HP LTO Tape LTT Diagnostics

Hi all, I have an old LTO4 tape drive that is giving off some errors in the Drive Assessment test.

Its out of warranty, and I'm not sure if I should bother trying to get it fixed.

It does work, but very very slowly, and also only fits around 50% of its capacity onto a tape.

I have the report below, does anyone have a good idea on whether this is worth fixing?

version: V23.03.2012
Firmware rev W62D is up-to-date for Ultrium 4-SCSI as of Mon Oct 3 19:00:00 2011.
There were 19 rules and 131 subrules checked.
Device Analysis has checked the historical information and no problems were found.
Results of tests on this drive:
1.8 m/sec. tape speed:
Data written: 3018.0 MB Metres of tape used: 309.7 Data written per metre: 9.7 MB
Effective capacity: 53.8% Limit: 80.0% Margin: -100.0%
Channel variation: 26.6% Limit: 25.0% Margin: -6.3%
2.1 m/sec. tape speed:
Data written: 3007.4 MB Metres of tape used: 338.3 Data written per metre: 8.9 MB
Effective capacity: 49.4% Limit: 80.0% Margin: -100.0%
Channel variation: 35.0% Limit: 25.0% Margin: -39.8%
2.5 m/sec. tape speed:
Data written: 3021.1 MB Metres of tape used: 353.5 Data written per metre: 8.5 MB
Effective capacity: 46.1% Limit: 80.0% Margin: -100.0%
Channel variation: 43.0% Limit: 25.0% Margin: -72.1%
2.8 m/sec. tape speed:
Data written: 3021.1 MB Metres of tape used: 366.4 Data written per metre: 8.2 MB
Effective capacity: 44.4% Limit: 80.0% Margin: -100.0%
Channel variation: 47.6% Limit: 25.0% Margin: -90.4%
3.1 m/sec. tape speed:
Data written: 3021.1 MB Metres of tape used: 376.3 Data written per metre: 8.0 MB
Effective capacity: 43.1% Limit: 75.0% Margin: -100.0%
Channel variation: 51.7% Limit: 25.0% Margin: -100.0%
3.5 m/sec. tape speed:
Data written: 2265.8 MB Metres of tape used: 294.2 Data written per metre: 7.7 MB
Effective capacity: 41.3% Limit: 75.0% Margin: -100.0%
Channel variation: 38.1% Limit: 25.0% Margin: -52.5%
3.9 m/sec. tape speed:
Data written: 2264.3 MB Metres of tape used: 318.4 Data written per metre: 7.1 MB
Effective capacity: 38.3% Limit: 70.0% Margin: -100.0%
Channel variation: 42.1% Limit: 25.0% Margin: -68.3%
4.2 m/sec. tape speed:
Data written: 2223.3 MB Metres of tape used: 342.5 Data written per metre: 6.5 MB
Effective capacity: 35.5% Limit: 70.0% Margin: -100.0%
Channel variation: 46.3% Limit: 25.0% Margin: -85.2%
forward direction:
Data written: 9759.3 MB Metres of tape used: 1324.8 Data written per metre: 7.4 MB
Effective capacity: 40.0% Limit: 75.0% Margin: -100.0%
Channel variation: 89.7% Limit: 25.0% Margin: -100.0%
reverse direction:
Data written: 12082.8 MB Metres of tape used: 1374.5 Data written per metre: 8.8 MB
Effective capacity: 48.3% Limit: 75.0% Margin: -100.0%
Channel variation: 1.8% Limit: 25.0% Margin: 92.8%

Overall drive margin: -100.0%
Worst-case margin (reverse direction): -100.0%
Worst-case channel variation margin (forward direction): -100.0%
The LTO Drive Assessment Test has checked the history and operation of the selected drive, and problems have been reported. The drive is no longer recommended for use. Please contact hp support for further assistance. Test time: 25:02 Failed
LVL 11
dekkarAsked:
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andyalderConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It could be dirt or bad tape but the head's probably failed, we paid £250 about 4 years ago to have our head replaced.
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TechProphet617Commented:
The first thing that comes to mind, is when is the last time a clean job was run? IF it was run recently, and you are still having problems, try various new, known-good tapes and run the test again.
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dekkarAuthor Commented:
Im beginning to think its the heads.... or one particular head..... Ive run clean jobs, new tapes..... nothing seems to make any difference.

I guess I was curious to see what those numbers should look like.....
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andyalderConnect With a Mentor Commented:
On a working drive there isn't a minus sign in front of the 100.0% , it's tiny as far as the font and eyes are concerned but huge as far as the data on that tape is concerned.

Your backup is one hundred percent uncompliant, the "un" isn't that east to spot, but margin=-100 means it's dead, margin=100 means it should be working.
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TechProphet617Commented:
In case it isn't a hardware issue, though likely given the age of the drive, have you tried to find a newer firmware for the drive and for the attached host/HBA adapter itself?also upgrade the HBA drivers. Have you tried a different Fibre cable? Also, have you tried attaching the drive to a different host?
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dekkarAuthor Commented:
Its a U320 card...... with no new drivers/firmware since around 2007..... The SCSI card is much older than that drive.

Either way, Ive already sent it for repair..... thanks for the help.
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