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Backup Exec 2014 - Tape Contents not shown properly for barcode library

Created: 14 Jul 2014 | 15 comments

I have an HP tape robot system with a barcode reader.  Let's say I take a tape with barcode #GP6750L6 and run a full backup to it.  I give this tape a Media Description of "2014-06-26 Full", then move this tape #GP6750L6 to Media Vault "Safe" and remove the tape from the robot and put it in our safe.  After two weeks, I rotate the tape back into the robot.  If I do a scan, tape #GP6750L6 shows up in the robot.  However, it shows up as "unknown".  It does not have the correct Media Description, nor does it show the proper Capacity numbers, nor does it show the proper contents.

I have to do an "Inventory" which actually has to load the tape and read a little bit of info from it and then unload the tape.  When I do this, the Contents, Media Description, and Capacity numbers become valid once again.

Why do I have to run "Inventory" on a tape that Backup Exec already has the information for simply by reading its barcode?  I suppose it is possible I put the tape in another backup system and did something to it, so maybe it is doing that for safety.  However, I don't have another tape system, and it is perfectly safe to make the assumption that what is on the tape follows the barcode number.  Is there some preference I can set so that a simple scan will show the tape information and contents properly?

Thanks for any replies.

Operating Systems:

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pkh's picture

This is a known problem in BE 2012. You might want to log a support case with Symantec and check with them.

Sharath Shashidhar's picture

hi pkh,

He is talking about backup exec 2014. and has this problem in BE 2012 been resolved in BE2014 cause am plaing to upgrade to 2014.

Colin Weaver's picture

We used to have the problen described in

EDIT: above link corrected

Although it was apparenlty fixed and is not exactly the same symptoms anyway.

As such formal support cases will be needed for us to investigate this new BE 2014 condition

R.M.H's picture

I currently have a customer seeing this same behaviour on BE2014 with latest hotfixes.

The tape library is a HP MSL G3 with LTO4 tape drives. As described, an inventory fixes the problem, but is much more time consuming than a scan. This functionality was previously working on 2010 R3 (latest SP).


Steven Moran's picture

In my experience with older versions of BE (like back to 10), it's always behaved like that, as though BE didn't trust the barcode as a valid identifier, but wanted to see the Media ID GUID on the tape label.  Similarly in my experience, tapes were not properly moved to the online location as well until after an inventory.

pkh's picture

In what way does BE 2010 does not trust the barcode label? Also, how do you get the Media ID GUID on the tape label, especially a barcode label?

For me, when I do either a scan our an inventory, BE 2010 always put the tapes in the correct media set

Steven Moran's picture

Arguably, at some point in the past - way before 2010 - I probably noticed that the barcode scan alone didn't get BE to fully recognize the tape (where an inventory did), and just never bothered to look again in new versions to see if they ever fixed it.   In theory, the barcode scan should be sufficient (and hopefully is, in recent versions)

I'm not aware of any way to get the BE Media ID/guid to be the "label" of the tape aside from doing it by hand, but if a barcode label is present on the tape, then BE always forces the barcode label string to be the "label" of the media within BE. 

Inventorying/scanning shouldnt have any affect on Media Set membership, just on location. 

Larry Fine's picture

Here is the technote for a BE 2014 issue.

Scan will not properly update the media information for unknown tapes

But I am not sure why you are running into this as your tapes should not be unknown.  When you bring a tape back from your vault, it should still be known to BE and in the BE database.

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

pkh's picture

See this note in the document you quoted.

Note: Unknown tapes are tapes that has not been inventoried by Backup Exec

Steven Moran's picture

Just like I said!  For years, it has seemed that as soon as a tape is no longer in an Online state, BE no longer trusts that the barcode alone is sufficient proof that the same tape has been returned to an Online state - BE only trusts it's own MediaID, which it can only see by reading the tape label.

pkh's picture

This is a problem which started with BE 2012 and it has nothing to do with your previous experience. As I said, scanning barcode labels works correctly with BE 2010.

EdHousing21's picture

This problem did exist in BE 2012 but was eventually fixed, and then reintroduced in BE 2014.

I have spent hours on the phone with tech support trying to fix this.  Apparently the issue is because you have exported to a vault and then tried to scan the tape without telling BE that it has been returned (using the configure storage > "return media from vault" option).  BE sees your tape in the vault and thinks that the tape it has scanned must be a new tape as the original is still in the vault.

This is totally ridiculous, BE should be able to scan a tape and have intelligence enough to move it out of the vault as it can't be in two places as once.

For us, the "return media from vault" option is no good for two reasons:

1.  We have hundreds of tapes that are ready to be returned from the vault.  There is no way of un-ticking all those tapes in the list and just selecting the tapes we bring back in from the off-site location.

2.  We have an external company manage our off-site tapes, we tell them how many tapes we need and they deliver tapes that have gone past their retention period.  So we don't actually know which tapes we are adding to the library until they have been imported and scanned.

We change nearly forty tapes a day, there is no way we can carry on with the manual process BE is currently forcing us down.

BE tech support say the only way this will get fixed is by raising and change request.  Can everyone suffering from this problem please do that here:


today's picture

In BE 2014, they don't even have this "Return Media From Vault" option available anywhere that I can see!  If someone knows how to do that, please describe how to do that in detail.

In my copy of BE 2014, if I try "configure storage > media sets and vaults > update vault > return media from vault option", I get stuck at the "update vault" menu being grayed out and it says "There are no media sets configured to use a vault".

I do all vault association myself by hand, using the "Move media to vault" command, and there is no way to move media to vault "None".

whatever123's picture

To return a tape to your library from an Offline vault:

Right click on an emply slot in your library

Import --> Inventory after Import

(I then get prompted to put the tape in the "portal")(and I load the tape into my I/O station on the tape library)

After a min or two, the correct tape and info are loaded again.