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Thread: Tape Drive?

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    Tape Drive?

    The PC used like a server at a friend of mine's business took an electrical hit yesterday. Fried the PSU and mobo, and scrambled WinXP. Replaced the PSU and mobo, and couldn't even salvage Windows with a Repair install, so did a parallel install to a new directory.

    Have one problem. The old mobo had 2 IDE controllers, with the HDD and CD/DVD-writer on one and a Seagate tape drive on the other. Because this PC has to be back in service this morning, I had to buy a mobo with only one IDE controller, but with SATA. The writer had the drawer face snapped off anyway, so I replaced it with a SATA drive, then put the HDD and the tape drive on the IDE controller. BIOS shows the HDD as Master and the tape drive as Slave, but when the PC boots, it reports it can't find a system disk. Disconnecting the tape drive removes this error.

    I haven't worked with tape drives in years, so I'm looking for help. Does this thing have to be on its own controller? If so, I can pick up a PCI-based controller card today (shop where I bought everything else last night didn't have any). Or am I overlooking something that would allow both devices to run on one controller?

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    Re: Tape Drive?

    Better experts than i will respond , hopefully, with better advice.

    I had a similar situation about 5 years ago, my solution was to put the tape drive on another IDE controller as master. The manufacture had provided advice for additional updated BIOS and device drivers, but this did not work.

    One option i would try today, although slower, put the Tape drive in an external enclosure (IDE connection) and attach to computer through USB port.
    Scott

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    Re: Tape Drive?

    >> I had a similar situation about 5 years ago, my solution was to put the tape drive on another IDE controller as master. The manufacture had provided advice for additional updated BIOS and device drivers, but this did not work. <<

    I bought a PCI-card IDE controller today and installed it. When the PC boots, the drive is seen just after the normal stuff. Device Manager shows no problems, but the Seagate TapeWare program's diagnostics says no drive is found, and TapeWare itself shows the drive with a yellow exclamation mark, like Windows shows problems in Device Manager. No clue whether the drive was damaged by the same lightning strike that took out everything else, or it's just a configuration issue.

    >> One option i would try today, although slower, put the Tape drive in an external enclosure (IDE connection) and attach to computer through USB port. <<

    Interesting idea. I wonder if the TapeWare software can even deal with USB devices. Seagate exited the tape drive business years ago, and I had no luck in the Knowledgebase of the current vendor, Quantum.

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    Re: Tape Drive?

    >> ... Device Manager shows no problems, but the Seagate TapeWare program's diagnostics says no drive is found, and TapeWare itself shows the drive ...

    I presume when the system was re-built that everything else was the same except for the new motherboard (i.e. same peripherals, OS, basic applications, etc.) ?

    Since the Tape Drive worked with the old motherboard and appears to be having problems with the new motherboard, I have to wonder if an updated driver or firmware update is not needed for the Tapeware application (or update to tapeware program).

    Device Manager verifies basic communications between motherboard and device. <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29> The device drivers and firmware allow the device and sotware applications to <img src=/S/chatter.gif border=0 alt=chatter width=38 height=16>.

    It is possible the lightning strike scrambled the firmware, is there any error code with the Tapware program, or just the yellow exclamation point ?

    You also did not mention the age of the old system, model number of the tape drive/tapeware program. One place to look is the IDE cable. Using an older 40 wire cable versus 80 wire cable can slow communications between the device and motherboard (although a new device requiring 80 wire IDE may not work with 40 wire cable).

    <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>
    Scott

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    Re: Tape Drive?

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by IMNetUser on 25-Jun-08 08:24. Corrected spelling.)</P>>> Interesting idea. I wonder if the TapeWare software can even deal with USB devices. Seagate exited the tape drive business years ago, and I had no luck in the Knowledgebase of the current vendor, Quantum.

    Theoretically this should work, the problem is you need to verify the device works BEFORE putting in the external enclosure or you may go <img src=/S/nuts.gif border=0 alt=nuts width=15 height=15> trying to track down issues. You are correct the Tapeware needs to be able to find USB devices. The system I helped repair several years ago did not use Tapeware, if memory serves, we used a commercial backup program. i will have to find out and let you know.
    Scott

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    Re: Tape Drive?

    John,

    You never mentioned the version of tapeware you were using or which Seagate Tape drive.

    The system I worked on had a Seagate Travan tape drive with backup software. We did use the backup software that came with the drive.

    Stupid question, have you verified the how the device is configured (Master, slave, Cable Select) ? I do remember one odd experience when we tired CS (Cable Select) where the MB saw the device, but Windows 2K and the application did not. We re-configured as Master on IDE cable with one device (Tape Drive). For CS to work, I believe the answer then was getting the correct cable to use CS Mode on the device (do not remember) <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
    Scott

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    Re: Tape Drive?

