problem LTO4 troubles on Windows 7

Tearabyte

What is this storage?
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
11
#1
Hi -

I'm trying to set up an Ultrium 4 Quantum drive for use on a Windows 7 x64 machine, but running into issues.
I'm new to using LTO, so forgive any newbie ignorance here!

I keep getting error 6, and two different backup utilities (novabackup and EaseUS Todo Backup) are failing tasks.
When I try to do a backup with EaseUS, it tries for a bit, then the error code 6 appears on the drive and I get the error "please insert writeable media". When I try to do a backup with Novabackup it fails and says "error writing to the media during backup" ("error fffffffe") I get the same error with 3 different tapes.

This external drive was previously connected to a linux server and worked for several years, so I don't think the drive is defective. I'm hoping it's something with my configuration?

My setup:
Motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme11
LSI SAS 9200-8e HBA card
Ultrium 4 external tape drive, model # TC-L42AN

At first glance is there anything wrong with this setup hardware wise? Any known incompatibilities or red flags?
The BIOS and Windows both see the LSI adapter. And Windows sees the tape drive in Device Manager. For both devices the status is "this device is working properly". The LSI card has the driver that came with it (bought 2 days ago), and the tape drive has the latest driver from Quantum installed.

The drive is in an external enclosure which has a sticker that says model number TC-L32BN, which sounds like an LTO-3 enclosure. I don't know if this is unusual. This drive was given to me so it's possible someone upgraded the drive and kept an old enclosure. I would immediately have suspected that as a problem, but Windows sees it as Quantum LTO4 tape drive. As I said, this same external drive has been running totally fine on a linux server for years.

I found a thread on storageforum.net that says if the tape drive makes a lot of noise, it could be that the data throughput is too slow, causing errors. The tape drive is indeed being noisy, rewinding/clicking/searching a lot. I wonder if something about the configuration is not providing the drive with enough bandwidth?

Are there any utilities I can use to diagnose the drive, the read/write speed, in order to better understand the problem?
This is new territory to me. So if anyone has any knowledge on the issue it would be a big help!

Thanks!
 

Tearabyte

What is this storage?
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
11
#3
Thank you. I will try StorageCare Diagnostics now. When you say, "stored improperly", can you point me to some guidelines/do's and don'ts? Yesterday I tried one LTO3 tape and two LTO4 tapes and they all behaved similarly. All 3 tapes were stored at room temperature in a dry place, though two were not in their boxes (just sitting on a shelf). The third one was in its box.
 

Tearabyte

What is this storage?
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
11
#4
I'm running StorageCare Diagnostics now. Here is what I'm getting. It reported errors very early on in the process (output log below):
It's definitely acting up but the error is pretty general... or maybe I lack the knowledge to know what it really means.



xTalk Version 6.7.0.0

____________________________________________________________

Start: 09/26/2016 13:55:04
Device: QUANTUM ULTRIUM 4 PW0940AMJ50133 0:0:9

Device_Health_Check
____________________________________________________________

Ready Test
No Problem Detected
____________________________________________________________

Record Drive Settings
Current Compression Status = Enabled
Current Compression Mode 0 == Full SCSI control of compression
No Problem Detected
____________________________________________________________

Drive Detection Test
Drive Type:Ultrium 4 HH
No Problem Detected
____________________________________________________________

SCSI Interconnect Test
Write/Read Pass @ 10 of 100
Write/Read Pass @ 20 of 100
Write/Read Pass @ 30 of 100
Write/Read Pass @ 40 of 100
Write/Read Pass @ 50 of 100
Write/Read Pass @ 60 of 100
Write/Read Pass @ 70 of 100
Write/Read Pass @ 80 of 100
Write/Read Pass @ 90 of 100
Write/Read Pass @ 100 of 100
No Problem Detected
____________________________________________________________

Drive Information Report
Drive Type ---------------- : Ultrium 4 HH
Drive Serial Number ------- : PW0940AMJ50133
Media Changer Present ----- : No
Vendor ID ---------------- : QUANTUM
Product ID ---------------- : ULTRIUM 4
Product Revision Level ---- : 2210
Product Family ------------ : 800.0 / 1600.0 GB
Servo FW Revision --------- : 4509
Power On Hours ------------ : 700
Tape Motion Hours --------- : 298
Load Count ---------------- : 79
Cleaning Tape Count ------- : 2
Last Clean ---------------- : 0

