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Backup Exec 2010

Created: 07 May 2012 | 8 comments

Hi All,

I'm constantly getting the error of "a tape read/write error has occured" (

Here are the specifics:

- Windows Server 2008 Standard SP2

- Symantec Backup Exec 2010, Media Server Version 13.0 Rev. 2896 (64-bit)

- Old tapes used for differential always work fine, no errors

- Slightly used tapes (used for full/differential backups once or twice) receive the above error

- Brand new tapes receive the above error

- Tried using two different brands of tapes

- Used a tape cleaning cartridge to clean the tape drive

I've read up about this error and it said if it's not the tape drive that's dirty, it may be because of the hardware, cables, etc. -- however, the backups work fine when using the older tapes, so it wouldn't have anything to do with the hardware.

We have old (1-2 yrs) tapes from full backups, and I've tried using those tapes as well, but I receive the same error.

I tried a newer driver for the tape drive, but the same error comes up for the new/slight used tapes. It's hard to believe it's something to do with the tape drive hardware, cables, internal, or software since I'm not getting this error for all of the tapes I use.


Comments 8 CommentsJump to latest comment

Keshav Pathak's picture

Are you facing this issue on a Backup Exec Appliance or a normal Backup Exec media server? 

The issue appears to be hardware specific but we will need check the event logs for any hardware related error entries. Running VxGather and gathering BEdiag for Backup Exec can also provide some clues about the error. Please copy the System event log entries on the thread, check if you are getting event ID's 9,11 which are hardware event specific. Please provide some more details on the errors in System Event logs and paste contents of ADAMM.log if possible.

dlozpa's picture

Hi Keshav,

System logs are not showing much information during the time of the back ups. Please let me know if you want me to email them to you, rather than including info in this thread.

Here is "part" of the ADAMM.log from the past couple of days:

[3084] 05/24/12 14:30:47.030 Adamm Log Started! ("NOAH2010", 1000, {87B29B7D-313A-42DA-AC78-679C0E06A0FA})

Adamm Info: Version 13.0, Build 2896, 64bit

OS Info: Windows Server 2008, Build 6002, Service Pack 2

Database Driver Info: SQLSRV32.DLL, 06.00.6002
Database Server Info: Server Name = "NOAH2010", Active Node = ""
Database Connection String: "DRIVER=SQL Server;SERVER=NOAH2010\BkupExec;DATABASE=BEDB;App=BEWS PVL"

DateTimeSync: Local = 2012/05/24 14:30:47, System = 2012/05/24 18:30:47 GMT, Database = 2012/05/24 18:30:47 GMT

Shared Storage Authorization: No
TSM Authorization: No
SPO Installed and Authorized: No
SPO Limited Installed and Authorized: No
Library Expansion Options: 0
VTL Options: 0

[3084] 05/24/12 14:30:47.101 Not adjusting max system cache file size.

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.102 Waiting on PDDE service start
[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.102 Error waiting for PDDE service to start: 1060
[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.103 PDDE service has not started; continuing...
Treat all LTO devices as if they are in UMD certified device list: DioAllLto = 0x0001
Use UMD certified device list: DioDrivers = 0x0002

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.413 Read Device Records - start

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.471 Read Device Records - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.740 iSCSI Discovery - start

iSCSI initiator software version 6.0.6002

No persistent iSCSI target logins are set up

No iSCSI target mappings discovered

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.837 iSCSI Discovery - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.838 Registry SCSI Discovery - start

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.889 Registry SCSI Discovery - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.889 Device Name Discovery - start

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.913 Device Name Discovery - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:47.913 B2D Discovery - start

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:48.019 B2D Discovery - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:48.019 USB/Firewire Discovery - start

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:48.021 USB/Firewire Discovery - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:48.021 Iomega REV Discovery - start

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:48.023 Iomega REV Discovery - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:48.023 Read NDMP Server Records - start

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:48.080 Read NDMP Server Records - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:48.080 Read OST Server Records - start

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:48.112 Read OST Server Records - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:48.112 DeviceIo Discovery - start

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:50.385 DeviceIo Discovery - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:50.385 DeviceIo Devices:

Scsi Address
Prt :Bus :Tar :Lun   Attributes
-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0002:0000:0001:0000  DeviceIo[01]: "QUANTUM ULTRIUM 4       PW0752AMJ50140", Cert=Y, "\\.\Tape0"

-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:50.388 Device Registry:

Scsi Address
Prt :Bus :Tar :Lun   Attributes
-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0002:0000:0000:0000  "LSI_SAS", (Port Driver)
0002:0000:0001:0000  "QUANTUM ULTRIUM 4       2170", (Tape Device), "\\.\Tape0"

