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Media scanning issue

Created: 06 Nov 2013 • Updated: 06 Dec 2013 | 13 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hi All, I have raised this issue with Symantec and not got very far with them, so hopefully someone out there has some ideas!

We are using Symantec Backup 2013 (latest version and patched), we have an attached Quantum i80 tape library.

The problem we have is that when tapes are imported they all show as being scratch tapes.  Here is an example:

Tape UN0019 was written to last week as part of our weekly backups.  The tape is now protected from overwrite for 6 weeks.  This is shown correctly in Backup Exec

After the weekly job was finished that tape was exported using the "Update Vault" wizard in Backup Exec.  As part of this the tape is physically removed from the library and taken off site.

As a test I have bought this tape back on site, and imported it from the library mail slot using the Backup Exec "Import" button.  This is how the tape appears in Backup Exec now:


As you can see it is showing as scratch media with an allocated date of today.  If I run a "scan" it shows exactly the same.

If I run an inventory on the tape this is now how is looks:


As you can see, all showing correctly now.

So what the heck is going on!!!!  Surly the tape should show correctly after a scan?  I really don't want to have to inventory every tape every day (we import around 20+ tapes every day) due to the time it takes and ware on the tape drives.

Any ideas?


Operating Systems:

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pkh's picture

This is a known problem and the workaround is to inventory, rather than scan, the tapes.  You can select the Inventory after Import option during your import, so that you do not have to do a separate inventory after the import.  See this document

sidd3009's picture

Hello Ed,

As far as I understand, when Inventory operation is performed, Backup Exec will read the tape labels. 
However, when Scan is used, Backup Exec will read the Barcode labels.

If your tape drive has barcodes, then perform Initialize and Scan operation. 

In other words, a scan only gets the barcode from the tape, it does not tell Backup Exec what is actually on the tape hence you need to inventory them at the time you change tapes. Inventory allows Backup Exec to know what is on the tapes i.e. if they could be overwritten, appendable or details about their Media Sets etc.


Siddhant Saini
Senior Technical Support Engineer, Symantec Corporation

pkh's picture

In other words, a scan only gets the barcode from the tape, it does not tell Backup Exec what is actually on the tape

This is not true.  When barcode labels are used, a scan is equivalent to an inventory.  Both tells BE what tapes are present in the library.  Scan is more efficient than inventory.

I am using BE 2010 and a tape library, and I NEVER do an inventory.  I always to a scan.

EdHousing21's picture

This is ultimately what we want to do.  The other question is why is there no "Import and Scan" option, like there is "Import and Inventory".  Once this is working we will want to do and import, then we will have to remember to go back and do a scan separately.


pkh's picture

The is no need for an import and scan. When you import a barcoded tape it is automatically recognised

EdHousing21's picture

Better and better!  I'm looking forward to this service pack now.

Thanks for your input pkh!

CraigV's picture

...actually, a Catalog would tell BE what is on a tape, not an Inventory!


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EdHousing21's picture

Thanks both for your answers.

sidd3009, if this a "feature" of backup exec or is it as pkh suggests a known issues and you are just describing the work around?

I have used a good number of backup softwares and Backup Exec is the first one that you have to inventory the tapes even though there is a barcode scanner.  Backup Exec has a database with all the media in it, so surly a barcode scan on it's own should be enough for Backup Exec to match a tape with what it has in it's own database.  I can look at the database table and see the tapes there, with the correct barcode lable and correct media pool and renention date, why can't Backup Exec?

If you genuinly do have to inventory tapes and Backup Exec is ment to work like that it is very very poor in comparison to similar products in the market, even our 8 year old NetVault software (which we reitired and replaced with Backup Exec) handled tape management comnsiderably better than Backup Exec.

pkh's picture

This problem only affects BE 2012.  Earlier versions of BE does not have this problem.

sidd3009's picture

Ed: If your Robotic Library does have a barcode scanner then the Technote( ) provided by pkh is a valid one. 

Backup Exec 2012 does have issues associated to running a Scan for barcode enabled devices.

The good news is, the issue would be fixed in the Service Pack 3 release of Backup Exec 2012(it has been tested with Service Pack 3). The tentative release date of Service Pack 3 would be the end-start of November-December.  


Siddhant Saini
Senior Technical Support Engineer, Symantec Corporation

EdHousing21's picture

So why don't they fix it???  It's nearly 2014!!!

EdHousing21's picture

Thanks sidd3009, we must have been cross posting.  That is very good news!


Aces and Eights's picture

This issue has not been fixed in Service Pack 3. I am currently running two Backup Exec 2012 SP3 (Version 14.0 Rev 1798, 64-bit) and doing a scan only updates the Barcode. I also have both servers setup with CASO, which means, from what I under stand, both servers should know about all of my media when done though CASO (it is possible I am wrong on this).

I remember having this issue when I first installed 2012 and I thought it was to be fixed in SP1 (I can't find the article that said this).

Now, if I am doing something wrong when I do the scan (selecting the slots from the tape library and pressing scan), or need to configure something, please let me know. If not, then the issue has not yet been resolved.