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BE 2012 ignoring media sets in tape library

Created: 17 Sep 2012 | 10 comments

Hi All,

I have an installation of BE 2012 SP1a running the latest patches which is connected to a Quantum tape library with 25 slots. The problem I'm encountering is that BE will, seemingly randomly, use tapes that are in a different media set than the one defined in the job.

For example, I have ten tapes in the library that span three media sets and three jobs over the weekend. Sometimes, but not always, a job that is supposed to use media from Set A will ignore the media in the library that belongs to Set A and will take a tape that belongs to Set B, move it to Set A, and use it for the backup. Obviously, I don't want this to happen so I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction as to what setting(s) I need to change so that BE will never use a tape that isn't in the specified Media Set. I do have Overwrite set to 13 days (the tapes are on a two-week cycle) but this is not the problem; my issue will still happen if overwriteable tapes in the correct set are present.

Thank you very much.

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Sush...'s picture

Go to Backup button >> Configuration and Settings >> Backup Exec Settings >> Media Management ...

Here set the Overwrite Protection Level to "Partial" and uncheck the option to Notify.



Hope this piece of Information Helps you... and if it does then mark this response as Solution....!!!

pkh's picture

In the media management settings, make sure that you have chosen "use recycleable media in target media set before scratch"

mtkinf's picture

Thank you for the suggestions. I actually tried both of your ideas but this morning I noticed that BE has again moved a tape from one media set to another on its own.

Anyone else have an idea?

lmosla's picture


Did this library work ok before? What is the name/model of the device?

Do a Power Cycle of the Tape Library.

1. Power Off the Server
2. Power off the Tape Drive
3. Power on the Tape Drive to a 'Ready' State
4. Power on the Server

Check Windows Events for System Events: Event ID's 5,7,9,11,15 These errors point to hardware errors.

mtkinf's picture


Thanks for the reply. The library has worked well since it was set up a year ago (aside from this occasional problem); it's a Quantum Scalar i40. The server and tape library have been restarted many times since then, the way that you suggest. I didn't see any evidence of a hardware error in the event viewer. Just curious, why do you think this is a hardware problem? The hardware doesn't control or configure the media sets in Backup Exec.



pkh's picture

If you are sure that there are overwritable tapes in the media set BEFORE the start of the job, then you should open a support case with Symantec, so that they can take a look at your problem.

Before you open a case, you might want to take a long shot and use BEUtility to repair the BEDB.  The BEUtility is found in the BE installation directory.

Also, check that your library is appearing in the Windows Device Manager as an Unknown Medium Changer with a Microsoft driver.  If it has a Quantum driver, you should change it to the Microsoft driver.  The Quantum library driver has caused some other problems in the past.

How to uninstall the Original Equipment Manufacturer driver for the medium changer in a robotic library so as to make it "Unknown medium changer"

How to uninstall the Original Equipment Manufacturer driver for the medium changer in a robotic library so as to make it "Unknown medium changer" on Windows 2008 Server.

mtkinf's picture

I haven't tried running the BEUtility so I will give that a shot. Thanks for the suggestion.

Colin Weaver's picture

Reading your original problem with BE taking tapes from a different media set - BE is designed to hunt for any overwriteable tape anywhere in the device when a media is needed. It will not staty within a given media set (unless it is not overwriteable) as the design is that if a backup job starts most companies would want it to have the best chance of finishing and not fail just because of no available tape.

There are rules that control the exact order of which tapes are selected for overwrite operation and when  a tape might be selected from a different media set. These rules are affected by the server and job settings within BE and the affects of the available sttings are discussed in a table in the Media Management section of the admin guide.

You can force the behaviour to specific tapes, in effect changing the definition of the device used by the job from the whole library to specific slots in the library by using library partitioning. There are pros and cons to this kind of setup however as although you cna then fix a job to specific slots in the library, if there are no usable media in those slots then the job cannot take from outside them so will fail (or at least ask for a media to be inserted) Because of this some origanisatiosn do no like using partitions and soem do.

mtkinf's picture

Colin, thanks for the post. In my environment, I absolutely do not want BE to hunt for any overwriteable tape from any media set; that's why I have media in different sets to begin with. And BE is not just pulling tapes from other media sets- it's pulling them and reassigning them to whatever media set it was originally set to pull from. This, even though there are overwriteable tapes from the desired media set in the library.

Additionally, if BE is designed to use whatever overwriteable tapes are in the library if they don't exist in the media set, then I don't think I would have this problem. Consider the following- I have two backup jobs running on Saturday. Job A uses one tape and Job B uses two. Job A is set to use Media Set A and Job B is set to use media set B. The library contains one overwriteable tape from media set A and two overwriteable tapes from media set B. Last weekend, Job A, which runs first, took a tape from media set B, assigned it to media set A, and ran the job on that tape. The backup was successful. So now Job B, which requires two media, only has one available tape in media set B. Job B starts backing up on the remaining tape in media set B, runs out of space, stops the job, and prompts me to insert media. If BE's design is to use any available overwriteable media like you said, then it should have reassigned the available, overwriteable tape from media set A to media set B and finished the backup. If I'm understanding you correctly.

Again, this is not a persistant issue; it only happens about one time every two months so it works correctly about 7 out of 8 times. Given the other headaches after upgrading to BE 2012, I can certainly live with that if I have to.