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Tape Libraries and Cleaning Tapes...

Posted on 2006-11-16
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I'm using Backup Exec 10d with a tape library...  What is the process for cleaning the drive?  Can you schedule something like that in BE, or will the tape library just know when it needs a cleaning and do it by itself?  Last time I noticed it was cleaned was 4 months ago.
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Question by:trippleO7
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by:sirbounty
sirbounty earned 500 total points
ID: 17955721
I believe it depends more on your hardware more than the software.  The drive should be able to detect when it's time to clean it, and again depending on your hardware, should probably not be scheduled to do so, unless detected that it's required (unnecessary wear on the drive).
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Shift-3 earned 500 total points
ID: 17956109
First confirm that the cleaning tape is correctly designated.  Go to the Devices tab and look under All Devices|<server name>|Robotic Libraries|<library name>|Slots.  Right-click on the slot in the right pane, click Properties, and check the "Cleaning slot" box.

Then look on the Alerts tab for yellow warning messages which read "The tape drive is due for a routine cleaning".  If one comes up, go to the Devices tab, expand All Devices|All Drives in the left pane, right-click on the name of the library, and click Clean.  This will automatically run the cleaning tape.
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by:trippleO7
ID: 17982905
@ Shift-3,

I'm looking in that spot, but I don't notice my cleaning tape in the library name or in any of the slots....When I actually walk to my library and look inside of it, I can see that it's in there.  It appears to be in slot 23....but my library in BE only has up to 22 slots.

We are using a IBM ULT3582-TL drive...documentation from their site is basically worthless so far, but I'll keep reading.  Any ideas on how I can get the cleaning tape to show up?
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by:sirbounty
ID: 17982976
The slots are numbered cardinally, beginning with 0. So slot 22 in BE, would be slot 23.
Do you have a cleaning tape bar code on this tape?
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by:trippleO7
ID: 17983023
thx for the slot info.  Never knew that.  Yes we do have a barcode on the cleaning tape.  Is there a way I can inventory the whole tape library to see if it shows up?
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by:sirbounty
ID: 17983206
I'm not familiar with the tape hardware, but the libraries we have used - some have an option to use barcodes (vs. not) - and they also include an option on the LCD panel to allow you to inventory the library.
However, BE should be able to do this as well - were you not able to find the checkbox for 'cleaning' tape/cartridge in BE for that slot?
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by:trippleO7
ID: 17988592
I can see the area where I can mark the slot as a cleaning slot, but BE doesn't display the slot where the cleaning tape is at.  I did find out that there are 24 actual slots.  From what I read, one of them is reserved for an I/O slot (slot 24) for swapping tapes, scanning & inventory, etc.  But it didn't mention anything about slot 23 where my cleaning tape is.  Maybe it's reserved as well...

How can I add this slot to my media set?  Do I need it in my media set?  I right-click library > configure partitions, but I don't see a way to add any additional slots...

I'm beginning to dislike BE...
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by:sirbounty
ID: 17989096
We've all but gotten rid of our BE servers - let me see if I can locate one and jar my memory on what you're trying to accomplish...
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by:sirbounty
ID: 17989351
Apparently we only have standalone drives still using BE, so I won't be able to walk through this, but...

Typically, the mail slot is the first slot, i.e. slot 0, not the last - can you double-check that?

Perhaps you can remove all tapes but the cleaning tape, inventory the library again from BE to try and determine which slot it's in...
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by:trippleO7
ID: 17990061
I see what's going on now.  My IBM tape drive allows me to designate one of the slots as a cleaning slot, then it is also set to automatically clean when needed.  Took me a week to find this info out on the IBM site!!  I'm just guessing on this next part, but could this by why I can't see it in BE, because I have the IBM tape Library handling it instead of BE?  Maybe I'll set my IBM to not reserve the slot for cleaning, and then inventory my BE library and try it again to see what happens...

Thx for all the help so far.  I will let you know if that works...
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by:sirbounty
ID: 17996238
Hmm - I'm not sure if that'd be it or not.  We have our libraries setup that way - and still manage it in our backup software.  But in truth, it's been a while since I've used BE (over a year) and I'm not familiar with the IBM devices (though we're supposedly toying with the idea of moving towards them next year - the HPs are getting more and more flimsy).
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