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Dell External Tape Drive very loud, can it be turned off and on daily and still complete backup?

ClearBlueTechnologies
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Medium Priority
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have an external DLT Ultrium tape solution.  The external tape chassis's fans are very loud when running to the point of annoying.  Is that normal for one?  And can I shut off the tape drive during business hours and turn it back on and still have the backup job complete successfully?  It is attached to a Win 2003 Std. server.  It appears that the OS will recognize it when I power it on but not MS Backup will not.  I was going to look at BackupExec for a better application but if it will not see the tape drive after a power cycle of just the tape drive, then I need to look at something else.  Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Is that normal for one?
can't say, what is anoying for me may be fine for you. If it squeaks then yes it is a problem, if it is just loud then it is a call for you and Dell to make.

can I shut off the tape drive during business hours and turn it back on and still have the backup job complete successfully?
only if you restart the system it is attached to prior to running the backups. It will not matter what program you use the problem will remain. This goes back to the design of the SCSI spec.
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Commented:
>nd can I shut off the tape drive during business hours and turn it back on and still have the backup job complete successfully?
With the right hardware, you can get away with it. You'll need a minimum of an Adaptec 29160, 39160, 29320 or 39320. These controllers support scanning the SCSI bus after the initia; power-on scan, so it'll let you do what you want. Windows 2003 also works well with device changes.

Just a thought - why not replace the fan? If the drive is under warranty, just call Dell and grizzle until they agree to replace it. If not, the fans are readily available at many electronics outlets and are quite easy to replace.

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The unit has three internal fans that run all the time regardless of the room or unit temp.  I installed a similar solution using HP gear and while all the fans run while the unit is on, they are not that loud.  The fans in the Dell unit don't make a noise (squeaking) other than normal fan noise.  It is just louder than it seems it should be.

I am not sure of the SCSI type in this Dell server.  I will look into that.  
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Commented:
Which model PowerVault is it?

PowerVault 114T
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Commented:
That should be reasonably quiet. Can you check to see if one fan is louder than teh others?
That will be tough as I am rarely onsite.  I could ask someone I guess.  I noticed in the specs that it has a 39160 SCSI Controller.  i am assuming that is in the unit and but the one on the server is the one that matters correct?
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Commented:
>  I noticed in the specs that it has a 39160 SCSI Controller.  i am assuming that is in the unit and but the one on the server is the one that matters correct?
Yes. You'll need to go inbto Computer Management - Device Manager - Scan for Hardware Changes and the controller should pick up the drive.

Is the tape in an office environemtn or in a computer room?
It was in an open office environment and then they moved it into a closet.  While I find it hard to believe that it is still too noisy in a closet, the customer insists that it is.  Thus I am looking into this scenario.
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Commented:
>  I noticed in the specs that it has a 39160 SCSI Controller.  i am assuming that is in the unit and but the one on the server is the one that matters correct?
Yes. You'll need to go inbto Computer Management - Device Manager - Scan for Hardware Changes and the controller should pick up the drive.

Is the tape in an office environemtn or in a computer room?
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Commented:
>  I noticed in the specs that it has a 39160 SCSI Controller.  i am assuming that is in the unit and but the one on the server is the one that matters correct?
Yes. You'll need to go inbto Computer Management - Device Manager - Scan for Hardware Changes and the controller should pick up the drive.

Is the tape in an office environemtn or in a computer room?
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Commented:
>  I noticed in the specs that it has a 39160 SCSI Controller.  i am assuming that is in the unit and but the one on the server is the one that matters correct?
Yes. You'll need to go inbto Computer Management - Device Manager - Scan for Hardware Changes and the controller should pick up the drive.

Is the tape in an office environemtn or in a computer room?
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Commented:
Sorry about the triple post. The office Packeteer was getting involved and mucking things up :-(
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Commented:
Occasionally fans have bad bearings and get seriously noisy - perhaps thats the problem.
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Most Valuable Expert 2015

Commented:
You could try blowing all the dust out of the unit, or change the fans if there is no more warranty. Otherwise things like that can get rather noisy. If the closet is airconditioned you might even want to disconnect a fan or so, but of course be carefull if you do that, as this might reduce the unit's lifetime.
Top Expert 2006

Commented:
i don't know why but  something in the back of my mind says that powering off the drive doesn't bode well for the scsi connection and a server reboot is then needed.  the same thing goes even if you have backup exec because of the underlying scsci device.

you may be better off talking to Dell about getting the tape unit repaired.  If its just fans, it should be an issue for a dell tech to come in and replace it.

Regards
Top Expert 2006

Commented:
boy do I need a spell and grammer checker
I meant "scsi device" and   If its just fans, and "it should NOT be an issue for a dell tech to come in and replace it."
regards,
I'll check in to your suggestions and have some more news on Monday or Tuesday.  Thanks!
Top Expert 2006

Commented:
kinda hoping that I get the points.  Especially since it looks like its a HW repair issue....
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Commented:
Hi mcp_jon,

I posted the answer to his question in the second post, and covered off getting the thing repaired - also in the second post. I'd object to a PAQ. I think the question was answered.
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Commented:
Thanks!
Sorry I forgot about this question.  I ended up calling Dell and they sent out new fans that were just as loud.  Seems like a design flaw to me.

Thanks,
Mike
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