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Backup Exec 2012 Tape Media Label and Description

Created: 25 May 2012 • Updated: 15 Jun 2012 | 23 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.


I have problem with LTO3 tape media labels and descriptions in Backup Exec 2012. If I manually edit Media Description (Right click on tape media), everything works. But after backup job writes to this tape, Media Description is deleted.

The same problem is when I tried "Label Media", but it would be enough just Media description for me....

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Luckyson's picture

I don't understand... I need to have Media Description on each tape. But after any backup on these tapes the Media Description disappeared....

Larry Fine's picture

Media description is cleared whenever a tape is overwritten, erased, etc.  The Media Description should not be cleared by an appending backup.

If you find this is a solution for the thread, please mark it as such.

Biker_Dude's picture

This has been confirmed an issue in BE2012 with overwrite backups only.  It does not occur if you append to the media.  If you open a call with Technical Support they can escalate it for you.  Otherwise it will be addressed in an upcoming driver release.

pkh's picture

I think this behaviour of the Media Description field not being preserved has been observed for a few versions of BE prior to BE 2012.  Most users have given up on using the Media Description field.

Luckyson's picture

So that doesn't exist any way how to preserve Media Description in BE2012 ? This issue si also with using LABELs ?

pkh's picture

When you label a tape, the label is preserved until the tape is re-labeled.  Note that when you re-label a tape, the contents of the tape is deleted.

If you are using barcode labels, then you cannot re-label the tape.  The internal label will always follow the barcode label.  The tape would automatically be re-labeled to match the barcode label when it is next overwritten.

Biker_Dude's picture

The behavior with the Media Description field resetting, after the media is overwritten, is working by design, in BE2012 and has been for years in previous products. 

As for the Media Label field it inherits the bar code label, if a bar code is affixed to the media AND the tape library has a bar code reader.  If you do not have a bar code label affixed to the media AND your tape change supports non-bar coded media, then this field will get reset too upon an overwrite.

After discussing this with development, we've decided this will not be changing after all.  The workaround is to re-populate these fields after the tapes are overwritten.

pkh's picture

Thanks for confirming what I said previously.

dkafuf01's picture

I would like to see an option added to BE 2012 that the media description is not cleared when being overwritten by the same media set.  I know the media description was not being overwritten in BE 2010. 


Luckyson's picture

I agree.... We upgraded from BE 2010 and there was not this problem !

ikmit's picture

I haven't seen this happening before BE 2012 and was hoping it was a bug that would be fixed in an update.

E.g. a tape with label 000035 has description "Week rotation #2", the description disappears with every overwrite. Seems odd that we would need to keep a spreadsheet for managing descriptions for each tape, by design.

Will BE ship with an Excel license in the future? smiley

pkh's picture

Why do you need to keep track of which backup is on which tape?  BE keep track of this information.  When you restore from a particular backup, BE will be able to find the correct tape.  

Luckyson's picture

I need to know what tapes are inserted in the drive from BE 2012 console and be able to check whether Overwrite protection is OK and others......

I tried to solve the problem with Symantec and here is the result:

pkh's picture

In your case it might be easier to use the label field, rather than the media description field.  You can label your tapes like "Weekly1", etc, rather than the numbering scheme that you are using.

Luckyson's picture

No, the situation with LABEL media is the same as with MEDIA DESCRIPTION, after any backup to media LABEL is reseted to bar code number placed on tape and MEDIA DESCRIPTION is deleted.....

pkh's picture

I thought you are using a stand-alone tape drive.  If you are using a library with barcode labels, then you should let BE and the tape libary manage the tapes for you.  If you have set the OPP and AP correctly, everything is o.k.  BE will overwrite the correct tape.  You can check the expiry of the OPP when you click on the tape.  If you have not set your OPP correctly, then you are in trouble.  You would not be able to prevent BE from using the tape.  I think you are over-working the problem. 

dkafuf01's picture

For myself, it is alot easier to work with a Media Description then with barcodes or numbers.   Again, I only ask that an option be added to the product to NOT delete the Media Descriptions on Overwrites, within the same Media Set.  

Colin Weaver's picture

This might help

By Default any Media Description applied to Tape or VTL media in Backup Exec 2012 will be removed during any form of Overwrite Operation. A method to change this behaviour is available by registry modification.

Warning: Incorrect use of the Windows registry editor may prevent the operating system from functioning properly. Great care should be taken when making changes to a Windows registry. Registry modifications should only be carried-out by persons experienced in the use of the registry editor application. It is recommended that a complete backup of the registry and workstation be made prior to making any registry changes

1) Use Regedit to locate

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Symantec\Backup Exec for Windows\Adamm

2) Within the ADAMM key create a REG_DWORD value called


3) Set the value data to 1 to maintain the media descriptions during overwrite operations (default behaviour would be set the value data to 0)

Colin Weaver's picture

Note I am in the process of trying to clarify why we seem to have information stating you can't change the behaviour vs information stating you can using that reg key. As such it might be that even though that reg key was planned to be in BE 2012 that for some reason it did not make it. As such please feedback if it works for you.

BTW the research where that reg key came from was based on a 2010 R3 VTL media losing the descriptions reported issue, as such this is not specifically a 2012 issue.

EDIT1: Also you might need to do a service restart to activate the change.

EDIT2: I just tested it - no reg key = description removed, with reg key (and a service restart) = description maintained.

EDIT3: Link for article