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Windows 7 and SCSI Tape Drive

Posted on 2013-06-11
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Last Modified: 2013-06-21
Trying to get this to work for a client.  

Win 7 Pro, 64 bit.
Adaptec SCSI Card 29320 LPE PCI-express card (Ultra 320)
Tandberg 3505-LTO Drive

Win 7 sees the SCSI card (under storage controllers) but the tape drive is not listed anywhere.  
There is power to the tape drive (power light is on, pulls in a tape, ejects it)

I have downloaded updated drivers for the drive, but adding devices to Win 7 has been hugely dumbed down from previous versions.  You can no longer say "Other device" and choose drivers.  You also used to be able to right click on an INF file and choose INSTALL, and that would install the drivers.  That comes back with an error.

What else should i be testing and trying to make this work?  Does Adaptec have some sort of "SCSI Bus Scanner" Windows GUI that would tell me what is attached?

I will greedily accept any input!

Thanks.
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Question by:dougp23
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by:dlethe
ID: 39239917
You can do ALT-A , or CTRL-A, (can't remember) from the POST and ask the adaptec to scan. You should tell the card to scan for all LUNs just in case.

Also check to make sure speed is AUTO, and you have proper termination.   If the BIOS doesn't see the target, no point worrying about device drivers ... because this has nothing to do with windows until the BIOS sees the device.
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by:dougp23
ID: 39250710
Well this is a cheapo Dell Vostro 260.  I don't see any POST messages, I did try pressing CTRL-A, and it hanged.  

Windows does boot, and the card is listed there.  The cable does not have a terminator on it, but I thought that the termination was built-in.  Probably not!!

I am going to find a terminator and see if that does any good.

Thanks!
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dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 39250826
termination is required at both ends.  No post message usually means the card is bad or not getting enough power, and you can have a card that is bad but still shows up in windows.

Also improper termination won't prevent it from showing up in the POST.

Just for grins you might also unplug your HDD/CDROM/DVD drive power temporarily fora test to see if post shows up. This will tell you if your cheapo power supply isn't the culprit.   But you really do need to have it show up in the BIOS.

I do not think it is possible to prevent a working 29xxx card from showing up in the POST message.
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by:dougp23
ID: 39254906
Good ideas guy!  The Adaptec card is brand new, and  I tested it in a server, so it should be fine.  I can't get a straight answer from Dell on how to see POST messages.

I like the idea of unplugging the CDROM and see if that frees up enough power.  I will def try that!

I will let you know how it goes.  Thanks for the assistance!
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by:dlethe
ID: 39254927
You can go to adaptec.com and download the adapter PDF manual. It will tell you the key sequence.  Maybe it is possible to turn it off, just saying I've never had the need to look that up, and I've been using Adaptec SCSI cards since the early 80s with their 2904 and MS-DOS.
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by:dougp23
ID: 39257176
Let me ask another question.  I have a server and it has a SCSI card which interfaces to a port on the RAID array housing, where all the hard drives plug in.  The SCSI cable has exactly two connectors, one for attachment to the card, and one for attachment to the RAID array housing.  Seems like I wouldn't need a terminator for this cable?
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by:dlethe
ID: 39257389
Not necessarily.  SCSI requires termination. Period.  Some enclosures and adapters have a way to automatically terminate, some don't.  No way to know w/o reading specs.

In general, SCSI enclosures do not automatically terminate, because you might want to daisy-chain, and if they automatically terminate their side then you can't.

You're just going to have to look at the enclosure documentation.
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by:dougp23
ID: 39259244
Thanks dlethe.

I noticed the card says it has "Automatic Termination", so my thinking is I need a terminator after the tape drive.  I now have such a cable.  However, the fact that I couldn't do CTRL-A to get into the SCSI card BIOS seems to tell me something else is going on.  The vendor confirms that CTRL-A *is* the keycode to enter BIOS.  Might be power.  God, I hate those Vostros!  I may wind up giving the client an older PC I have for free just to close out this issue with him.

I am doing more testing tomorrow, so I will let you know where it goes!  Then I will close the question and give you the points.

Thanks.
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by:dlethe
ID: 39259310
Disconnect everything from the adaptec and unplug the hdds in the pc (to give you more power).  If it still doesn't give a post message, then either it is bad card or bad slot.  If it comes up then suspect is power.
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by:dougp23
ID: 39266378
Used the cable with the SCSI connector and it's all good!

Thanks for the help!
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