How to get a tape drive recognized in windows server 2003, or do I even need it to be?

Posted on 2007-03-27
Last Modified: 2010-04-19
I have a 4\5 year old server running windows 2003 Server and working great. I have a tape drive called a Scorpion 96 DAT autoloader originally made by seagate. It usually is identified in Back-up Exec as an Archive Python 04377-xxx. I upgraded to Back-up Exec 11d which I understand is a questionable upgrade, after a clean install of 2003 server. Anyway the driver with the backup software does not load sucessfully and the error states something about the device not listed in the hardware tree. So after the sucessful install of the program, no backup device exists.

Do I need to at least start by having windows recognize there is a device? Or is this uneccesary with the backup software?
And if so, how do I go about getting 2003 server to recognize it? None of the drivers seem to work. I do the add new hardware wizard but no drivers seem to cut it. The support for this device has changed hands so often it seems impossible to track down the right driver.

Would another software product work better?
Question by:zen_68
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Expert Comment

ID: 18801310
First, I am assuming that since you just upgraded to Backup-Exec 11d you have a maintenance contract with them? If you had 10d prior to 11d, unless you have clustered servers there are not advantages to upgrading to 11d.

1.  It is necessary for BackupExec to see the tape drive and it is usually a best practice in BackupExec world to utilize the built-in drivers.  You may only see the drive in Windows as a generic drive but that will not matter.

2.  If you have a maintenance contract with you software, they may lead you to a patch for that particular drive.

Let me know, what you find out.

Author Comment

ID: 18801410
I upgrade dfrom a much earlier version, I think it was 8. It came with a windows 200 server and worked great. Now that Symantec has aquired Veritis, it is very difficult to get answers. I did not opt for any service contract at all.

I dont see the drive at all in windows device manager. I think this is the start of my problems, no?
When I try to add a tape drive, my drivers are not wanted.

I guess the root of my question is do I need windows to see it and have a driver loaded before I load backup software?
And does CA Arcserve work better?

Author Comment

ID: 18801418
And thanks for your help, and excuse my horrible typing.
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Expert Comment

ID: 18802069
The answer would be yes....your server needs to see a "tape drive" at least.  Then Veritas/Symantec will see it to add its own driver.

You should see in your device manager "Tape Drives" towatd the bottom of the list.

A couple of items to check:
1.  Is the drive SCSI, if so does the SCSI boot sequence see the drive?
2.  Is the firmware in the drive sufficient to support Windows 2003?
3.  Are you drivers up to date for the tape drive?
4.  CA Arcserve is nice, I use BackUpExec 10d myself and have no issues to complain of.  I have mine set to backup to 2 different NAS as well as backup to Tape Monthly.  Selecting the software is more personal preference as well as your infrastructure you are backing up.  In a relatively small network what you have should be more than sufficient.

Let me know what you find out.

Author Comment

ID: 18802224
Thanks so much for your help. Definetely nothing listed in Device manager.
1. It is scsi and is seen during post, it is not on the same controller as the hard drives though
2.Firmware..hmmm I'm having a heckuva time just trying to find drivers. I'll get looking
3.Well, I cant seem to find any that 2003 likes
4. I always liked Backup Exec but since Symantec took over......well........I wonder how much worse they could make the support and website forums.

I guess the root of the problem starts with windows.

Expert Comment

ID: 18802255
Well yes and no....I have had BackupExec since it was owned by Veritas and have always had excellent support from them, it is realtively inexpensive and they have always provided solutions for me.

I will try and help you find a driver for that drive dor W2K3.  The firmware may or may not be an issue.

Author Comment

ID: 18802361
Ok, thanks alot. I am looking as well. I also have a call into Seagate although i dont know how much help I'll get. The bugger is only 4-5 years old. DDS-3
Youd think it would be easy.?

Author Comment

ID: 18802487
I have to leave for the day but Ill be back first thing tomorrow to follow up.
I sure appreciate the help.
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Rob Hutchinson
ID: 18803732

Not sure that the problem is BackupExec 11d since you are saying that the device is not even listed in Win2k3.  At what time prevoiusly was the device listed in the device list?  What version of windows server?  Thing BackupExec is jus complaining as there's nothing there...that's not a problem with BackupExec 11d; it's a problem with Win2k3.

Try getting the drivers for the tape drive from the manufacturer, and load these drivers if they exist.  If there are no Win2k3 drivers for the hardware, time to upgrade your backup hardware.

BackupExec 11d has some good features that prevouis versions did not have one in particular that makes it worth getting is it's ability to do a non hardware dependant image restore of any server so that you can have a replacement server back up and running a lot faster.

Expert Comment

ID: 18808924
hi, there

as already said on some of the other posts here, what is basic is that the Tape device is detected during a boot of the server.

If this is all ok, listening the card as ID 6 and another for your tape drive then ok.

now the removable storage needs to be started in Windows to be sure to pick up the drive.
If this was my server I would first try to get NTbackup to use the device.

start run type "ntbackup" is this one able to find the device. ? Removable storage started. ?
if not then you need the correct drivers, what about the Compability list of the devices covered by Symantec 11d in the device list is yours in here ?


Author Comment

ID: 18809049
Hi, and thanks for all the help. You guys are right on the money. I need to get windows to recognize the drive. This is where Im stuck. I still cant find acceptable drivers. I will try the suggestion with NTBackup and see what rolls. I understand this is a device not supported by the native program in windows but what the heck. Anyone else know where to get drivers?

Author Comment

ID: 18809875
This is gonna make me look bad, but for the sake of you professionals i'll fess up.
I cracked opened the case and found the ribbbon cable half unplugged. How this happened I have no idea. I realize what an idiot I Thing is its a PDC so I cant just take it down any old time.

I plan on giving myself a good lecture. Thanks for your help.

Expert Comment

ID: 18809883
Man....that is a tough one to find.  You may have to make some phone calls...or you can just buy a used dds4 off of ebay that is supported by W2K3 Server :)...bottom line is wether or not you run NTBackup, you still need to have it listed in Device Manager first.  I will keep looking but that drive is old and drivers are scarce if not unavailable for 2K3 Server, you may look and try and find a generic driver that will work, or you can call Seagate/Drive manufacturer to find a generic driver for it.


Accepted Solution

jnsprad earned 250 total points
ID: 18809895
Nice has happened to all of us at one time or another....



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