Tape drive backup -write protected tapes

Hello. We have a tape drive on our 2000 server, using a third party program called BackUp Assist to backup and the ordinary MS restore to restore. What is driving us mad is the fact that if we insert a tape (used) and try to prepare it for backing up it tells us the tape is "write protected". However, it isn't, at least not physically. Agreed we have had some trouble getting our heads round the MS procedure (media pools, etc.), but there seems nothing we can do to allow the tapes to get prepared without being told they're "write protected". We've searched for some kind of guide--for-dummies, but can't find anything. Any help or advice would be very gratefully received!
Thanks!
auden100Asked:
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PAQ_ManCommented:
PAQed with points refunded (125)

PAQ_Man
Community Support Moderator
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dovidmichelCommented:
It could be the switch in the drive that detects if the Write Protect tab has been put in position is broken. Another possible cause is these could be WORM tapes. Some of the tape drives support WORM tape and once written to these tapes can not be erased, reformated, or overwritten. Also not all applications support the tape WROM technology.
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auden100Author Commented:
Thanks!

Unfortunately I don't think this is the case. These tapes have been used successfully -we're talking about 10 tapes. They're not damaged, at least not visibly, and have been overwritten before when we've got the system to work.

I think it's something to do with the allocation. The tapes have been previously identified as, say, Wednesday and are now being "formatted" to be blank tapes and accessible for being, say, Monday.

At the end of the day we need to get our heads properly round the MS tape library allocation, media pools, etc., etc. procedures, but as I say there doesn't seem to be an idiot's guide to this.

So basically it seems that these tapes are calling themselves "write protected" because they think they belong elsewhere than where we're trying to put them.

Does that make any sense?
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JimsZCommented:
can you click on "new" in the bottom of microsoft backup?   That will allow you to get to write to the tape, then it will tell you that "this tape already has a backup on it, do you want to overwrite"?   It will give you the option of overwriting.  I think I know what you are talking about  
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auden100Author Commented:
Thanks!

To be honest I didn't even know there was a "new"!

When I go in tomorrow I'll check on that.

Thanks for the tip.
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Iamthecreator OMCommented:
check for settings in yr software to "overwrite all tapes".
or
u can delete the media pool and create a new one
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auden100Author Commented:
Thanks but still driving us mad.

Tried everything but whenever we try to prepare a tape it tells us it's write protected.

I have noticed a small red and blue icon against the tape drive (it's a Sony SDT-9000 SCSI by the way), like a "pacman". Don't know what it is, but device manager says the drive is ok and it seems to recognise the tapes are in the drive ok.

Are we meant to mount the tape before we prepare it (doesn't seem to make any difference!). Do we prepare it when it's "idle & available"? We never see "allocated" or get the option to allocate or disallocate!

Help!!!!!!
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dovidmichelCommented:
Did you get this resolved?
Was it a problem with the drive or tapes?
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rindiCommented:
auden100,

No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
Delete / No Refund

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.


Rindi
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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auden100Author Commented:
Thanks.

Yes, we used a workaround in the form of a Sony Tape Utility by which we could format the tapes.

That seems to have done the trick.

Buzz
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rindiCommented:
In that case I'll change the recommendation to PAQ / Refund.
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