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Difficulty using DLT tape drive in Windows Server 2003 env.

I'm trying to use tape backup with CA ArcServe Backup on a windows server 2003 box, and I keep running into errors.   I can't seem use the DLT tape drive.  Whenever I go to use it, it's either offline, busy, or the tape format is unrecognized.  I've put in two (what should be) new tapes and had the same problems.  When I try to format the tape, I usually get a notice that the drive is busy.   I'm new to DLT tapes and high-end backup software.  I'm guessing there is something here I don't understand about the environment that is causing these problems.  

I should add that I tried using the built-in Wiindows NTbackup to write to the tape and I got an error that the media couldn't be located.  I took that to mean the software was unhappy with the tape format or the tape drive was currently inacessible  (busy?).  

This tape drive is not new, it's an external Compaq 20/40 DLT SCSI tape drive, so can't be certain the tape drive isn't the problem.
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bjulian
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bjulian
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2 Solutions
 
PortableLightingCommented:
Since it is a SCSI drive, make sure it is terminated correctly. Improper termination can cause as sorts of strange things.
If in doubut, check the documentation that came with the drive for termination instructions.
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bjulianAuthor Commented:
I don't have the documentation for the tape drive, unfortunately.  I got the drive secondhand.  It has a terminating device plugged into the second SCSI slot on the tape drive right now.  The tape drive is the only device on the scsi cable, too. I did initially make the mistake of trying to use the device without a terminator, and the SCSI card utility wouldn't recognize the presence of the tape drive until I plugged it in.  I assumed at that point I had it properly terminated.  Is this a reasonable assumption?
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PortableLightingCommented:
SCSI can be very tricky to setup....correctly.
Just because the host controller now sees the drive doesn't mean it is going to communicate with it correclty.
You may have to tweak the SCSI bios settings to make it work.

Can you post the Manufacturer and Model numbers of both the SCIS tape drive and the host controller?

I am sure a search on Google will provide you with the documentatioin PDF for both devices.
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bjulianAuthor Commented:
I have a Compaq 20/40GB DLT Tape Drive, series 3306, p/n: 30-60085-17.  It is connected to an Adaptec AHA-2940U2W SCSI card.  

I took your advice and googled the SCSI card and found lots of documentation on the Adaptec site:
http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/support/scsi/ultra2/AHA-2940U2W/

Not much luck with the Compaq tape drive though.  

I do have other tape drives and scsi cards, so they might be an option, I just wasn't able to get the other HP tape drive to recognize in the SCSI utils.
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PortableLightingCommented:
Is the Compaq tape drive an external tape drive? If it is an external, how long a cable are you using?
If the cable is internal, does it look like a smaller version of a flat IDE cable or does it look 'weaved"?

Also is the tape drive LVD or single ended? You could just have a wierd mix of cabling, terminator and devices.

I have had mixed results with Comopaq SCSI cables, I think some of thier cables are propritary for Compaq host controllers only.

I have owned/used the AHA2940U2W card and am very familiar with it.
The 2940U2W is an LVD host controller that supports throughput speeds of 80MB/s.
If your tape drive is only rated for UW (40MB/s) you may have to throttle it down in the scis bios.
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bjulianAuthor Commented:
I'm using an external cable, about 3 feet long, I think it's Compaq brand, because it has a part number with a similar numbering scheme to the tape drive (30-60092-01).  It is also a 68 pin to 50 pin cable.  I went into the BIOS and lowered the max speed for that device to 40MB/s and it's working better already.  I was able to format a tape. This weekend I'm going to schedule a backup and see if it will write to tape.

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dovidmichelCommented:
From within the OS Device Manager disable the tape drive, restart the server, and then let us know if it works better.
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PortableLightingCommented:
Good! It sounds like you are making some progress. unfortunatley, SCSI is not very "plug-n-play".

Let us know your results.

-Chris
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bjulianAuthor Commented:
The device speed was the issue.  The tape seems to be working fine now, I've formatted, erased and written backups to the tape, no issues.  Thanks, Chris!
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PortableLightingCommented:
Hey, I am glad I could help.

Take care and best regards!
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