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HP DDS4 Dat tape drive offline

Here is my problem, My client has a HP ml350 server with an all in one scsi card that the tape drive is attached to. 2 Months ago the tape became jammed in the tape drive and HP sent another drive. A month later the second drive has the same problem. HP sends out  a new SCSI cable which does not work. I updated the bios, drivers and firmware. I did a complete shutdown and cold reboot on the server and the tape is still jammed. I even had an HP tech out who had me update the bios which worked for one day and the tape got jammed again. At this point I have no confidence in HP support and in need of some help because we have not had a good backup for 6 weeks.
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hyperkell
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hyperkell
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cooleditCommented:
here is some tips for SCSI - Tape device's

For best performance - use a dedicated 39160 SCSI card

Things to check for the SCSI Card.
Correct Driver depending on OS
Lates Firmware
That the Tape device SCSI card is correctly terminated

Things to check for around the Tape device:
Latest Tape Firmware.

How often do you clean the drive (DDS 4 technology demand cleaning after each 24 hour of usage)
Is the cleaning tape known good (if it does flash on all lamps while cleaning then its a no go media)

If the media get jammed you could get it out by emergency procedure:
1. reboot the machine hold in the eject button for 30sec/1min
2. remove SCSI conection reboot maschine hold in the eject.

When it does not eject there could be the following options:
What service's are running (what Backup software are you using)
If you use Veritas use their driver, be asured that the removable storage is not running

etc.ect hope that it gives some guide lines


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cooleditCommented:
by the way what OS do you use ???
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hyperkellAuthor Commented:
Everything you just mentioned has been already attempted. All firmware and drivers are up to date. Cleaning is done once a week. Server was shut down and rebooted. I am using windows server 2000 with veritas as the backup software. I have shut down the services and tried to eject it. Windows doesn't see it in device manager and Veritas says its offline. What do you think?
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rwweyersCommented:
THat drive is Dead it is a known problem with that drive.... Disconnect the scsi cable and attempt to remove the tape if that does not work say goodbye to it and get an LTO drive..... DDS4 is the most problematic tape drive in the industry.
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hyperkellAuthor Commented:
The problem with that is the Tape drive is still under warranty and HP doesn't want to replace because they think its the software causing the problem.
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cooleditCommented:
hi, there

If you do a reboot and the SCSI cable is detached from the drive and it still does not come out it's not a software issue, you could tell Mr. HP that you have used the emergency procedure to get it out. Not working, they will have to change the drive under their warranty (work for another Server manufactor) myself the procedure I have descriped is what our customers must do.

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sppalserCommented:
Could be the tape cartridge.  Is it always the same tape cartridge that gets stuck or hangs in the tape drive?  If so get rid of it and get another one.  Can you bypass the software that HP is questioning?  Are there any tape utilities or commands that come with your base OS.  If these commands also fail and it has been verified that the drivers and firmwares are all up to date then one should suspect the tape drive again.

If it is still under warranty, insist HP fix it.  Am actually surprised they are balking, generally they do very well on service.

Good luck.
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rwweyersCommented:
HP is trying to push it to the software vendor if you cannot remove the tape when the scsi cable is detached then the drive is the problem (maybe the tape?????? not likely) I see these all the time  for our company and we repalce alot of them.
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PanjandrumCommented:
If you have an HP Hardware Contract, Force them to replace the DDS drive.

Once the DDS drive is replaced, make sure you use new tapes.
Additionally make sure your system is not stading in a dusty environment! DDS4 drives and dust is like a whore in a church!



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hyperkellAuthor Commented:
HP says they cant replace the drive until 90 days have passed since they sent the last replacement. All drivers and firmware are up to date. I agree that the drive needs to be replaced but HP is giving us a completely hard time about it.
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PanjandrumCommented:
I don't think so...

If you have a HW contract, they are obliged to replace the drive. HP needs to investigate how this is happening.

If you don't have a contract, and you want HP to change some HW, you have to pay, this is normal.
On every HW intervention (paid by the customer) you also have warranty, 90 days.
If the DDS4 failed within these 90 days, HP is obliged to replace the drive for free. After 90 days it's back on the customers paycheck.

But, DDS drives are not HP manufactured even if the logo is on it. Actually all DDS drives (SUN, IBM, HP, etc...)
are manufactured by the same company, only the design is different.

I've also had some bad experience with DDS drives in the past. Could be to the fact that they sometimes get remarketed models who where previously defective.

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hyperkellAuthor Commented:
I had an HP tech out on site and he had a tape drive with him. All he did was update the bios, drivers and firmware through smart start and upon reboot Windows recognized the tape drive. we tested a small backup and all seemed o.k. The next day the client could not eject the tape again. It didn't even make it one day without failing. I called the Tech again and he said he thinks its the software which is BS. I have had it with HP. I agree that its a hardware problem, but how do I get them to agree that it is.
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hyperkellAuthor Commented:
Oh, event though he had the drive with him he decided that it didn't need to be replaced.
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PanjandrumCommented:
Call the helpdesk again, ask for the Support Manager of the Team.

Explain him the problem. In my opinion, ejecting a tape has nothing to do with software. It's pushing the button in the front and waiting for the tape to get out.

Support managers in companies like HP are under a lot of pressure and there are a lot of managers above him breathing in his neck. Say to him, fix my problem or I will call your superior until this problem is resolved.

He will drop his pants, they always do.



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