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How to determine who to call
(KB # DD90A558)

There are three main categories involved in a properly functioning backup.

  1. The tape drive must be installed properly and in good working order.
  2. The software must be installed properly, recognizing and communicating with the hardware.
  3. The SCSI bus must be set up correctly with appropriate drivers, compatible hardware and known working parts.

Each of these pieces is supported by their respective manufacturers and they should be contacted directly. To help you determine which path to follow in determining the cause of failure, follow these guidelines and contact the appropriate support area.

The first rule of thumb when working with tape backup devices is to understand that they are not considered “smart” devices. They can only accept commands, they cannot send commands. They simply do what they are told to do. The software controls those commands and sends them across the SCSI bus to the drive. If the hardware understands the commands, it will respond. If not, a number of failures may have occurred.

Pay attention to the error mode and error codes. Most of the time, error codes will tell you exactly what is wrong. If the error code occurs on the hardware, review the hardware manual. If the error occurs within the software package, refer to the respective software manual.

Software

The following situations are related to software and Tandberg Data Technical support is not prepared to help you troubleshoot. Please contact that software vendor directly for support.

  1. Creating backup sets and scheduled backup jobs.
    • These are functions of the software.
  2. Manual backups work but scheduled ones do not.
    • If manual backups work, the drive and software are clearly communicating. Backup sets are a function of the software.
  3. How to tell if tapes are full.
    • Through the backup log in the software, you can determine how much data was saved to tape during a given backup job. However, there is no way to read a tape and get a report on how much space is left.
  4. Installing drivers
  5. Error messages from the software
    • These messages are produced through the software and may or may not be a true indication of a failure.
    • Review the Error Description page in your software manual or contact the software vendor for an explanation.
  6. Device configuration and/or Device Manager
    • Most software packages require some type of configuration procedure in order for the software to recognize the hardware.
    • Following are situations which may require the Device Configuration to be run:
      • Removing hardware and reinstalling
      • Updating firmware in the tape drive or library
      • The software is unable to see the hardware, even if it has in the past.


SCSI Bus

The following situations are related to the SCSI Bus and the vendor for the specific piece of the SCSI bus in question should be contacted directly:

  1. Check Event Viewer
    • Look for any Event IDs that correlate to the time of the failure.
    • Specifically look for Event ID Errors 9 & 11. These are errors that indicate Bus errors. Many times the event will list specifically what piece of the bus is causing the failure.
  2. Drives Offline in software
    • When a backup utility displays a drive offline, it is a result of a failed command. Something along the communication path, from the software to the tape drive, has caused an error state. The software usually allows a specified time period to clear the error and will drop the drive offline if the error is not cleared within that timeframe. A “drive offline” error is not the actual failure but the result of a failure.
    • Reset the system to clear the error and troubleshoot the SCSI bus.
  3. Parity Errors
    • Usually related to cable problems.
    • Check the cable for bent pins.
    • Replace the cable.
  4. Sporadic problems
    • Hardware will not generally fluctuate between working and failing. Sporadic problems are very typical of SCSI bus issues.
    • Possible failure points:
      • Controller card
      • Bad card or wrong controller for hardware
      • Tape drives do not function on RAID controllers. Multi-channel RAID / SCSI controllers should be installed with the SCSI driver in order to work with a tape drive.
      • Slot where the controller card is installed
      • Controller driver
      • Cable
      • Terminator
      • SCSI ID conflicts with other devices on bus or with device and controller
      • IRQ conflicts between controller card and other cards within system


    Hardware

    Drives:

    1. Errors on LCD Panel or LEDs
      • Check the Product Manual for a description of the Error Code or LED Sequence
    2. Test the drive using the appropriate tool available on our website here . The tool tests the write / read functions of the drive outside of the backup software and driver.
      • If the test fails, the log that is produced during the test can be used to help diagnose the failure. Save the log via the instructions that are downloaded with the tool and contact Tandberg Data Technical Support for analysis.
      • If the test passes, the communication to the drive is good and the drive is functioning properly. Look to the software or SCSI Bus for further troubleshooting. Even if the read/write test passes, the log that is produced during the test can give us detailed information in regard to media usage / age, temperature issues, past failure points, etc.

    Libraries

    1. Errors on LCD Panel or LEDs
      • Check the Product Manual for a description of the Error Code or LED Sequence.

    Media
     

    Media Errors displayed by the backup software are typically warnings and may or may not indicate a true media failure.

    1. If you receive a media error from the backup software, perform the following steps:
      • Clean the tape drive with an approved cleaning cartridge.
      • Erase the media using our tool or a bulk eraser (degausser).
      • Re-try the media.
      • If the error re-occurs, use the appropriate diagnostics tool available on our website here to run a long test, using the tape in question. Save the log file that is produced from that test and contact Tandberg Data Technical Support for analysis.
    2. Media is considered a “consumable” piece of your backup solution. Worn and aged media should be replaced periodically to preserve the integrity of your backups.


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