Last week, I encountered this situation:
- A Backup server with Windows 2003 and Symantec Backup Exec 12.5. The Daily Inventory Job has Error Reports with description: “incompatible storage media detected in robotic library”
- A Dell PowerVault TL4000 Tape library with two LTO3 drives, with a yellow “Media Alert” LED on. The Web interface showed me that some tapes has been marked “Bad”, so that explained the Media Alert.
Because most of the “Bad” tapes were in use for quite some time, my first thought was, replace those tapes for new ones. So I asked my customer to buy some new tapes.
A few days later, I took a look how things were going, and was very surprised to notice that the new tapes has also turned into “Bad” media. So it was time to do some research on the Internet, and I found this article in Symantec’s knowledge base. It was exactly my situation, so I followed the resolution. And after that, time for a new Inventory with a new tape, result? “Bad” again.
Of course, I already checked the logs of the PowerVault, but still suspected the tape drives. So let’s start with some extra cleaning of the tape drives. Drive one doing fine, and while cleaning Drive two, this message appeared “Error: ME: invalid Cleaning cartridge Occurred during Drive Cleaning command.” And now even the Cleaning tape is marked “Bad”. Now I am sure.
In Backup Exec, I disabled the second (suspected) tape drive, executed the Inventory job and all tapes are OK. To be sure, I disabled the first tape drive, enabled the second drive, and all tapes has gone “Bad” again. So it is now the time to contact Dell Support.
Conclusion: If a tape library has more than one tape drive, during Backup jobs, the library alternately uses the tape drives, so that is the reason some jobs were OK and other jobs failed.
Thank you very much for reading, and I welcome your suggestions.