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How do I determine the root cause of a cyclic redundancy check error in Backup Exec 11d?

Posted on 2008-10-27
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I am experiencing an issue that would seem to be relatively common in that for apparently no reason whatsover one of my backup drives is refusing to write to tape.

I currently have a 2U rackmounted unit that contains a Certance LTo-3 drive and a Quantum HH LT0-3 drive

I have a batch of 5 tapes for each drive that are Monday-Friday.

Both have been running fine for about a year.


Initially I did as instructed and the backup went through. But now I keep receiving the same errors even if I clean the drive.

Could there be something that has permanently attached itself to the writing heads?
Are there any diagnostic checks that I can run to check this?
I am a little hesitent to replace the drive straight away as a lot of people with similar problems have found that this did not fix the issue. (Although obviously in some cases it may be a hardware issue!)



The error reports The job failed with the following error: Error reading/writing data from/to the media

Event ID 34113


Completed status: Failed
Final error: 0xe00084ec - Error reading/writing data from/to the media.
Final error category: Backup Media Errors
Data error (cyclic redundancy check).
This could be caused by either a dirty tape drive, bad media, or a SCSI problem


Event Log reports

Source halfinchVRTS
Event ID 7
The \Device\Tape1, has a bad block


Backup Exec Version 10.1 Rev 5629
Service Pack 4
Driver Pack BackupExecTapeDeviceDriverInstall20061015_285593.exe is installed

Windows Server 2003
Service Pack 2


Device Manger Reports

Tape Drives:
   
CERTANCE ULTRIUM 3 SCSI Sequential Device
    Driver Provider:    Symantec Corporation
    Driver Date:        05/09/2006
    Driver Version        5.1
    Digital Signer        Not Digitally Signed

    Driver Details
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\DRIVERS\halfinch.sys

QUANTUM ULTRIUM 3 SCSI Sequential Device
    Driver Provider:    Symantec Corporation
    Driver Date:        05/09/2006
    Driver Version        5.1
    Digital Signer        Not Digitally Signed
    Driver Details
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\DRIVERS\halfinch.sys


Interestingly, when I run the Backup Exec for Windows Server Environment Check 1.0 I get the following.

It seems weird that device manager says that the Symantec driver is there but the environment check does not.
I also find it weird that it says the second drive is unsupported?!

Tape Device Information

Warning

    Devices on this computers are either not supportable** or not working

    Device: Tape0
    Ths device is supported** with a currently loaded Symantec driver.

    Product: CERTANCEULTRIUM 3 18563204-600
    Device Type: SequentialTape
    Service Name: halfinchVRTS
    Current Driver Name: halfinch.sys
    Recognized by Symantec?: Yes
    Symantec Driver Loaded: No
    SCSI Port: 2
    SCSI BUS: 0
    SCSI Target: 4
    SCSI Lun: 0

    Device: Tape1
    This device is not supported.**

    Product: QUANTUM ULTRIUM 3 19316208-900
    Device Type: SequentialTape
    Service Name: halfinchVRTS
    Current Driver Name: halfinch.sys
    Recognized by Symantec?: No
    Symantec Driver Loaded: No
    SCSI Port: 3
    SCSI BUS: 0
    SCSI Target: 6
    SCSI Lun: 0
0
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Question by:Corbezier
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11 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Darksied9
ID: 22813157
I would start with the media, eliminate that.  Perform a tape inventory and see if the system can read the barcodes and catalog the media.  If that is the case then the drivers are working.  If not, reload the drivers for both devices.  You might also try dropping a backup to each device via the native OS utility to eliminate or pinpont the issue to the the software.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Corbezier
ID: 22813381
Hi Darksied,

Thanks for the fast response. Just to confirm. The Certance writes fine but the Quantum is erroring each time and the driver discrepancies between the two are my main concern.

I also think that it is rather odd that Backup Exec Server Environment check is reporting that the Quantum is unsupported and also that the Symantec drivers are not loaded even though Device Manager reports otherwise. Is this common?

I have tried with 5 different tapes and always the same result.

 Is there a "correct" method for updating the drivers? I noticed that if you uninstall the drivers from device manager and restart the system, Windows seems to automatically reload them. To get round this I uninstalled them and the removed the driver files from C:\windows\system32\drivers and then re installed the Symantec drivers from the driver pack. Is there a better way?



0
 

Author Comment

by:Corbezier
ID: 22814838
I just ran an Inventory and Catalog with no problem so it would seem that reading the tapes is working.

Writing still fails though. I am guessing that the read head is different from the write head and potentially the write head has become damaged?
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:Darksied9
Darksied9 earned 100 total points
ID: 22821049
That is how I would update the drivers.  My guess is that you have a bad write head on the drive.  Take the drive out of the loop and connect it to another server and try a test to see if it works installed there.  If it does, then the drive is not the issue.  Best guess though is that the drive is bad.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Corbezier
ID: 22829411
Now things are just not making sense at all. I decided that seeing as it had been a week since I had successfully written one of the backups I swapped the target drives. (and also put the respective tapes in the right drives so that I was writing to the correct media)

i.e. previously Backup1 ran on Certance and Backup2 ran on Quantum
Now Backup1 runs on Quantum and Backup2 on Certance.

I expected the Backup1 on Quantum to fail but I needed to make sure that I could get a recent Backup2.

The backup on the Certance went through fine (on the media that had been failing on the Quantum)

however the backup on the Quantum wrote 366GB of data and said that tape was full and it requested new media?

Weird because
a) all other writes had been failing after only a few GB
b) It's a 400GB tape and it was overwriting

I canceled it and I am now trying another backup on another tape. It's at 22GB so far without error. Fingers crossed it will work.

But I am very confused!! For the record all the tapes used in both drives are the same i.e. Sony Ultirum 400/800

0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Darksied9
ID: 22839513
Man, it sounds like the Backup software is corrupt...  Any chance you can re-build the app?
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
Corbezier earned 0 total points
ID: 22839691
Hi Darksied,

OK I think that I am now getting somewhere. I was on the phone to Quantum for about an hour last night. We ran through a load of diagnositc stuff.

If anyone else is reading this or has a similar problem it was very useful to conclude that the problem had nothing to do with backup exec.

I was directed to:

http://www.quantum.com/ServiceandSupport/SoftwareandDocumentationDownloads/LTO-3Half-Height/Index.aspx

and then downloaded the storage care sage xtalk software. Once installed I had to go into services.msc and stop all of the backup exec services as well as the removeable storage service. (It is important that these don't conflict with the xtalk software)

Once that was done I put a brand new tape in the drive and then ran a full diagnostics. Sure enough, after a short while, a problem was detected and the error suggested that the tape drive needed cleaning. - Very Familiar!!.

I am now waiting on a new drive from Quantum. Lets hope that this fixes it.

0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Darksied9
ID: 22846792
Very, Very Nice.  Please let me know the outcome and I will file this one away in the memory banks.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Corbezier
ID: 22869474
Replacement drive came today from Quantum and I will be running the test tonight. Fingers Crossed!
0
 

Expert Comment

by:qualitytech
ID: 23043845
Did the new tape drive take care of your issue?  I am having the same issue with a NEW Quantum DAT72 tape drive using NEW Quantum tapes.  Switched out the tapes for Maxell DAT72 tapes and the drive works flawlessly.  Working w/ Quantum now to replace 24 tapes...
0
 

Author Comment

by:Corbezier
ID: 23045480
Yes all was resolved with a new drive but in my research for a solution I did come across others who had similar issues duw to incompatible/faulty tapes.

Seeing as I had been using the same manufacturer of tapes for 2 years I thought that this was unlikely in my case.
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