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  • LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

    Hi all,

    We have a Dell PowerEdge 2900 running Server 2003 R2 Standard x64 as a member server in our SBS domain. The server has a Dell LTO3 tape drive connected to the SCSI controller. The server and drive are approximately three months old. We're running the latest hardware drivers, firmware and BIOS, and the operating system is up to date according to WSUS. The tape drive appears in Device Manager as "TANDBERG TS800 SCSI Sequential Device" and the SCSI controller is an "Adaptec SCSI Card 39320A - Ultra320 SCSI".

    Since last Thursday, I have noticed an error appearing in the Operator Requests section of Removable Storage under Computer Management:

    Application: NtmsSvc
    Operation: Tape Drive Notification
    Type: Message
    Description: The drive Tape- is experiencing a problem with the media <media name>. Please refer to the System Event Log for more information.


    If I look in the event log, I can see warnings from the Removable Storage Service:

    Category: None
    Type: Warning
    Event ID: 133
    Description: The drive Tape- is having read\write problems. This drive is located on Bus Number 0, Target ID 6, LUN 0 and contains the media <media name>.


    The entry on EventID.net doesn't have much detail.

    Sounds like the tape drive is failing, but while we're waiting to hear back from Dell I wanted to see if anyone else had experienced this issue and found that it was down to software? All of our tape backups complete without issue, and we can restore from them without issue but I am not prepared to leave this as it is and risk a drive failure in the near future. FYI, running a cleaning tape through the drive doesn't improve matters.

    Any more details required, please let me know.
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

  • #2
    Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

    First couple of things i would try is updating the drivers for the device and then the firmware levels of it, but it looks like your doing that already.

    Is the device internal or external?? Can you connect it to another port on the SCSI card??

    Tried a new cable??

    Does the issue happen with all media??

    Have you cleaned the heads regularly?? I usually do it once an month whether it needs it or not.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

      Thanks for getting back to me.

      Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
      First couple of things i would try is updating the drivers for the device and then the firmware levels of it, but it looks like your doing that already.
      Yeah, I checked on Thursday when we first started seeing the error and again on Friday. I've also tried uninstalling and reinstalling the drive.

      Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
      Is the device internal or external?? Can you connect it to another port on the SCSI card??

      Tried a new cable??
      Internal, unfortunately there are no other ports on the card. Changing the cable doesn't help.

      Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
      Does the issue happen with all media??

      Have you cleaned the heads regularly?? I usually do it once an month whether it needs it or not.
      It's happened with every tape we've used since Thursday, I've not had a chance to check the rest yet (we have tapes for Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday, then Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Month 1, Month 2, Month 3).

      I tried cleaning the drive (with a new cleaning cartridge) on Friday, no effect. We don't clean the drive too often as the cleaning cartridges are mildly abrasive and overuse of them can shorten the life of the drive.
      Gareth Howells

      BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

      Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

      Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

      "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

      "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

        No problem.

        Bit of a long shot but does the drive work ok in another server?? It may be something daft like a crapped out SCSI card.

        Backup software updated fully?? Windows all patched up??

        Starting to get to longshots now i'm afraid.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

          Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
          Bit of a long shot but does the drive work ok in another server?? It may be something daft like a crapped out SCSI card.
          It's possible, but we have optical drives on the SCSI chain as well which are working fine (yes, problem still exists if I swap addresses round, or remove everything apart from the tape drive). Our other server only has SATA RAID, no SCSI - it was bought on a very tight budget 3 years ago.

          Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
          Backup software updated fully?? Windows all patched up??
          Aye. Using NTBackup, so covered through WSUS.

          Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
          Starting to get to longshots now i'm afraid.
          Longshots work sometimes

          Thanks
          Gareth Howells

          BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

          Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

          Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

          "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

          "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

            Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
            It's possible, but we have optical drives on the SCSI chain as well which are working fine (yes, problem still exists if I swap addresses round, or remove everything apart from the tape drive). Our other server only has SATA RAID, no SCSI - it was bought on a very tight budget 3 years ago.
            What happens if you remove all the other devices in the SCSI chain??

            Wonders if there is something causing it to fail rather than the device being faulty.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

              "yes, problem still exists if I swap addresses round, or remove everything apart from the tape drive"

              Basically, the only devices on the chain I've not swapped out are the tape drive and the controller. I've changed the cable, removed all the optical drives (that work perfectly with the controller) and changed the device addresses, just in case.
              Gareth Howells

              BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

              Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

              Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

              "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

              "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

                Sorry bud i'm all out of ideas.

                Other than getting it tested on another server anyway.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

                  No worries, thanks for the suggestions

                  Naturally, Dell are now blaming Microsoft, Microsoft are blaming Dell, and we're stuck between a closed pub and a closed Indian restaurant waiting for them to accept it may actually be a dodgy drive.
                  Gareth Howells

                  BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                  Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                  Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                  "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                  "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

                    Don't the Dell drives have downloadable diagnostic stuff from their website? Does that show anything?

                    I've scanned the thread so if I missed this already I apologise!
                    cheers
                    Andy

                    Please read this before you post:


                    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

                      It seems they do worth a shot

                      Thanks
                      Gareth Howells

                      BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                      Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                      Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                      "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                      "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

                        Tried the diagnostics and they indicate that the drive itself is fine.
                        Gareth Howells

                        BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                        Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                        Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                        "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                        "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

                          Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
                          Tried the diagnostics and they indicate that the drive itself is fine.

                          Which if correct pretty much leaves the card on the server.

                          If you can get it into another server and test it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

                            I'm inclined to agree, after the results of Friday night's maintenance. I had the cover off to try a new SCSI cable, and while I was doing that I thought I might as well strip it down entirely (remove the PSUs and fans, etc) and give it a good blast of compressed air.

                            When we first got the server and powered on, the RAID controller was detected but the system was halted because it was detected as being in a PCI-E X1 slot, rather than X4. We had to turn it off and wiggle it a bit in the slot to get it to show up as a X4 device. We put that down to it being shaken loose in shipping. However the tiniest nudge during the work on Friday reproduced the problem.

                            Anyone with a PowerEdge 2900 or similar: be very careful when doing work inside the server that you don't accidentally knock the RAID controller. If you do, play it safe and make sure it's firmly inserted into the slot.

                            We don;t have the facility to move the card into a differnet server as it doesn't connect to a standard PCI-E slot. We're now waiting for Dell to take care of it under the warranty.
                            Gareth Howells

                            BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                            Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                            Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                            "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                            "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: LTO3 errors on x64 2003 R2 Standard

                              Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
                              I'm inclined to agree, after the results of Friday night's maintenance. I had the cover off to try a new SCSI cable, and while I was doing that I thought I might as well strip it down entirely (remove the PSUs and fans, etc) and give it a good blast of compressed air.

                              When we first got the server and powered on, the RAID controller was detected but the system was halted because it was detected as being in a PCI-E X1 slot, rather than X4. We had to turn it off and wiggle it a bit in the slot to get it to show up as a X4 device. We put that down to it being shaken loose in shipping. However the tiniest nudge during the work on Friday reproduced the problem.

                              Anyone with a PowerEdge 2900 or similar: be very careful when doing work inside the server that you don't accidentally knock the RAID controller. If you do, play it safe and make sure it's firmly inserted into the slot.

                              We don;t have the facility to move the card into a differnet server as it doesn't connect to a standard PCI-E slot. We're now waiting for Dell to take care of it under the warranty.

                              Lets all hope Dell do there jobs then

                              Good luck m8.

                              Comment

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