IBM Ultrium tape drive
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Thread: IBM Ultrium tape drive

  1. #1

    IBM Ultrium tape drive

    Hello,

    Does anyone have any experience with one of these that could help me troubleshoot a problem - or know where I can find assistance with one.

    I can call IBM, but I hate sitting on hold waiting for their techies...

    The issue we're having is; whenever we insert a tape it loads it, goes to ready status, waits about 30 secs, then unloads it and ejects it...

    Before someone says, have you ran a cleaner cartridge - Ultrium drives are self cleaning as every tape has a 'cleaner' portion on the beginning of the tape (Or so I've been told)...

    Any help is appreciated, thanks -
    RRP

  2. #2
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    I couldn't find too much in ways of the drive rejecting the tape...

    Are the drivers loaded?
    What OS?
    What application are you trying to backup with?
    Are you using the correct tapes?

    http://ssddom02.storage.ibm.com/tech...f/support/3580 is the support page I think. I'm not sure which model you are using.

    You may have to buckle down and call support... unfortunately.

    I hear ya on the not wanting to call support. I hate the long hold times and most of the time they don't resolve the problem. They just send you new hardware or software and then you start all over again.

  3. #3
    I believe you may be right, I think I'll need to 'buckle down' and call support...

    Although I'm starting to believe that the people here telling me that it dosen't need a cleaning tape ran are smoking something funny... I've never 'personally' seen a magnetic tape drive that didn't need cleaning, and IBM specifically lists a part # for a cleaning tape...

    So at this time I'm guessing that to be the issue, and will probably just give in and call IBM support in the morning to confirm my guess.

    And as quick answers to your other questions, incase it helps you or someone else answer this question before then:

    - IBM 3580 Ultrium drive
    - Drivers are loaded, been using the drive for a year now without this problem
    - Using AIX UNIX ver4.3.3
    - Problem occurs without any backup being attempted, but using a combination of 'tar' backups and Sysbak ver5.1
    - Yup, using IBM supplied tapes that came with the drive (same tapes as been used for year)

    Thanks again for the help,
    (that stupid page doesn't have crap for trouble-shooting tho, unfortunatly)

    RRP

  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Although I'm starting to believe that the people here telling me that it dosen't need a cleaning tape ran are smoking something funny... I've never 'personally' seen a magnetic tape drive that didn't need cleaning, and IBM specifically lists a part # for a cleaning tape...
    I've never seen a drive like this that didn't need cleaning either...

    Most of them will have a clean light on the front telling you when it needs cleaning or the software will tell you...

    Cleaning of magnetic tape drives
    Unlike most other options that can be attached to a PC or to an Intel-based processor server, such as fixed disks, magnetic tape drives do require periodic cleaning by the user. It is the user's responsibility to be aware of this requirement and to provide the necessary supplies to perform the required cleaning. Cleaning is not difficult, however, failure to perform this simple task will cause tape backup failures and possible loss of critical customer data. The documentation provided with the specific tape drive provides the necessary information about cleaning and obtaining the required cleaning supplies.

    The frequency of cleaning will vary depending upon the following: local environmental conditions, age, quality of the tape media, and other factors. For example, a dusty warehouse environment or locations with heavy pedestrian traffic may require cleaning more often than office environments with minimum pedestrian traffic and a well-filtered air-conditioning system.

    Proper cleaning is a major factor for reliable tape operation.
    http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview...f-8&lang=en+en

    Oh, Just a FYI...

    We had a tape drive that hadn't been cleaned for about as long as yours... almost a year. It turns out that the sensor was malfunctioning and never notified the operator. The tape drive broke and needed to be replaced. Since then, I've taken over that job and I've cleaned it at least once a month, sometimes twice a month. I've been using the same drive with no problems for about 2 years. Just keep it clean and happy.

    Never hurts to have a spare though...

  5. #5

    There are cleaning tapes

    I have been working with Tivoli Storage Manager running on Win2K for almost 2 years now. 1 year ago, we migrated from a IBM Magstar 3570 tape library (which is really a dinosaur!) to the IBM 3584 Ultrium LTO library. Backups really fly now!

    And yes, there are Ultrium LTO cleaning tapes.

    I load the cleaning tape in manually (using the library controls, not TSM) every 6 months, just to be safe. I have never looked up what the recommended tape cleaning frequency on these drives is, but so far so good. The only problem I have ever had was when 1 of my tapes was eaten by the drive. I had to call IBM out to disassemble the drive to remove the tape. The drive was fine after that!

    So, try getting a cleaning tape for the Ultrium and load it, see if it holds.

    Also, does your Ultrium tape drive have the red LED display? If so, what number does it have on it? 0 or something else? The numbers codes do mean different things. I know you can look them up at the IBM Redbook site located here.

    But yes, you will probably need an IBM engineer. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Thanks again everyone...

    Got a cleaning tape on order, and found the manual via PDF so I have it running a r/w dianogstic now...

    I did find, as mentioned by you helpful peeps, it does for sure require a cleaning cartridge - but supposedly it won't let you even load a cleaning tape unless the front display shows a 'C' - which it doesn't - so not sure what it is yet...

    But - the dianostic should let me know...

    Thanks all,

    RRP

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