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How to use barcode rules to prevent accidental read/write of the wrong type of tapes

Created: 04 Mar 2012 • Updated: 26 May 2012 | 2 comments
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Suppose you have a tape library with a LTO4 tape drive and a LTO5 tape drive and you have both LTO4 and LTO5 tapes in the library.  As you are aware, LTO4 tape drive cannot read/write LTO5 tapes.  

How do you tell BE not to put a LTO5 tape into the LTO4 tape drive?

There is no way to do so if you are not using barcode labels for your tapes.  If you are not using barcode labels, you can label your tapes in any way that you want, e.g. Weekly Tape 1.  Weekly Tape 1 can be a LTO4 or LTO5 tape.  There is no way to tell from the tape label.

If you use barcode labels, then they have to conform to a certain convention specified by the tape drive manufacturer.  For example, for HP tape libraries, the barcode label must conform to the convention laid out in the document attached to my blog below

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/barc...

As you can see, the barcode labels for LTO4 and LTO5 tapes must have the L4 and L5 suffixes respectively.  With this bit of information, we can use the barcode rules facility in BE to prevent the LTO4 tape drive from accidentally reading/writing LTO5 tapes.

Setup barcode rules to prevent the LTO4 tape drive from reading/writing a LTO5 tape.

1) BE 2010 does not have a built-in media type for LTO5 tape.  You would need to add it in.   Go to Tools ---> Options ---> Barcode rules

 

 

2) Right-click on your LTO4 tape drive, select Properties and change the media type of the LTO4 tape drive to prevent it from reading LTO5 tape.

 

 

Remember we heve previously set up media type LTO[8] to represent LTO5.  The above means that the LTO4 tape drive cannot read or write LTO5 tapes.

You might want to uncheck the Write box for LTO2 tapes since LTO4 tape drives can read, but cannot write to LTO2 tapes.

 

3) This is optional because your LTO5 tape drive can read and write LTO4 tapes, but if you don't want it to do so, then set up the rule to prevent your LTO5 tape drive from reading LTO4 tapes.

 

 

You might also want to uncheck the Write box for LTO3 tapes because LTO5 tape drives cannot write to LTO3 tapes.  You can also uncheck the Read and Write boxes for LTO2 tapes because LTO5 tape drives cannot read/write to LTO2 tapes.

 

4) Go to the Media tab, right-click on your library and enable barcode rules.

 

If there is anything wrong, just uncheck the above checkbox to disable barcode rules.

 

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pkh's picture

I forgot to add that if you need to implement barcode labels, read my article below

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/u...

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pkh's picture

If you are using BE 2012, use the instructions in my article

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/s...

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