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Backup Exec Uses a second tape even though the first one is not full.

Created: 20 Nov 2013 • Updated: 04 Dec 2013 | 6 comments
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I have Windows 2003 Server RS running Backup Exec 10d and have data around 300GB but it doesn't take the backup in one tape (LTO3). Before it used to work fine and takes the backup upto 375-380GB but now after 190-200GB it requires another tape. Any idea what could be the reason??

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CraigV's picture


Check the compression on the tape. If the backup job doesn't get enough compression to fit onto 1 tape (ie. 1:1 now where it used to be 1.5:1 for example), then the job will automatically span onto another tape.


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Jaydeep S's picture

Also check if the Tape device is using Symantec drivers and latest firmware..

Larry Fine's picture

How do you know the first tape is not "full"?  Does BE show the tape status as " media full"?

A status of "media full" is subtlely different than "it doesn't hold as much as I think it should".  I suspect you have a clogged tape head in your (possibly fairly) old LTO3 tape drive.  Unfortunately this is not easy to diagnosis, the best way is to turn off compression and fill a tape up and see what the numbers are.

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pkh's picture

You may be backup files which are already compressed like zipped and movie files, sound clips and pictures.  When you compress files which are already compressed, you would probably end up with more data than when you started.  See my article below

To test whether your hardware compression is working, create a directory and fill it with text files.  Backup this up and you should see good compression ratios if your hardware compression is working.

amshaikh's picture

Thanks for help guys. I found the problem with the tape drive. Tape head was clogged and due to this reason tape was unable to take the backup completely.

Larry Fine's picture

You are welcome.

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