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Cannot restore an NTBackup job from tape

I have a backup of my hard disk completed using NTBackup (from Windows XP SP1a), and a Sony AIT-i130A/S ATAPI internal tape drive.  The backup completed OK, as did the verification.  I took the backup, as I have been having problems with my PC, and I was expecting to have to reinstall soon.  As it turns out, I've had to do just that.

However, now I cannot restore the data from tape.  When I try, I get the following error message:

"An inconsistency was encountered on the requested media."

I have checked numerous articles on the web regarding this (mostly authored by Microsoft), and none of them apply.  Most of them suggest that this happens to USB drives, or it happens when a backup job spans more than one tape and more than one media set.  None of these help as it is not a USB drive, there is only one media set (that I can see), and the backup only went onto one tape.  So there appears to be no options left.

Has anyone else come across this, and have they found a solution??? I'm desperate for an answer.

Mark
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Mark_R
Asked:
Mark_R
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1 Solution
 
gpriceeeCommented:
Hello.  restoring data sometimes causes stress.
1st, I would verify (only verify) the Service Pack level of the current XP: you might have to revert to SP1a.
Next:
Start --> Programs --> Accessories --> System Tools --> Backup
Get  rid of Wizard mode.
In the Backup Utility window:
Tools --> Options --> General Tab
Clear the checkbox next to "Use the catalogs on the media to speed up building restore catalogs"
OK
Restore and Manage Media Tab
In the left-hand pane, click on the tape drive
In the right-hand pane right-click the media --> catalog
After the media is cataloged, restore.
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
Hi,
I tried to restore under SP1a first, and it didn't work there.  So, having checked a few articles out, I thought I'd try SP2.  Sadly, no change using that either.
I've worked through your suggestion, but unfortunately it comes up with the same error message as soon as you start the catalog process.
Any ideas?!

Mark
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gpriceeeCommented:
Try retensioning the tape
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
OK, just tried that.  The tensioning process completed fine, but I still get the same error when it comes to the restore.  I have cleaned the heads too, so I know they're not dirty.
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gpriceeeCommented:
Retension it two more times
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
Still no good, I'm afraid.  NTBackup seems to be able to read the list of files OK, always has been able to.  The problem just seems to be when it comes to restore from it.
As a bit of extra information, the whole set up is brand new......a new drive and 4 new tapes (one for the backup).
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gpriceeeCommented:
My understanding is that you have backed up your old data to the drive, reformatted, and now are trying to restore.
Here are some questions:
Are you using native XP drivers or drivers that came with the tape drive?
Have you successfully backed up anything to a different tape from this new installation of XP?
Have you restored anything successfully from the data backed up from this new installation of XP?

I would start with backing up a small file and then restoring it.  Just ensure a different tape is in the drive.
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
Hello again!!  :)  In answer to your questions............
1) I am using drivers supplied with the tape drive, which was done in both circumstances.
2) I have not backed anything up under the new installation.
3) I have not restored anything from the new installation, under the new installation.

You are right in your guess that I back up an old drive.  My system failed eariler today, and I have been trying to restore some of my old files since.
I'll go and try a backup and restore under the new install.
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gpriceeeCommented:
Okay
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
Right, here's what happened..........
I put a new tape in and maked it as 'free'.  I went into NTBackup, and chose a single file to backup.  From then on NTBackup referred to it as "Media created 24/04/2005 at 01:38".  It backed up OK.
Then I selected 'Restore'.  I chose the drive, then "Media created 24/04/2005 at 01:38", then "C:", then selected the file.  I clicked on restore, and after rewinding the tape and attempting to mount it, NTBackup returned the following error message:

"The next media required in the active family is not currently on-line. Please insert the media: "Media created 24/04/2005 at 01:38, media #0" or click Cancel to stop the current operation".

I didn't notice that the tape had been ejected by this point, so I reinserted it.  NTBackup did not automatically respond.  I relaunched the 'Restore', but even with the tape in, the message is still appears saying the media is not on-line.

At least it's something new! :)
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gpriceeeCommented:
Have you checked sony for the latest drivers?
They make it difficult sometimes . . . I'll check too.
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gpriceeeCommented:
http://sony.storagesupport.com/ait/sdx520vi.htm#driv

Not sure if you have XP Pro or not, so just click on the appropriate OS link.
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
Yeah, I made sure that I've got the latest.  The ones on the CD match the ones on the web
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gpriceeeCommented:
If your CD doesn't have the tape utility, download it from here.  It's supposed to diagnose drive issues: http://sony.storagesupport.com/ait/tapeutility_windows.htm
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
Got that running at the moment!!  :)  I've been hassling Sony Support too, but as yet I'm not convinced the tool is doing much........it'll launch to a splash screen, but as soon as you click 'Continue', it just disappears!  You can see it in the tasklist, and it just sits there consuming memory.  Guess I'll have to wait and see!
Thanks for the help so far, and for replying so quickly.
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gpriceeeCommented:
Have they asked you to check out this KB article?
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=883357
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gpriceeeCommented:
On the tape with the test data, did you initialize it before backing up to it?
If not, initialize it, backup a file, then restore.
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
No, that article is new to me, but I've just tried installing the update it lists and it says that it's not applicable as I have SP2.
Sony want me to run that Tape Utility first, and then send them the log file from it..........I'm still waiting for something to come up onscreen, and so far it's used 17MB of RAM and the figure's rising.........
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gpriceeeCommented:
Those log files usually are very helpful . . . but I've never had to wait that long for one.
Have they asked you to reboot to cleanup the OS for the log dump?
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
No, they didn't ask that, but I tried it anyway.  Makes no difference, it still just disappears and then just consumes memory as a background task
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gpriceeeCommented:
Are they trying to troubleshoot their troubleshooting tool?  Heh heh
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
Just found something, I don't know if this will be of any help...........when I tried to restore from that second tape, it was asking for "media #0".  I've looked at the name of the media that it created during the test backup, and it is "Media created 24/04/2005 at 01:38 -1".
I was wondering if the "-1" was significant???  And I've quit that Sony Tape Utility......for 25MB RAM used and no results, I'd say something isn't working!
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gpriceeeCommented:
I'm not sure about that -1, but I don't think it's an issue.
What happens if you go to Administrative Tools --> Remote Storage and choose to manage your computer (it will give an error, but some options should be available)
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
I don't have that option available.....???
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gpriceeeCommented:
That eliminates that issue from troubleshooting then :-)

