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  • Free tape backup software?

    Is there anything out there for doing tape backups for free that isn't NTbackup?

    I have a small client with tape drives and due to various things, they refuse to upgrade to something like a USB drive or pay for backup software.

    I have them set up with NTBackup, but it only seems to work about 80-90% of the time. When it fails it gives absolutely no reason why. The backup log is blank and there is nothing logged in event viewer. You can run the backup on command and it works just fine, I tried setting the timer to a minute away and it works just fine, but when I set it up to run overnight, it fails.

    If no, is there a way to test the drive/media through NTBackup to make sure the tapes are good? I thought I read NTBackup checks the media on insertion, but something has to be failing here.

  • #2
    Re: Free tape backup software?

    Originally posted by Kayden View Post
    Is there anything out there for doing tape backups for free that isn't NTbackup?

    I have a small client with tape drives and due to various things, they refuse to upgrade to something like a USB drive or pay for backup software.

    I have them set up with NTBackup, but it only seems to work about 80-90% of the time. When it fails it gives absolutely no reason why. The backup log is blank and there is nothing logged in event viewer. You can run the backup on command and it works just fine, I tried setting the timer to a minute away and it works just fine, but when I set it up to run overnight, it fails.

    If no, is there a way to test the drive/media through NTBackup to make sure the tapes are good? I thought I read NTBackup checks the media on insertion, but something has to be failing here.
    Have a look at the manufacturer's guidelines with regards to tape cleaning and how often they can be used before requiring replacement. If they are due one, it may then be more cost effective and cheaper to go down the USB HDD route.

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    • #3
      Re: Free tape backup software?

      The tape drive has barely been used and they are using new tapes. Well, freshly opened tapes. I don't know how long they've actually had them.
      Originally posted by Virtual View Post
      Have a look at the manufacturer's guidelines with regards to tape cleaning and how often they can be used before requiring replacement. If they are due one, it may then be more cost effective and cheaper to go down the USB HDD route.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Free tape backup software?

        Any info you can give us on the make & model of the tape unit? If a manual backup is working then is sort of rules out the tapes and tape drive as being the culprit.

        Have you tried changing the backup to a different time?
        How have you got the backup scheduled, script or NTBackup's Scheduler?
        The backup log might not reveal anything but what about the Event Viewer?
        Which operating system are you using?
        1 1 was a racehorse.
        2 2 was 1 2.
        1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
        2 2 1 1 2

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        • #5
          Re: Free tape backup software?

          The Event Viewer shows nothing. This is an XP machine. The model of the tape drive is a STT3401A. They said both the Tuesday and Wednesday backup failed. I had them manually start the scheduled backup and with the Tuesday tape they got an error message saying:
          Place media 'Media created 2/25/2009 at 10:00 P.M. -1' into drive or library unit.
          Computer: HOST - User: Administrator

          However, the Wednesday tape started fine, but I haven't talked to them since they started it.

          The backup is just a scheduled task setup through NTBackup with /UM added to the end. I've set it to occur a few minutes in advance and it always works. I run it manually and it works. There are two exceptions: the previously mentioned one and once when we were testing over the phone, it was asking for a specific tape, but I thought she had just failed to put the tape in quickly enough (similar message.) They're about 2 hours away and I can't just pop in to look.

          It occasionally fails at night when no on is there watching it. I know it starts because the log is created at the start time, but it's blank.

          She just got back to me and said that the backup she started and the scheduled one for last night both worked.

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          • #6
            Re: Free tape backup software?

            could be a media retention issue ?


            how many tapes in your rotation schedule ??
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            • #7
              Re: Free tape backup software?

              I believe 6; M-Th and alternating Fridays. I was led to believe that the /UM switch made it backup and replace anything without prompting.

              Originally posted by tehcamel View Post
              could be a media retention issue ?


              how many tapes in your rotation schedule ??

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              • #8
                Re: Free tape backup software?

                Originally posted by Kayden View Post
                I believe 6; M-Th and alternating Fridays. I was led to believe that the /UM switch made it backup and replace anything without prompting.
                http://www.ss64.com/nt/ntbackup.html

                Scroll down and it has info about the /um switch
                1 1 was a racehorse.
                2 2 was 1 2.
                1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                2 2 1 1 2

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                • #9
                  Re: Free tape backup software?

                  Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
                  http://www.ss64.com/nt/ntbackup.html

                  Scroll down and it has info about the /um switch
                  /um (Windows 2000 only)
                  Find the first available media, format it, and use for the current backup.
                  Use with the /p switch to scan for available media pools.
                  This command is only for standalone tape devices (not tape loaders.)
                  The /UM switch must be at the end of the command line.
                  As I recollect, it is at the end of the line and is being used with the /p switch. If the /p switch was set incorrectly, wouldn't it fail all the time instead of randomly? I believe they're all they same size/type in the same pool. Is the /p switch required; I can't tell from that description.

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