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Adding old tapes to library

Created: 03 Jan 2013 • Updated: 09 Jan 2013 | 9 comments
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My co-worker is adding old LTO3 tapes to a tape library. The tapes have a different bar code layout then the system there being added to. The system sees this and freezes them. My co-worker then unfreezes the tape and runs a long erase, to clear the bar code off the tape. He also unchecked the box on the confirmation pop-up. After that we can then use the tape to backup.

We have Netbackup 7.1 running on a Windows 2008 R2 server, connected to a library with 2 LTO3 drives.

Basically the questions I have is these. Is there a better or faster way to do this? Can we change the bar code without doing a long erase? Is there a way to add the erase to the backup policy? Is there a way to run a command on the command line?

Note - Background info. The LTO3 tapes have a 8 digit bar code on them and Netbackup only uses 6. The old tapes are from a different and old setup on a different network, that use the different selection of 6 digits from the 8 on the tape.

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Andy Welburn's picture

Presuming these are 'new' to this installation, just use the label facility in the GUI  (or bplabel command) & uncheck the "Verify media label before performing operation" box.

Mark_Solutions's picture

If the old system only knew that the tapes had 6 digits on the barcode and the new knows them to have 8 then you can change the barcode in NetBackup using:

vmchange -barcode ABC123L3 ABC123

Should be easy enough to script for all old tapes

Of course if the old system was a bit of a mess and showed the media id as C123L3 then that is what is writtent to the tape header and so you will need to overwrite them

A bplabel will be much quicker than an erase as you only need to overwirte the header

You should also delete all of the old tapes from NetBackup to keep things tidy

Again, for a bplabel you should be able to script it easy enough, just add the -o switch so that there is no overwrite prompt

As always ---- make sure that there is no valid data on any of these tapes before erasing or labelling them!!!

Hope this helps

Authorised Symantec Consultant . Expert Partner.

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

cyberninja's picture

Thanks for replying Andy Welburn.

Where exactly is the "label facility in the GUI"?

We right clicked on the media and clicked on label and unclicked "Verify media label before performing operation" box. Is this what you where talking about? If this is it, this is a lot quicker.


cyberninja's picture

Thank you,

We are changing  the header on all the old tapes using the GUI.

cyberninja's picture

All looks good, we still need to do a write to make sure all is working.

Andy Welburn's picture

As long as the label without verify went thru' without issue you should be ok.

With unwritten/new tapes the first backup job to use the media writes the label & this is checked on subsequent mounts so there is no need to 'manually' label them. (***EDIT*** altho' in NB4.5 days or maybe early 5.1 I remember we had some issues with new media also, & so for a while we *did* manually label all new media, just to be safe)

For tapes that have been previously used in a different environment, you can end up with a mis-match as you've already found if the label written to the media does not match what NB is expecting

e.g. expecting media ABC123 found media ABC123L3 .... freezing media etc etc.

cyberninja's picture

Thanks for the help.

My co-worker is still testing. I thought there might be a better way to do it then the way he was doing it. I suggested he move the tapes that don't need to be tested to a new pool so the backup job will take the old tapes for backups.

By the way the new Netbackup wants ABC123 and the old setup used CB123L3.

After my co-worker does a backup on the old tapes I will mark your answer the right one.

Mark_Solutions's picture

As i pointed out earlier as the old configuration was not great (CB123L3) then the lable is the way to go

So make a note of all the old one (highlight them all - Ctl-C - then paste into excel) and delete them

Put all of the new ones into the DataStore volume pool (reason below)

Then you can re-label them all.

If you pop the media ID column from excel into a text file, named label.txt and drop this into a label.bat file it will do it all for you (edit the installation path and media server name and density to suit - the below is all in one line apart from the pause):

for /f %%a in (label.txt) do "c:\program files\veritas\netbackup\bin\admincmd\bplabel" -m %%a -d hcart3 -p DataStore -host mediaservername


Hope this helps


Authorised Symantec Consultant . Expert Partner.

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.