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Backup Exec 2010 - Backup to Tape - Hardware error

Dear Experts

Our company hasn't used tape backup for a while and i'm trying to get this going again. I'm experiencing an issue however and the errors don't give me much to go on.

Backup Software: Symantec Backup Exec 2010 R3
Tape Drive: HP StorageWorks 1/8 Ultrium 960 Autoloader
Firmware: Latest version
Drivers: Using Symantec drivers
Tapes: LTO-3

So for example i put 8 tapes into the Autoloader, did a quick erase on all the tapes. Ran the job and it got as far as 786GB before failing. Retried by erasing the tapes and running the job again and it reached 1.4TB before failing again

After the job failed i did an inventory and some tapes show as Not appendable (Media Full) and a couple show as Not appendable (End marker unreadable)

Backup Exec just reports that there is an error E00084ED - A Hardware error occurred.
In the event log there are the following errors: 33152, 57665, 34113

Can someone help me resolve this?
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dbaideme

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Hi,

We already use backup to disk. We're trying to get a copy of that data onto tape :)

We also use volume shadow copies as well so we're covered on that front too.

Unfortunately we don't have a second tape drive, although the one we have is fairly old. It would be great if i could somehow prove that it was definitely the autoloader causing the fault, at least that way i could present a case for purchasing a new one.
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I absolutely agree with pgm.   Download and run HP's free Library and Tape Tools from his link.  You can test the tape drive, autoloader, and the tape media to see if they're healthy or not.
I've installed the HP Library and Tape Tools. Run the test and it passes.

I guess next thing to try is as rsaylor suggested, running a new cleaning tape through and some new tapes. If not it's looking like a new autoloader.
Don't run the cleaning tape more than a few times, they are very abrasive and will cause premature head wear if overused.
Library and Tape Tools has different modules.  One will test the tape drive, another will test the tape media.   Which specific tests did you run?  Can you post the test output here?