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mcjim2kFlag for United States of America

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Backup job not appending to media, always trying to overwrite.

I am running Backup Exec 10d with a Dell PowerVault 124T autoloader attached. For some reason all of my backup jobs, including the daily incremental are trying to overwrite instead of just append to a tape. The incremental backups are only using about 5-8GB, on a 400GB (LTO3) tape, so there's more than enough room. How do I configure the system to append to the tape instead of overwrite?

Here is my current configuration:

Media Management Settings:
* Media overwrite protection level set to: Partial
* Media overwrite options set to: Overwrite recyclable media ...

Daily Media Set (4 allocated tapes) Settings:
* Overwrite Protection Period set to: 5 Days
* Append Period set to: None, Infinite - Allow Append

Job Properties:
* Device and Media - When this job begins set to: Append to media, overwrite if no ...


I thought it was configured to append if possible, then overwrite if need be, but its trying to overwrite all the time. Should i be approach these daily backups a different way?

Thanks for any help.
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honmapog
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That all looks fine. It looks like this should append.

A few suggestions:
* you should not have set up partitions in Backup Exec for your library.
* make sure you're not using WORM tapes.

Why are you saying that BE tries to overwrite - do you have an entry in the job log that says "no appendable media found, switching to overwrite operation". You should have that entry if the job starts off by overwriting.

You say there should be sufficient space on the tape. Make sure that the request for overwritable tapes is not occuring when the tape is full. When spilling over data from one tape to another, Backup Exec will never append - it will always want to overwrite the second tape.

I believe it has something to so with the time periods you have set on the media set. Try setting your append period for four days instead of Infinite.  
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ASKER

When i attempt to run a backup before the 5 day period is up for the tape i get the following error.

honmapog, I haven't set up any partitions in the library. I don't believe i have WORM tapes configured, but where do i confirm that? All of the tapes have 250 + GB of available space left, this is coming from the Media tab.

My original goal was to use one single tape for my daily backups because the sum of the four backups won't be exceeding 400 GBs for some time. Then i could allow the weekly/monthly backups to span across 3-4 tapes if needed.
Please insert overwritable media into the robotic library using the import command.
 
Overwritable media includes scratch, blank, and recyclable media. Please note that depending on the current Media Overwrite Protection setting, imported and allocated media may be overwritable as well. Consult the online help for more information on overwritable media.

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"My original goal was to use one single tape for my daily backups because the sum of the four backups won't be exceeding 400 GBs for some time"

Are you running four different (independent) jobs on the same tape, or four selection lists as one job to a single tape?  Running four distinct jobs that backup to the same tape may error on append and cause it to overwrite, though I can't remember ever trying this myself.
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One job that runs each night (M-TH) that would use the same tape, but that job (with slightly different media settings) would overwrite the tape each night, so i would loose the back up from the night before.

So now i've added 3 more tapes, a total of 4 into the media set. Even with the append settings set, it still tries to overwrite the tape instead of appending.
WORM Media would have a WORM label/symbol printed on the physical tape.

If you have Partial Overwrite Protection, make sure that the checkbox about "Imported media" is not checked.

Do you move tapes to scratch when you get the "please insert ..." message, to be able to continue your backups? If so - could you post the Job Log.

b0fh - there is no problem appending 4 distinct jobs to the same tape. Backup Exec can handle that.
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ASKER

Ok, then the tapes are not WORM Meida.

The imported media box is not checked.

I have not moved any tapes to scratch to continue the job. Currently this backup system is in the test phase, i have a stand alone  LTO2 drive connected to a different server and running a different instance of BE. So i have been attempting to have the backups run the way i'd like them to before i start forcing anything. (if that makes sense)

Should i ever need to restart the BE services or the whole server, after making any of these setting changes?
Normally restarting the BE services or the server are not required.
You could try to run SGMon.exe, check all checkboxes on the left and try running a differential append job again. The resulting SGMOn log in the logs subdirectory may shed some light. Post it if you want.

I wouldn't be surprised if you had some media, barcode or hardware problem, masking itself as this problem. It could possibly be BE database corruption as well.

Some suggestions:
* Upgrade all firmware and drivers for the robot and drive.
* Use the latest Symantec drivers for the tape drive. Use the Unknown Medium Changer driver for the robot.
* Delete devices from BE, and then restart service to detect them again.
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ASKER

I've attached the SGMon.log. Basically I started the backup, it immediately prompt me to import overwriteable media.
SGMon.log
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ASKER

I reconfigured the job to "Append to media, terminate job if no appendable media is available".

I then executed a test run and it fails. In the job log i have the following:
Media Capacity Check
Device                   : Quantum LTO 3
Online append capacity   : 0.000 MB
Online overwrite capacity: 0.000 MB
Total append capacity    : 0.000 MB
Total overwrite capacity : 0.000 MB
Capacity check status    : Failed
Miscellaneous            :  
 
Media Check
Online media check   : Insufficient online or nearline media is available to start job.Overwrite media check: There is no media online or nearline that can be overwritten or the job has been marked append/terminate.
Media check status   : Failed 

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Do you have a screenshot of the Media Tab - with "All Media" selected, showing all the tape on the right with "Appendable Until" and "Overwrite Protected Until" columns displayed.

Can you make sure that the Windows Removable Storage service is stopped and the startup type is disabled?

Can you run a full inventory of the library - does that inventory work?

Check that the service account for the Backup Exec Job Engine service is identical to the service account for the Backup Exec Server service. See http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/docs/290495.htm

Have you delete all devices from BE and then restarted services to redetect the devices?
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I've attached a screen shot of the media. One tape has changed to overwritable because of the time has passed.

I have disabled Windows Removable Storage.

I have checked that the services are all using the same account, they are.

I have also redetected the devices.

The one thing that caused an error was attempting to inventory the library. I got the error "incompatible media". Something i just noticed, under devices, when i select the tape drive and view the properties below, i see Drive Type:*** and Media Type: ***_

On my current production system i at least see LTO listed there. I am using the following drivers for my autoloader and drive:

Autoloader:
Provider = Dell Corporation
Date = 2/15/2005
Version = 2.0.4.0

Drive:
Provider = Quantum Corporation
Date = 6/7/2007
Version = 3.3.0.0

Looks like the Autoloader driver maybe a little out of date, which driver should i be using and where is the best place to get them?
Daily-Media.JPG
Failed-Inventory.JPG
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honmapog
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ASKER

Looks like the has fixed the problem with the inventories failing, once that completes i will test out the appending problem to see if that has also been fixed. Thanks for the help so for, you've been very helpful.
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ASKER

Thank you very much for your help, I don't know why i didn't think of this being a driver problem sooner. Everything is now working exactly the way i would like it :)
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ASKER

This turned out to be a driver problem in the end. I followed the steps honmapog provided in the first link in the accepted answer. Basically removed the drive and autoloader, installed the symantec drivers, re-added the device. The drive was then showing the proper media type and would successfully append to a tape instead of always trying to overwrite it.

Thanks a lot honmapog.