Did you get the tape utility from a download?
If not, try the download version.
If so, see if it's on the CD and try that one.
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
Yeah, the utility was the downloaded version.  I've had a quick look on the CD, and there was nothing like it on there.
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gpriceeeCommented:
Any luck yet?
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
No, still no joy as yet.  Nothing new from Sony either.
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gpriceeeCommented:
Have they asked you if you're using Sony tapes?
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
They've not done very much at all since the last contact I had with them, but then I guess it's not a 24/7/365 helpdesk.  If it helps, they are Sony tapes (AIT-2 SDX2-50C).
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KhurrmCommented:
heloo try to use diffrent brand tape .. like immation or somone else

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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
I could, but that doesn't solve the problem that I've got 40GB of data that can't retrieve from the Sony tape!! :)  I don't believe the cartridges are at fault, because I've tried two of the Sony one's I have, and neither work (although there are different error messages).

My suspicion is that NTBackup isn't working correctly for some reason, and I'm trying to find out why and how it can be resolved.  If you do a search on the web for the error message "An inconsistency was encountered on the requested media.", you get a couple of pages worth of hits.

I doubt I'm the only person who's had this problem, but if you look at the suggestions (most of which are from Microsoft), none of them apply to ATAPI drives, for single media sets on single tapes, for machines running on XP SP2.  As far as MS are concerned, I should have a working set up, but I don't.
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
Spoke to Sony's European Support today and got some very good responses and help, but unfortunately we didn't get anywhere.  Tried swapping the drive configs, so that the tape drive was Master to a Slave, Slave to a Master, etc., but still no difference.

In the end, it was suggested that if I had access to another PC to try it on there.  Had to go to a friend's place to get a spare PC, but....................RESULT!!!!!!!!! :)

Connected the drive to the spare PC, and under Windows everything initially looked the same.  Then, tried installing the Dantz Retrospect backup software that came with the drive.  The drive was picked up by Retrospect, something it had never done before.

So, tried NTBackup.  The media was recognised fine, and a restore worked fine!!!  All the data I needed is now on a spare hard disk.

The next step is to find out what it is on my system that is causing the problem.  For reference at this point, my PC is based on:

AMD Athlon FX64 3200+
MSI K8N Neo Platinum m/b (NVIDIA nForce3 250GB chipset) - BIOS rev 1.6 (upgraded from 1.1 on the date of this post)

So....potential buyers BEWARE!!!  I know the m/b and tape drive work fine independently......just not together!!  However, I do have some new drivers from MSI that I will test as soon as I get the chance.  One thing that raises suspicion is that the system the drive worked on recognises the IDE controllers as separate 'Primary' and 'Secondary IDE Channel', with a 'Bus Master IDE Controller'.  The drivers that came with the K8N Neo Platinum (which I used) display the IDE controllers as something like 'NVIDIA CK8S Parallel ATA Controllers', but with no listed Primary or Secondary channels.

Anyway, I will update this post with more info when I have some!!

Thanks to everyone who's contributed so far, especially gpriceee!!

Mark
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
I have tried updated versions of the ATA chipset drivers (v2.6, used to be using v2.5).  These didn't help, as they just prevented Windows XP from booting, and subsequently caused a number of errors (including problems with my RAID1 SATA mirror!!) which means I now have to reinstalled Windows again!!

I have let Sony know about the m/b I am using, am waiting to hear back about any low-level incompatibility.

Mark
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
Update
=====

I haven't heard back from Sony as yet, but I have purchased another motherboard (ABit K8T800 Guru) which uses the VIA KT800 chipset.  This works fine with the drive, and has successfully enabled restoration of the data.

Thanks again for the input from everyone!

Mark

******  MODERATORS  -  Please close this thread ******
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gpriceeeCommented:
What a pain!
I hope they include the issue in their knowledge base.
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Mark_RAuthor Commented:
I think this question is worth preserving, due to the nature of the error (i.e. a fundamental incompatibility between two products, at the hardware level).  I spent a lot of time time trying to resolve the error as if it were software/firmware orientated, but in the end it wasn't.

Keeping this thread may save other people a lot of time, as this problem may not be recorded in the Knowledge Bases of the respective manufacturers yet.

Mark
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DarthModCommented:
PAQed with points (500) refunded

DarthMod
Community Support Moderator
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