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Power outage affect on VXA tape drives.
(KB # 5B33F66A)


One or more of the following is occurring:

  • There is a tape stuck in a VXA Drive and LED #3, the right arrow, is flashing yellow/green
  • Resetting the drive, pushing the eject button or power cycling the drive does not eject the tape
  • Front panel on a 1U Packetloader says "RECOVERING"
  • Power outage during backup results in the right arrow LED on my VXA tape drive blinking green and amber, and the drive won't release the tape.
  • There was a power outage while my backup was running. Now the right arrow LED on my VXA tape drive

An important feature of the VXA tape drive is it's ability to recover from a loss of power and retrieve the data that was backed up to the point of the power loss. The drive will search the tape looking for the last data written, rewind to beginning of tape and correct the header information. Because of the complexity of this process, it can take considerable time - anywhere from 1-4 hours.

With most tape backup devices, a loss of power means a loss of data. If power is lost during a write operation a tape drive will not have a proper end of data marker defining where the current backup operation finished seperating new and old data. When the 'power loss' tape is read a fatal error may occur when the tape drive reads into 'old' data. The VXA tape drive operates differently and corrects the data format to take into account a lack of an end of data marker. This allows the user to read the backup data up to the point where the drive lost power. Correcting the data format is time consuming but insures that your data can be read. This recovery process only occurs if a drive lost power while writing a tape. If power was lost during a read operation, the drive will rewind the tape and come ready.

NOTE: The recovery process must complete before the tape will eject. There is not a manual procedure to bypass the recovery process and eject the tape immediately.

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