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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?
2 Solutions
I doubt there is a fix. Sounds like your auto loader is failing.

Recommendations. Move to a disk based backup. You can use removable drives etc. to get the backups offsite. There are many cloud based solutions available as well.

Without having a second auto loader to test with makes this difficult to troubleshoot.

If you are running on windows servers be sure to have volume shadow copy enabled on your data drives so you can quickly restore from deleted files.
Bladey001Author Commented:

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.
Robert SaylorSenior DeveloperCommented:
Sounds like media is the problem. I use to be one of the few tape experts at IBM. I don't work there anymore, moved on...

From my past experience if the arm is working and your backup's are getting an error on a piece or multiple medias it could be a couple of items:

1. If you have bad media it can contaminate the other media when the bad media goes into the drive then that gets transferred to other media. Dirt, particles, etc. Tape drives does not like dirt at all.

2. Your drive could be at fault. If you contact HP then will ask you to pull a log from the drive. Most of these drives require a special CD or software to pull the hardware log. The HP tech would then analyze the log for signs of media and or hardware failures. If it's media then you have bad tapes. If it's hardware then your LTO 3 drive needs to be replaced. LTO 3 you can most likely find on ebay if out of warranty.


1. Remove and mark all suspect media.
2. Clean the drive with a new cleaning tape 2 or 3 times.
3. Use diagnostics on your web based management client to move the arm. Most auto loaders has some type of web based management.

If you can:

1. Remove all media from the system.
2. Clean the drive
3. Insert 2 or 3 brand new media and monitor the backup's. If the error goes away with the brand new media get ride of the old. DO NOT KEEP IT. That's is the #1 source for repeat failures.

-- Robert Saylor
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Thomas RushCommented:
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.
Bladey001Author Commented:
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.
Gerald ConnollyCommented:
Don't run the cleaning tape more than a few times, they are very abrasive and will cause premature head wear if overused.
Thomas RushCommented:
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?
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