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IBM tape library TS-3100 get offline randomly once in a month

Created: 30 Apr 2012 • Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | 19 comments
Noor Shaikh's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Dear All

I am using backup exec 2010 R3 in windows server 2008 64 bit. with IBM tape library TS3100. My all scheduled backup jobs runs very fine but once in a month tape gets offline and we manually restart tape libraray . we also checked this issue from IBM no error found there.

Please guide.


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AmolB's picture

When the device goes offline do you see any alerts in the alerts tab of BE or any error messages

in the Windows Event Viewer.

CraigV's picture it during a specific job? Or just randomly once per month?

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Noor Shaikh's picture

No alerts generated or error messages shown in windows event viewer


CraigV's picture

...I don't think this is a BE issue. BE would take the drive offline all the time if there was an issue with the software.

Update the firmware on the library, make sure you're using the SYmantec drivers, and that the robotics shows up as: "Unknown medium changer" in Device Manager.

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Noor Shaikh's picture

yea i think so but want to confrim because after getting live BE we faced that issue after 3 months, before that everything was fine.


AlistairR's picture

Is the tape library direct attached - sas/scsi/fc? Do you have a FC switch in between - Brocade/IBM rebadged brocade  fc switch on earlier versions of fabos have an issue with portcfgfillword setting (make it 3).  Always recommend fixing any negotiating port speeds and protocols, also fixing library address etc...

Tape drive normally goes offline in TS with a handling error - stuck tape or dodgy hand - has been fixed in firmware versions so definitely worth checking those on both robot and drives. I had a similar issue which was fixed with firmware updates. If it goes down running the same tape - definitely recommend freezing it out of the cycle and see if the problem goes away.  All the previous advise says this but just wanted to qualify it. You may have to keep meticulous logs to spot a pattern.

Good luck! 

Daniel E S's picture

FWIW, I wanted to add that I have this exact problem.

I have a ts3100 with two drives, and i have the necesary options installed (two tape drive license, etc) and every now and then, one of the tape drives went offline.

I upgraded to 2012 (which is now the very latest with all hot fixes as of today) and this didn't resolve the issue, the only thing that would was a hard reset.

But then it got worse and worse to the point where it stayed offline. So i got IBM to swap the drive. Now im having the exact same problem, but with the actual library bit (so the interface shows a library with two drives underneath it - the library is red).

So now im working through how to fix this. Symantec guided me to the device manager and pointed out that the hardware isn't listed in here, and i've been installing various IBM and Symantec drivers with no luck, so am about to call IBM (but if anyone has further advice then please do share!)

pkh's picture

If a device does not appear in the Windows Device Manager, BE will not be able to use it.  You got to get IBM to fix this problem.

Daniel E S's picture

yeah, as per my post, i thought as much. interesting that it used to work...

ManikandanPC's picture

If it is disappearing from OS, its not a problem with BE. Please check the firmware and all windows supported patches installed.

CraigV's picture

...this has been mentioned multiple times already; no need to repeat. wink

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Phill McSherry's picture

I have found that the tape library will also lock up if you have a backup job with the eject option enabled.

Also if it is disapearing from within Windows, you might want to check the configuration of the TS-3100 and make sure its not set to sequential

Larry Fine's picture

If a device is going offline, please look in the bottom of the adamm.log for details.  The SCSI dump should give some clues.

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

Daniel E S's picture

something is telling me, and it's just a hunch, but if the hardware isn't appearing in the Device Manager then it's not a BackupExec problem. But just to be sure, i'll wait for more people to post exactly the same comment so that it sinks in.

My goodness. I thought the Apple forums were bad...

Thanks to those who had useful posts.

Nigel_the_Nerd's picture

I had a similar problem with a SAS connected TS3100, with 2x HH LTO5's. With BE 2012. It worked fine on Win2k3, but when I tried to use it on the 2K8 R2 Ent box, it initially worked, then started going offline on one drive.

This is how I got it working:

I was using a 3GB/s SAS card in the server, so I swapped it with a later model 6GB/s card - (stopped going offline but still not writing any data), upgraded all drivers in the TS3100, uninstalled from device manager, unplug TS3100, reboot server. Uninstall tape and virtual tape drive options from BE. Reboot server. I had a 4 into 1 SAS cable, 1 SAS plug into server, splitting into 4 into back of the TS3100, start with cable labled "SAS0", plug into lowest SAS ID on TS3100, in my case SCS3, ID0, plug "SAS1" into SCSI3, ID1, SAS2 into SCS5, ID0, SAS3 into SCSI5 ID1. power on TS3100, reboot server. Ensure device detected in windows, and drivers are Microsoft for tape drive and medium changer. Symantec say to only use Symantec drivers, but this worked for me.

Reinstall Tape and Virtual library options in BE, reboot server. After an hour of "Discovering devices" everything came up and started working.

It seems a little tedious, but it took me six weeks of fiddling until I got to that point.

Good luck!!

rendersr's picture

I know HP has a tool called HP Library and Tape Tools.. Perhaps IBM has something like this also.

I have a strong hunch this is hardware related and not software. I would perform a hardware test in first case (normally HP LTT in my cases), upgrade the firmware and test everything again.


rendersr's picture

Did you get it solved? If yes, please share :)

Daniel E S's picture

rendersr - if your question is to me, then yes I did - our switch zoning was incorrectly configured by the company that implemented it (this is way back in February). The part that had me stumped was that this did in fact work for a while back in march, but then stopped. Now that the zoning is fixed (in fact, we directly connected it instead), it works fine.

To reiterate - my issue was a FC zoning issue, correcting the zoning configuration fixed it.