ARCServe 2000 - jobs consistently fail

Hi,

I am using ARCServe 2000 for my backups (have just joined this company and have been presented with this software... its awful and so hard to use!)

For the past month the 1 scheduled job on this server has been failing every night. In the log it reports "Unable to find any media", even though there is a perfectly good tape in the machine.

I have tried to clean the tape heads but I cannot find the utility to do this anywhere in the software. The Help facility tells me to "Click the Clean Media Head button"

but does not tell me where this button is. I've been everywhere and can't locate it.

Does anyone know the software? Can anyone help?

Thanks!
gjirvine3000Asked:
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dovidmichelCommented:
The Clean Media button is only available with libraries. For stand alone drives just load the tape in the drive and it will be automatically cleaned.

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dovidmichelCommented:
There are a number of different things that can cause the above problem. So without a clear path to take a good starting point is to update.

The main support site is http://supportconnect.ca.com/. From there you can register, which will be needed to download updates.

 Here is the url for the ARCserve 2000 update page:
http://supportconnectw.ca.com/premium/storage/downloads/nt/2000/arc_eng_menu.asp

Registration is required. Here is the list of updates that I'd say to go ahead and install:
QO62627.CAZ N/A 377 KB 12/13/2004 NT -INCORRECT TAPE OVERWRITTEN
QO53875.CAZ N/A 155 KB 04/27/2004 NT -GFS BACKUP WITH COMPARE CRASH DURING COMPARE
QO52950.CAZ N/A 427 KB 04/01/2004 NT -SYSTEM STATE BACKUP JOB CRASHES
QO52531.CAZ N/A 57 KB 03/24/2004 NT -ROTATION JOB DONT ERASE TAPE
QO52529.CAZ N/A 431 KB 03/24/2004 NT -CLIENT AGENT FAILED TO RESTORE
QO49504.CAZ N/A 2.7 MB 01/12/2004 NT -DEVICE SUPPORT UPDATE
QO49312.CAZ N/A 45.5 MB 01/05/2004 NT -ARCSERVE 2000 SERVICE PACK 5

They should be installed in order starting from the bottom up, in other words olderst first. Offically CA stopped support (read that as writing new updates) back in March of 2004. However as it worked out there seems to have been enterpise clients that had support contracts well beyond that and so there are the later updates.

If the problem remains after the update then it is necessary to know the type of backup (custom, Rotation, GFS) and how they are setup. It also might be necessary to enable debug. The Job Engine has the activity log which can be put into debug more, and the Tape Engine has a log that can be enabled. Both are set via the ARCserve Server Admin. But for now get the updates installed especially since some of them might have direct impact on the problem being experienced at your installation.

ARCserve has been around since 1991, and the Windows version since the days of NT 3.5. Point is that there are years behind it and one of the leading backup programs in the market ever since there was a market. It is only natural that when you are used to a different backup program that it will be difficult to use and understand, but take heart because it really is not that hard to pickup once you really try.

By the way the manuals are all on the product CD and are also online at the support site.
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gjirvine3000Author Commented:
Hello dovidmichel

Many thanks for your reply. Having looked further into this, I am not even sure if my scheduled daily backup job is running or failing.

I have posted an image to the web of the last few days from the activity log of arcserve - it means nothing to me - does it mean anything to you? From this can you tell if the backup job is running or not? What should the activity log be saying if the job has run successfully? And are there any useful errors here that point to what the problem might be?

Please take the image from here - http://www.fujikura.co.uk/arcserve.gif

Many thanks for you help!
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dovidmichelCommented:
OK the jobs are failing because there is something going on at the SCSI bus level that it preventing the Tape Engine from getting the tape information.

By the way the activity log can be viewed directly. \ARCserve\log\arcserve.log.
There is also a Tape Engine log called tape.log which can be enabled.
ARCserve Server Admin/Configuration (cog&wrench icon)/Tape Engine tab. Message leved Detailed, output File Only, Devices to scan All Devices.
Job Engine can also be put into debug mode from there.

Here is a doc I wrote that might resolve this.

Which Driver Should I Use?

A Tape or Media Changer Driver should not be loaded when using ARCserve. ARCserve sends all commands directly to the SCSI Port provided by the SCSI or Fibre controller driver. A driver for a tape drive and/or a library usually causes problem when they are left loaded.

In the Windows Device Manager the device has to be disabled and should be shown as either crossed out or as unknown. In either case the driver will not be loaded. If the device is not disabled, Windows 2000 will automatically reload the driver on startup.

When the driver is loaded it will often show up in the Tape Engine debug log, tape.log.

Mark claimed changer device as unclaimed!!!
Mark claimed changer device as unclaimed AGAIN !!!

This happens because the OS tape device or media changer driver has claimed the device, and the Tape Engine needs to release and then take control of the device. The compatibility problems come up because the OS device driver continues to communicate with the device even after the ARCserve Tape Engine has claimed control of the device.

With Fibre channel since the device will be shared there will be an entry like this which is fine.
Mark tape device as shared!!!

Another common place for it to show up in the tape log is at the time of a failure with:
Mode Parameter Changed

In this case after the Tape Engine has set the device another application (such as the driver) has sent a command to the same tape device and changed its operation mode so that the command sent by the Tape Engine fails.

Some applications that are known to cause these type of problems are:
Windows OS Media Changer drivers for libraries.
Windows OS Tape Device drivers for tape drives.
Windows Removable Storage service.
HP/Compaq Management Agent - SCSI Information setting.

In the case of a SAN any system on the SAN that has access to the tape device can cause the problem and should be checked for offending applications.  
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gjirvine3000Author Commented:
Thanks a lot for the help.
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