Getting Dell tapedrive to work properely.

I have a Dell Poweredge 2800 with a DAT 72 tapedrive in it. It is running Tapeware ver7.0 and runs okay for a couple of days then errors out.  The tapeware log says that device has timed out.  If I stop the service and restart, it works fine again for only a couple of days.  It is running Netware 6.5 and I am wondering if the driver is incorrect, and if so how do I change to the correct driver.  The entire Novell LAN is running fine, not slow so I don't know why it is timing out.  Also the tapedrive appears to be causing system ABENDS and reboots when it fails.  Help!!!!!!
goedenAsked:
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ShineOnCommented:
What is the drive attached to - is it on a separate SCSI controller from your disk system?  

What is the SP of your NetWare server?  Current for 6.5 is SP3, and there have been several post-SP3 patches released.  Device support generally improves with each SP.

If you can give us more details on the errors and abends, that would help too.
goedenAuthor Commented:
ShineOn,

I am fairly new to Novell and our Novell tech recently died, so I don't know too much about it.  You'll have to use small words and speak slowly with me.  

It has an embedded RAID(ROMB) PERC4ei(embedded integrated), with a powervault 100T, DAT72, internal TBU, with controller. I do not now the service pack but the

Server was ordered and installed about 2 months ago so should be up to date on SP's.  How can I check which service pack it's on?

The Abend happens after the tapedrive fails to backup and it causes the system to reboot so I've only seen the error once when I forced a backup.  I did not see any pertinent info from it.  Is their a way to check an error log after reboot?

Thanks for your help, it is much appreciated.
ShineOnCommented:
At the server console prompt (it usually has the server name followed by a colon) type "version" and hit Enter.  It will tell you the version and SP.
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goedenAuthor Commented:
ShineOn

When I did that it gave me the version but I did not see the sp#.
ShineOnCommented:
It should have the version on the 1st line and "Support Pack Revision nn" on the 2nd line, followed by DS/eDirectory info and licensing info.  Like on mine, I get:

Novell NetWare 6
Support Pack Revision 05
(C) Copyright 1983-2003 Novell, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Patent Pending.
Novell eDirectory Version 8.7.3.3 SMP
NDS version 10551.29 August 24, 2004
Server License: blah
User Licenses: blah
elf_binCommented:
Right, NetWare 6 SP5 then.
In NetWare the device drivers are .HAM with .CDM as the device module.  Replacement of them is easy as they behave just like NLMs (i.e.: unload <device_driver_name>.ham)
If tapeware says it can't connect to the driver, one of three things are happing:
1) NWPA (NetWare Peripherial Architecture) is corrupt and needs to be replaced.  This is a NLM, but has several other modules.  Reapoply the support pack.
2) The tape drive driver or HBA (host based adapter - a.k.a. SCSI controller) drivers are corrupt, download new ones and install.
3) There is a hardware error.  So maybe the tape drive or SCSI controller is broken?  Check your I/O, IRQ, DMA ports in use and ensure nothing is shared.  Check your SCSI cabling, replace cables if necessary.  Check the SCSI termination, ensure the chain is properly terminated.

Best of luck
ShineOnCommented:
NW6SP5 is mine, not necessarily the Asker's
goedenAuthor Commented:
ShineOn,

when I type version at console I get:

Novell Netware 6.5
Server Version 5.70 Oct 9 2003
Novell Edirectory  version 8.7.1 smp
NDS Version 10510.64 July 11 2003

Also I get this when I try to unload tapeware:

Server 5.70 2713 [nmID=D003]
Module did not release 1 resource
Module : tapeware Netware agent
Resource: Threads
Description : Processes

I have also gotten

Server -5.70-4 [nmID=1001B]
Warning! Server has experienced a critical error and is going down in two minutes.

I have this network running strictly on tcp/ip, where the old server was running on tcp/ip and ipx.  Could this be causing the tape drive to drop out? Should I set up the ipx protocol?  If I understand correctly ipx is obsolete and too chatty of a protocol.

Thanks for your help
ShineOnCommented:
You have an unpatched NetWare 6.5 server there, from what I can tell.  That's probably your problem.  As a NetWare noob, you don't want to tackle that yourself, though.

If you aren't about to hire a replacement for your NetWare admin any minute now, you should hire a consultant/contract techie to apply NW65SP3 and update your eDirectory to 8.7.3.6 (or whatever is current), not necessarily in that order, and possibly other updates/patches as well.  If they're worth their fee, they'll know what needs to be done and how to do it, and should be able to get it done in a matter of a few hours, tops.  It will require some downtime, so if you can't have the server unavailable during normal business hours you'll have to pay their off-hours premium rate, more than likely...

A backup should be done before they do it (actually, 2 *verified* backups would be best-practices) but you shouldn't have to pay them to babysit the backups.

You shouldn't have to install IPX, unless tapeware is running across the LAN (backing up one server from/to another server) and needs IPX to do it.  I don't know that tapeware is that sophisticated to begin with, to handle backup across the LAN.
goedenAuthor Commented:
ShineOn,

I loaded the service packs myself and this seemed to fix the abend problem, but I am still getting a device time-out error and end of data error.  The strange part is that the backups are working about two out of three days before errors, then works again for a day or two then another error.  I am currently keeping track of tapes, one set seems to fail more often???  Also the documentation indicates that it can and does remotely backup on a LAN.  As a matter of fact I have it running this way on a couple of other sites.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.


ShineOnCommented:
How about the tapes?  Usually when I get an error on a DAT tape backup, that tape gets retensioned - and I put a mark on it so I remember that it has had errors and has been retensioned.  

If I get an error again on the same tape, it gets retired.

That's one thing about DAT - they just don't last.  Too much stress from the helical-scan head and the inevitable shoeshining.  If you want a solution where the tapes can be used hundreds or thousands of times without problem go linear - DLT or LTO.

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