External 460 StorageWorks tape drive. The drive is new and it has backed up on my Windows 2003 BExec fine for over 2 weeks. Then, the job failed 2 nights in a row reporting a general type error in BackupExec which is "The job failed w/the following error: A tape read/write error has occurred. This is usually caused by dirty read/write heads in the tape drive. Clean the tape drive, and then try the job again. If the problem persists, try a different tape, check cables, terminations, or other hardware issues."
What I've found is that no matter if I clean the tape drive or use different tapes, the problem continued. Thus, I started suspecting the drive itself. I swapped the drive out with another brand new 460 StorageWorks, and now my jobs run fine.
I suspect this drive may be bad in some way, but don't know where to start with troubleshooting. When I set it up, it had the latest firmware, drivers, etc. Can someone please tell me where to start to figure this out? Can HP be called anymore or don't they offer phone support any longer for a drive as I had been used to a few years back?

Thanks, Lori
Honored Contributor

Re: Please help - suspect drive

Hi Lori,

You should use the Library and Tape Tools (LTT) to test your drive.

According to this document:

an Ultrium drive has 3 year warranty as standard, so if there is a problem get on the phone to support...

Hope this helps,


Trusted Contributor

Re: Please help - suspect drive

Yep. The Drive Assessment Test is the one to run. You need to find a tape that you trust, preperably a new one.

We have a FAQ to help you with the most common operations:

You can also pull a support ticket and have a look through (we've made it as user readable as we can). See detail level to 'more details' and home in on Drive->Health->Device analysis. Info on this also in the FAQ.

These drives normally go on forever if looked after but if it's been sitting around for a while it could just be a bit clogged up. Try more than one use of a cleaning tape in this case - once you get going they're self cleaning as long as you rotate your media sensibly.
It's more interesting when it's gone wrong