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Symantec Backup Exec 2010 - Replacing the Old tapes with New ones

Created: 25 Jul 2013 • Updated: 28 Jul 2013 | 13 comments
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Hello folks!

I am NEW to the world of Backups with almost no experience. I have to look after a small backup infrastructure and i wont have the time to go through the Administrator's Guide anytime soon.

My backup setup is as following:

  1. Symantec Backup Exec 2010 running on Windows 2003 R2 Server.
  2. HP Storageworks 1/8 Tape Library (with 8 slots).

I have never performed anything on a Tape Device before and I am looking at the Backup Exec Administrator's console for fairly the first time.

How the backup is configured and what i need to understand is as follows:

  1. Our NAS Server is configured to perform a full backup every Thursday night to Slots 6/7/8 on the Tape Device.
  2. On the BE Console > under Devices > I see Slot 6/7/8 are completely used (Media Full) and they are also set to NOT overwrite.
  3. As a result of the point mentioned above (2) the full backups have been failing for the past 2 weeks (its what i Understand but correct me if i am wrong).
  4. I do have NEW Tapes lying in the inventory. So i think replacing the Tapes in slot 6/7/8 should be a good idea.

Can anyone please suggest which direction do i go from here ? I would like to take those Tapes out (6/7/8) and put in the new ones but i understand its not as simple as replacing a Disc in a Music System :-).

I really do need this done urgently.

Thanks a LOT !

Operating Systems:

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CraigV's picture


1. Unlock the library from within BE.

2. Pull out the magazine and remove the tapes.

3. Put in the new tapes.

4. If the tapes have a barcode, run a Scan job. If not, run an Inventory job.

It really is that easy, and they can be used if overwritable.


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Siddhant Saini's picture

The first thing that I need to know is if you'd like to retain the data written on those tapes(considering that the there hasnt been a successfull backup since two weeks). 

Based on the configuration you have, I assume you have configured Partitions. If possible, please set an a retention period (Overwrite Protection Period and Append Period) to the Media Set associated to the backup job. Ideally, based on the retention period, the tapes in the slots should be overwritten/appended.
Refer to An explanation of the "Overwrite Protection Period" and the "Append Period" :

Since now the tapes are showing as 'Media Full', you could move them to scratch media and start the backup jobs.
Note: I'd suggest you to keep a copy of the last full backup job that ran successfully before associating the media to Scratch Media Set. 

You could also add more slots(Slots 5, 4, 3..1) to this partition incase if they are not being used by any backup jobs. 

You may refer to the following link to get more details on Configuring Partitions:

As far as removing tapes from slots using Backup Exec is concerned, you need to ensure that your Robotic Library has a mail slot. If it does, then you need to select the slot and click on Export(located on the left, under Media Tasks section). You may refer to the following link to get more details on this:

Thanks and Regards,
Siddhant Saini

Mac1983's picture

Hi Craig and Sidd. Thank you for your quick response.

  1. I performed an Export Job on Slot 6. (I'd like to replace the tapes on the 3 slots one at a time)
  2. The job completed and now under Devices in BE Console, Slot 6 is labelled as <unknown media>
  3. Now do i need to perform a "Software Eject" somewhere within the BE Console or do i need access to the HP Tape Device to Eject the Media ?

As i said i have zero experience with this thing so please go easy on me :-)

CraigV's picture

1. Unlock the autoloader from within BE.

2. Use the autoloader's front OCP to unlock the right magazine. Pull it out and remove the tapes. Replace the tapes and run a Scan/Inventory...


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Mac1983's picture

Thanks Craig for being patient with me !

I was able to remove the Right Magazine - take out the Tape from Slot 6 and put in a NEW one.

Now back in BE Console how do i get it to recognize the Tape ? Import or Inventory ?

Thank You !

CraigV's picture

Inventory...importing involves pulling the tape from a designated mail slot into a magazine slot. BE won't recognise the tape at all unless you do an Inventory which can be done on the slot itself.


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Mac1983's picture

Thanks Craig!

  1. I performed an Inventory within BE. The media came up under Devices.
  2. I gave the Media an appropriate Label.
  3. Moving on - the Media did contain previous form 2009. I decided to erase it so performed a quick erase.
  4. Quick erase completed and now the Media is Listed as "Scratch Media".
  5. Is the device now ready for backups or are there More configurations involved ? 
  6. FYI - The Tape device is still in Unlock mode within BE

Thanks !

CraigV's picture

...great! You can either lock it agani through BE or let it run a backup which should do so automatically!


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Mac1983's picture

Thank You Craig !

You have been very helpfull today.

I am beginning to understand the BE Console much more clearly now. Have created 2 separate Media Sets and have allocated Slots to them.

Hopefully the Jobs would run succesfully over the weekend!

Thank You Again.


Mac1983's picture

Hi Craig / Fellow Members

I configured a Backup Job to run during the weekend. The Job is configured to backup a small NAS Server.

  1. The backup was targeted to a Media Set containing 3 Tapes of 400 GB each.
  2. The 3 tapes are in Slots 6, 7 and 8 respectively.
  3. The Media Set has an Overwrite Protection of 27 Days.
  4. The Media Set has an Append Period of 2 Days
  5. The Job started on 25th July at 21:00 hours and the Tape from Slot 6 was mounted.
  6. On 26th July at 09:09:00 hours the log file states a "Drive and Media Mount Requested". What I understand according to this log entry is that Slot 7 was never mounted after Slot 6 was full.
  7. Under Devices Slots 7 and 8 show up as "Not Appendable" while slot 6 shows up as "Not Appendable (Media Full)".
  8. I am struggling to understand that if the Append Period is 2 Days and the Job started on 25th July at 21:00:00 hours , why was the Tape from Slot 7 not mounted on 26th July at 09:09:00 (as per the log).

If i have made a configuration error - can someone please point it out to me ?

Thanks a Lot !

Kunal.Mudliyar's picture

This is because as per the media mangement rule

If the job spans to 2 tapes

The 2nd tape has to be an overwritable tape , even if the 2nd tape is ready to be appended it wil not pick it up it wil only pick up a scratch tape or an overwritable tape

Before running the backup job make sure you have enough of such tapes in the slots

Technical Support


Mac1983's picture

Hi Kunal. Thank you for your response.

Let me see if i have understood what you're suggesting:

  • I have three Tapes in 3 Slots that form a Media Set.
  • According to you I should remove overwrite protection on the Media Set if i want the backup to Span across these 3 tapes/slots ?
  • If the above is true - at what point does BE start overwriting the Tapes ? Is it after the full backup is complete and the next scheduled job starts the following weekend which means it will treat the 3 slots as 1 Block ?

Thanks a Lot !

Kunal.Mudliyar's picture

As you have started the same discussion in

I have responded there.

Thank you

Technical Support