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Ultrium 448 rejecting all tapes

 
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Occasional Contributor

Ultrium 448 rejecting all tapes

(Posted in Business by default, but belongs here I think!)

Basically what the thread title says - all tapes are being rejected with a flashing Tape Error light. Firmware has been updated, drive cleaned (orange cleaning cartridge now on it's 10th use) - any suggestions?

LTT ticket attached if it's any use.....
6 REPLIES 6
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Re: Ultrium 448 rejecting all tapes

Try presing the reset botton
Pablo Alvarado Siles
Pablo Alv Siles
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Re: Ultrium 448 rejecting all tapes

The ticket shows a couple of things you should fix in your system; out of date LTO driver and RSM needs turning off but the real problem is internal to the drive.

There are sensor errors recorded showing the drive unable to calibrate with the loaded tape which may be caused by a bad or dirty sensor.

You've already tried cleaning the drive so I'm not sure what to suggest. I wouldn't normally recommend this but you could try blowing into the drive to see if there's anything you can shift.

What is the local environment like? Is it close to a walkway or printers or any construction? These drives are fine with 'normal' dust but construction can emit sharp particals and printers emit sticky ones.

It looks like some sort sort of contamination in the drive though I guess we can't discount an actual sensor failure though that's pretty rare.

I hope it's just a simple clump of dirt. Anthing else may be more terminal...
It's more interesting when it's gone wrong
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Re: Ultrium 448 rejecting all tapes

Richard, thanks for the pointers, will give it a blowout (as against blowing it up!) and see if anything falls out. As for the environment, bog standard office I'm afraid - the server sits at the end of my office (office? Broom cupboard more like!), no foot traffic, no printers, hell I don't even open the windows in case contaminants get blown in from our factory.

D'you think there might be any mileage in trying cotton buds and acetone? I really don't want to have to go to the MD and beg for cash to replace it, but we are running at risk just now, so ......
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Solution

Re: Ultrium 448 rejecting all tapes

I sent the ticket into the development lab to see if I could get any more detail on the actual error codes the drive is recording.

The most serious error shown is indicating that the drive is having trouble reading through its servo heads which it needs to do immediately after loading the tape in order to calibrate its head position.

The tape is actually loading OK but the drive is rejecting it because it can't calibrate.

The servo heads are on either side of the write/read heads - though the actually head block is quite large and all the heads are clumped together in the middle. What's worrying is that both top and bottom servo heads must be blocked as we do allow the tape to load if one of them is working (we just don't allow writing).

A cleaning cartridge really ought to work but if whatever is stuck in the servo heads is not shifting then, yes, you can have a go with acetone or alcohol. Just rub gently backwards and forwards and then up and down. Try the cleaning cartridge again afterwards as that invokes the internal brush as well.

Be gentle, there's a danger you could damage the heads but it seems like you don't have a whole lot to lose at the moment.

Good luck.
It's more interesting when it's gone wrong
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Re: Ultrium 448 rejecting all tapes

Well, it's stopped rejecting tapes now - I'll wait for tonight's backup before popping the champagne, but it's looking good so far.

I've had the lid off & blown through (bless those compressed air cans), then wiped everything with cotton buds, then turned it upside down and shook - photo of the contents attached, not pretty is it? Bear in mind that this drive is in a reasonably protected environment, not climate controlled 'white room', but not exactly Beelzebub's Pit.

Richard, give yourself a pat on the back.

Many thanks from myself (and the MD)

Pete
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Re: Ultrium 448 rejecting all tapes

Yikes. There's a lot of stuff in your drive we didn't ship with it!

It would be a good idea to check that your backup is working with good margin. These drives do work well even when full of crud but since your servo heads were gunged up then it's likely your write/read heads were gunged up too.

Hopefully your backup will pass OK. Once it's finished, pull another support ticket and look under the drive health section for the write margin for that tape. As long as it doesn't say 'warn' you're fine though hopefully it will say 'great'.

If you're not sure what to look for, send me the ticket tomorrow and I'll point out the bit I mean.

Good luck again. This time your data is depending on it.
It's more interesting when it's gone wrong