Time Error Error Description
=======================================
298 Hours 03/09/00 "Track following error The servo is unable to follow the servo tracks. May be media or hardware related."
298 Hours 03/09/00 "Track following error The servo is unable to follow the servo tracks. May be media or hardware related."
298 Hours 03/50/00 "Write append error A Write type command failed because the data append point was unreadable."
298 Hours 03/09/00 "Track following error The servo is unable to follow the servo tracks. May be media or hardware related."
298 Hours 03/50/00 "Write append error A Write type command failed because the data append point was unreadable."
Report Complete
____________________________________________________________

Quick Write Read Test
Setting compression on
Setting variable block mode
Rewinding
Write 2 4k blocks with random data and 2 filemarks...
Write 2 file marks
Sense: CC: 03 ASC: 50 ASCQ: 00 = "Write append error A Write type command failed because the data append point was unreadable."
Problem writing 2 file marks
Problem Detected
____________________________________________________________

Small Buffer Write Read Test
Setting the compression on
Setting to variable block mode
Rewinding
Write 1 32k block of FFs...
Rewinding
Rewind operation failed
Sense: CC: 03 ASC: 09 ASCQ: 00 = "Track following error The servo is unable to follow the servo tracks. May be media or hardware related."
Problem Rewinding
Problem Detected

At this point I stopped the test, as it suggested.
Any ideas on how to narrow this down?
Thanks for any help!
 

Tearabyte

What is this storage?
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
11
#5
Since the error messages say that either the drive is faulty or the media is bad, I've ordered two new tapes, one LTO-3 and one LTO-4, and will run the tests again when they arrive to try and narrow it down. However if you see anything bogus with my configuration (known incompatibilities for instance) let me know if I'm wasting my time here.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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#6
I have a Quantum changer connected to a similar LSI controller that I use with a Windows Server 2012r2 machine. I'm sure the software side of your config is fine.

Tapes need to go in cases. You don't want them contaminated by humidity or air pollutants. Keep them out of sunlight and at human-livable temperatures. You should store them on their side, not parallel to a surface. Do you have a cleaning tape? When was the last your drive had a cleaning tape used?
 

Tearabyte

What is this storage?
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
11
#7
I do have a cleaning tape and used it a couple days ago when I first had the issue. The tape cleaning process seemed to go fine, in that it ran, the tape was eventually ejected, and the drive didn't display an error 6.
Thanks for the tips on storing tapes. These tapes were laying flat unfortunately, and also 2 of them were not in cases.
My next move is to test the new tapes I ordered. If that doesn't work, I guess it'll be narrowed down to the tape drive.
When you say 'the software side of your config is fine' - is that implicitly saying you also feel this hardware setup can and should work?
My plan is to get an LTO-6 or 7 drive. The idea was to test the whole setup with this LTO4 drive first, since I'm new to this. But if the drive gives me trouble I might just have to jump straight to buying a new one...
 

Tearabyte

What is this storage?
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
11
#9
I have no way to determine the state of your hardware.
Of course - I don't mean to ask whether the hardware is in good state or working order, I'll have to determine that myself by elimination. What I meant was, I wonder if combining this particular motherboard + this LSI HBA + this LTO drive goes against any known incompatibilities. But I believe you've already answered that.

I just tried the diagnostics tool again with a brand new tape.

I get this error:

Sense: CC: 03 ASC: 50 ASCQ: 00 = "Write append error A Write type command failed because the data append point was unreadable."


Also these:
Time Error Error Description
=======================================
298 Hours 03/50/00 "Write append error A Write type command failed because the data append point was unreadable."
298 Hours 03/09/00 "Track following error The servo is unable to follow the servo tracks. May be media or hardware related."
298 Hours 03/50/00 "Write append error A Write type command failed because the data append point was unreadable."
298 Hours 03/09/00 "Track following error The servo is unable to follow the servo tracks. May be media or hardware related."
298 Hours 03/09/00 "Track following error The servo is unable to follow the servo tracks. May be media or hardware related."


And then the tape drive has error message "6" again on the front panel.

At this point I think I'm going to have to shell out the $2500 for an LTO 7 drive and hope I have better luck with a new drive!
 
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