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tape drive path keeps going down

Created: 21 Aug 2012 • Updated: 19 Sep 2012 | 4 comments
liuyang's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hi, my master server is NBU 7.1 on Windows 2008 R2 SP1. We have more than 10 media servers (Windows 2008 R2 SP1, NBU 7.1). The tape library is IBM TS3310 with 6 FC drives. The tape drives are shared by all the media servers. Recently we found for some tape drives, the paths for drives for some media servers keeps going down. We also saw tape mount error in the tape library. When we manually bring the paths up, they will become down again. We tried to reboot the tape library and the media servers but still see the same error. Does anyone have any idea? Thanks in advance.

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Marianne's picture

Add VERBOSE entry to vm.conf (in Veritas\volmgr folder) on all media servers and restart Device Manager service. 
Reason for drives being DOWN'ed will now be logged to Event Viewer Application log.

Please also check System log for device errors.
You need to determine if problem is seen on specific drives.
If all media servers have problems with the same drives, you need to log a call with hardware support.

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
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Mark_Solutions's picture

One of the most common things that cause this error is tapes being in the drives

This happens when tapes are changed whilst backups / duplications are being writtent to tape

Each tape is designated its slot in the linbrary - so if a tape from slot 1 is in a drive and someone opens up the library and puts a new tape into slot 1 then the tape cannot be taken out of the drive - so it will have to be set down. This will be reported in the windows event viewer.

Use robtest to check it out - a "s d" shows the drives and those with a tape in will show which slot those tapes came from.

A " s s" will show the slots. If the slot that the tape belongs to if full then use "m d1 s2" (or as appropriate) to move the tape in the drive to an empty slot and the update the inventory so that NBU knows where the tapes are now - then the drive should come UP.

Another casue is orphaned bptm processes locking the drive path. When nothing is running check all media servers for bptm and bpbrm processes - if any are running kill them off to free the lock on the drive.

One more cause is Windows itself (all versions) as it checks the tape drives constantly and can cause rewing and lock issues which often in turn cause orphaned bptm processes - follow this technote to prevent this happening (needs a reboot - alos note that this does apply to all Windows versions):

Hope this helps

Authorised Symantec Consultant . Expert Partner.

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Will Restore's picture

We also saw tape mount error in the tape library.

Notify the library vendor and place a maintenance service call. 

Will Restore -- where there is a Will there is a way

liuyang's picture

The issue is confirmed to be hardware issue. We called the hardware vendor and they replaced the tape drives. Now the path down issue is gone.