    Scott,

    >> You never mentioned the version of tapeware you were using or which Seagate Tape drive. <<

    The BIOS reports the drive as a Seagate STT20000A. TapeWare is TapeWare XD, ver. 6.x

    >> The system I worked on had a Seagate Travan tape drive with backup software. We did use the backup software that came with the drive. <<

    I didn't bother checking out TapeWare, to see what it could do, since it isn't seeing the drive. We did confirm with the customer management software folks yesterday that their program has no backup capability, so some other program was being used to back it up.

    >> Stupid question, have you verified the how the device is configured (Master, slave, Cable Select) ? I do remember one odd experience when we tired CS (Cable Select) where the MB saw the device, but Windows 2K and the application did not. We re-configured as Master on IDE cable with one device (Tape Drive). For CS to work, I believe the answer then was getting the correct cable to use CS Mode on the device (do not remember) <<

    In the "old" PC, the tape drive was on the secondary IDE controller by itself, so I assumed it was jumpered as Master. I installed it with a new IDE cable that either came with the mobo or the PCI IDE controller card I had to install. I kept all the old cables, though, so I can compare them to the new one, if necessary. And also check how the drive is jumpered (after a 20-mile drive).

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    Re: Tape Drive?

    Ideally the tape drive should be on its own cable/controller. Every time I call in a tape backup issue one of the first things I am asked is if the tape drive is on its own cable or if it is sharing with a cd-rom/dvd drive. That may not be a critical issue, but I would at all costs (if possible) avoid using it on the same cable/.controller as a HDD.

    I've found in the past that Cable Select is pretty much useless in many situations - using Master/Slave still works best if there is any question. And if using CS, definitely use the end connector on the cable, and NOT the middle (slave) connector.

    Definitely update the firmware and if you are using an after-marked backup product (Symantec Backup Exec, for example) see if the software vendor has specific drivers for the tape drive being used.
    I had an issue with failing backups that stretched out over a couple of months when it finally was "discovered" that Symantec was not compatible with the Seagate tape drive (Travan) being used; replacing the tape drive with another model (and going from IDE to SCSI) resolved the problem. If the drive had worked in the past, then that is likely NOT an issue, but there are compatibility issues between some backup packages and certain tape drives.
    Have a cookie -

    Don

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    Re: Tape Drive?

    >> Ideally the tape drive should be on its own cable/controller. Every time I call in a tape backup issue one of the first things I am asked is if the tape drive is on its own cable or if it is sharing with a cd-rom/dvd drive. That may not be a critical issue, but I would at all costs (if possible) avoid using it on the same cable/.controller as a HDD. <<

    It's attached to an add-in IDE controller card, all by itself.

    >> I've found in the past that Cable Select is pretty much useless in many situations - using Master/Slave still works best if there is any question. And if using CS, definitely use the end connector on the cable, and NOT the middle (slave) connector. <<

    It's jumpered as Master.

    >> Definitely update the firmware and if you are using an after-marked backup product (Symantec Backup Exec, for example) see if the software vendor has specific drivers for the tape drive being used. <<

    Difficult to find this sort of thing: Seagate exited the tape drive business some years ago, and I can't find much of anything on the website of the company (Quantum) that apparently took over the business from Seagate.

    >> I had an issue with failing backups that stretched out over a couple of months when it finally was "discovered" that Symantec was not compatible with the Seagate tape drive (Travan) being used; replacing the tape drive with another model (and going from IDE to SCSI) resolved the problem. If the drive had worked in the past, then that is likely NOT an issue, but there are compatibility issues between some backup packages and certain tape drives. <<

    Took another Seagate Travan drive over to the site this morning (different model). Same result: BIOS shows the drive, Device Manage sees it, but the Tapeware software doesn't (I even reinstalled the software, in case it needed to do "discovery" during the installation. Maybe someone can suggest a different backup software that works with tape drives (I installed Comodo Backup this morning, with an external HDD, just so the business could get back on daily backups). Comodo doesn't see the tape drive, nor does Windows Backup.

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    Re: Tape Drive?

    John,

    It's not a solution in itself, but if you give Symantec Backup Exec a shot, and Symantec doesn't find the tape drive either, then Symantec support will end up dealing with it.
    They could have access to appropriate firmware (although I was dealing with Dell on my issue and they provided the firmware), and I know they have their own drivers. Let them pull their hair out over it for a bit. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

    Barring that, I'd go with trying a different brand of tape drive - abandoning existing successful backups may not seem like a wise decision, but with no way to do a restore, the tapes are useless anyway. One of my clients is experiencing problems with an aging DAT-72 drive, so they are moving to a DAT-160 within the next couple of weeks. They are concerned about not being able to restore data from the old tapes after the switch, in case problems occur with the new setup, but with no way to currently do a restore they're pretty much without those tapes now .
    Have a cookie -

    Don

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