-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0003:0000:0000:0000  "3wareDrv", (Port Driver)

-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0004:0000:0000:0000  "nvstor64", (Port Driver)

-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0005:0000:0000:0000  "nvstor64", (Port Driver)

-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0006:0000:0000:0000  "nvstor64", (Port Driver)

-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0007:0000:0000:0000  "iScsiPrt", (Port Driver)

-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:50.388 PnP Device Paths:

Scsi Address
Prt     :Bus     :Tar     :Lun       Device Path
-----------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------------------

00000002:00000000:00000001:00000000  \\?\scsi#sequential&ven_quantum&prod_ultrium_4#5&35400672&0&000100#{53f5630b-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}

-----------------------------------  ---------------------------------------------------------------

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:50.460 Read Device Inquiries - start

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:50.461 Device: \\.\Tape0

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:51.154 Read Device Inquiries - end

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:51.154 Serialize Devices:

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:51.204 Device Discovery:

Scsi Address
Prt :Bus :Tar :Lun   Attributes
-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0002:0000:0001:0000  Device Name             "\\.\Tape0"
                     Secondary Name          "\\?\scsi#sequential&ven_quantum&prod_ultrium_4#5&35400672&0&000100#{53f5630b-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}"
                     Primary Inquiry         "QUANTUM ULTRIUM 4       2170"
                     Serial Number           "QUANTUM ULTRIUM 4       PW0752AMJ50140"
                     Device Flags            UMD, SCSI, SN(TYPE 0)
                     Device State            3, Online

                     Device IDs              1003, {C064FE87-97E2-430A-9248-818393DDC2EC}
                     Device Name             "QUANTUM 1"
                     Device Type             134283265, "LTO 64K (64K,10,0,E,HU)"
                     Device Features         0x005BFA7F: PB,SFB,SRB,WFM,SFF,SRM,PEOD,EL,LU,E,SBS,DC,SDC,TA,HU,RR,W,EN
                     Device Element          0, 0
                     Device Block Limits     512 min, 1048576 max
                     Device Hard Errors      65 write, 7 read
                     Device Soft Errors      26703180 write, 8849 read

-------------------  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:52.295 Start Rsm Support:

[3244] 05/24/12 14:30:52.327 Device Discovery End:

CraigV's picture


Are the tapes from the same manufacturer? It might also be worth your while to upgrade to BE 2010 R3. You're able to use your current licenses with it; the upgrade is free and pretty painless; and R3 fixes a number of issues over previous versions.

Just make sure you load the latest R3 service pack, and any subsequent patches. Also make sure that the Symantec drivers are the latest.

Try that, and report back with an update.


Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

dlozpa's picture

I have tapes from two manufacturers (Quantum and Sony). The Quantum ones were the original ones and have always worked up until this point. I started using the Sony ones because at one point, they were not getting the "dirty tape" issue, so I bought more, but the same issue is happening to the Sony tapes. I use a mixture of both, but both are having the same problem.

Thanks for the suggestino for R3, I think I will install it. I had a hard time finding the right one though, but I'll take another look. I'll let you know how it goes.

KevinP's picture

Are you using Deduplication by any chance?

Also, when you put the tapes in, and inventory them, check the "appendable until " column in the device view for the tape drive or library.

Before you format or erase the tapes.

If there is some additional comment to the effect of End marker reached..... then the tape may be orphaned.

The only way I have found around this is to do a long erase on the tape or tapes in question.

I have only had this happen if a tape job hangs in the middle of the backup to tape and cancelling won't effectively kill the job. Or if the server reboots or the BE services get stopped or restarted while jobs are running.

By the way the same thing happens on the Deduplication media as well should this happen during a dedup process.  Handling the dedup media is very different than a tape though.


dlozpa's picture

No, not using dedup.

Some say "Not appendable (end marker unreadable)", but I've noticed those too and stopped using them. Others say "Not appendable (Media full)".

I've tried long erase on a random tape, but that didn't work.

I mentioned in my original post that I get this error on brand new tapes as well, straight from the packaging.

Thanks for the comment.

pkh's picture

Usually when the tape drive have dirty head problems despite of it being just cleanse, it is a sign that the hardware is faulty.  You should run the manufacturer's diagnostic utility against the tape drive.  Make sure that you select the write test and that you stopped all the BE services beforehand.

Biker_Dude's picture

It sounds like you can easily reproduce this issue.

It would be helpful to capture the problem with tracer.exe.  This is a software based hardware analyzer that ships with BE.

The following Technote explains how to use tracer.exe:

With a tape known to cause this issue, run a short backup to it with tracer running in the background.  Following the Technote to analyze the tracer output looking for a check condition, which is an error produced by the tape drive.  Or, attach the output to this thread so that we can take a look at it.