Video Screencast Help

Using AIT-3 and AIT-4 tapes in autoloader

Created: 13 Jan 2006 • Updated: 22 May 2010 | 5 comments

I'm attempting to set up a rotation using the 8-slot autoloader (LIB-D81). Slots 1-5 are to be used for incremental backups with 'used' AIT-3 tapes from a previous Backup Exec version (8.6) and will be overwritten. Slot 6 is to be used with an AIT-4 tape for weekly full backups. Slot 8 has an AIT-4 cleaning tape. The backup exec 10d program fails when attempting to do anything with an AIT-3 tape (import, inventory, label media, etc). Any operation with an AIT-4 tape works fine. I've attempted this with and without partitioning.

When the autoloader was first set up, AIT-4 drives were placed in every slot and labeled. I'm trying to find a use for the stockpile of AIT-3 tapes I have from the past and the daily incrementals would a good use for these.

Furthermore, along with the backup exec failures the autoloader reports error messages as well (only with AIT-3 tapes). I'm assuming this is because an AIT-3 is in the internal drive and BE is trying to use an AIT-4 format to write to it.

This question is really geared to anyone who has attempted (successfully or otherwise) using AIT-3 and AIT-4 tapes at the same time in an autoloader.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Jim

Comments 5 CommentsJump to latest comment

Ken Putnam's picture

an AIT-3 is in the internal drive

Does this AIT-3 drive accept the old AIT-3 tapes?

If so, have you tried re-labeling the old tapes on the AIT-3 drive (after verifying that compression is NOT selected), and then trying in the AIT-4 drive again?Message was edited by:
Ken Putnam

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

Jim Haas's picture

Thanks a lot Ken for the reply. Let me clarify some things.

The autoloader has a single internal drive, the Sony SDX-900V.

I want to use AIT-3 and AIT-4 tapes with this (some slots on the autoloader will have 3s in them and some will have 4s).

The sony 900V is an AIT-4 drive, but is supposed to be read/write backward compatible with prior formats, including the AIT-3 I want to use.

I have tried to re-label AIT-3 tapes with the autoloader through BE, but that operation (and all other operations on AIT-3 tapes) fail. Any operation on an AIT-4 runs fine.

I did NOT try taking off compression. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take the compression off the 900V and try inventory and labeling operations.

Interesting side note. When I look at the media types for the 900V internal drive, all AIT types show the correct compresses and native sizes except AIT-3. It shows (?m,100GB). 100 is the correct native, but the compression is unknown.

So let me try this and anyone else with experience with this please chime in! Thanks again, Jim

Curtis Kogelman's picture

According to SONY - "the LIB-81/A4 and more specifically the SDX-900V do not support AIT-3. The SDX-900V only Supports AIT-4". This came drectly from their support staff. This is rather disapointing.

Jim Haas's picture


Thank you very much for that information. I'm going to contact Sony about this. All their documentation states that this drive supports read and write for AIT-4/AIT-3 and read only for AIT-1/AIT-2. Page 7 of their docs on this drive is just one of many places that state this:

So I guess their documenation is wrong. Well at least I won't spin my wheels thinking it's a setup problem.

Thanks again, Jim

P.S. I'm leaving this thread 'unanswered' until I put a final post on this subject.

Jim Haas's picture

CONFIRMED the SDX-900V documentation is incorrect and the drive only supports AIT-4 format.

Curtis, thank you very much for pointing me in the right direction.