ArcServe failing to connect to Tape Library Error status offline

Posted on 2009-04-05
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi I have recently taken over an aging network and am encountering a problem with ArcServe connecting to the backup device - error reads status offline however Windows can detect the device in device manager ok

Device and OS
Server - Dell PowerEdge 2650
Windows Server 2003 Standard SP2
ArcServe v11.5 SP4
Tape Library
Dell PowerVault 136T
Contains SCSI -> Fibre module
Dell EMC Fibre Switch

Every now and then Arcserve is unable to detect the device - error reads status offline. To resolve this in the past I have powered off the tape library and fibre switch for about 30 minutes. Then shut down the Server and powered up the Fibre switch, then the Tape Library. Waited for the tape library to display online in the LCD display then powered up the Server. Normally ArcServe detects the device and I can use as normal. Sometimes Arcserve does not detect after a restart and I restart the ArcServe Tape service in Windows admin tools afew times before the device is detected. One other time I left all devices on over night with the status offline error and by morning the deives status changed to online without any further intervention.

There are no errors in windows, arcserve or on the tape library. The tape library is over 5 years old and Dell will not extend the warrantee however they have run a complete service and diagnostics, upgraded all the latest firmware and drivers and were unable to find any faults or errors.

At present Arcserve is showing deivce offline and I cannot run the backup. I am going around in circles restating each device without being able to resolve at the root cause. Any ideas would be appriciated.


Question by:supersaintly
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Expert Comment

ID: 24074506
I'm not sure - but, we have run several different tape libraries for years on arcserve. I've always heard that the best solution was not to install any driver for the tape library itself on the windows side - this since arcserve has its own way of communicating with the device and a windows driver will interfere.

Btw. at the moment we run linux as the backup host. Much less troubles and better throughput.

Author Comment

ID: 24074727
I have heard that aswell but have never had reason to believe it due to not having issues with other systems over many years. Nonetheless these other systems have all been HP so I have uninstalled the dell drivers for the tape library. Now Arcserve device manager is in a constant state of "initialising" and cannot find any device when I run the device configuration wizard. Restarting the server and tape service simply reinstalls the dell drivers. Do I need to reinstall Arcserve?
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 24075335
instead of reinstalling the dell drivers, try installing the generic Microsoft drivers for the medium changer and tape drive. then just 'disable' the device in Windows device manager instead of 'uninstalling'

this will prevent reinstall of drivers and also prevent any possible conflicts the drivers can cause with ARCserve.

you may want to put hte ARCserve tape engine in 'detail' mode to get more logging - which may help identify the issue. (this can be done via Server Admin - configuration...)
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Author Comment

ID: 24084271
I have implemented your suggestions but am still unable to connect to the tape library in arcserve. I disabled both the tape library and tape drives in device manager uninstalled the dell open manage admin and tape library tools from control panel as per another suggestion shut down the server and the tape library. Waited about 20 minutes powered up the tape library waited until it stated online then powered up the backup server. Went into arcserve devices and arcserve did not detect any backup device. I ran the device configuration utility but was unable to complete wizard due to no device being detected. I have also turned on detailed error for tape engine. There is one error in arcserve I was getting before I disabled the tape library in windows that states  

Error 6300
Windows NT SCSI PORT Error
Tape Engine
This error message indicates that BrightStor ARCserve Backup encountered a problem sending a SCSI command to the SCSI device.

There is no scsi device on the server and I cannot find any faults on the Tape Library itself after running self test diagnostics.

I have reenabled the tape library and tape drives in windows device manager restarted the tape library and arcserve services and now back to the initial error device offline.

Any further suggestions greatly appreciated...

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 24085394
i would suggest installing a tape diagnostic tool on this backup server and run thorough tests, you may have recieved this with the library/drives.

Dell Library and Tape Tools

Even if a library is connected with Fibre Channel, any communication is done using the SCSI protocol only.

Running a software diagnostic tool will tell you if library/drives are responding to software commands/requests or not. although you mentioned that Dell has updated firmware, etc... i still have my doubts

if error persists, the arcserve tape engine log in debug may reveal quite a lot of information.

Accepted Solution

supersaintly earned 0 total points
ID: 24102917
Hi have implemented your suggestion ran the diagnostics logged a call with Dell support and forward through. The issue has been resolved however - the last process I failed to run is the device configuration in arcserve. This returns the tape library to an online state. Managed to get a full backup last night so all is good. Thanks very much for your suggestions.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 24105228
i guess none of the suggestions helped?

anyways its good that your issue is resolved.

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