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Servers - IBM SCSI tape drive installation and problem determination tips
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Service Hints & Tips
This document covers the following topics pertaining to IBM SCSI tape devices:

1. RAID Controllers
2. Pins and Converters
3. SCSI Termination
4. SCSI Settings
5. Firmware
6. Cleaning
7. Retensioning
8. SCSI Drivers
9. Tape drivers

1. RAID Controllers
No Tape drives are supported on ServeRAID 3H or ServeRAID 3L.

Tape drives are supported by all onboard SCSI controllers, including the Netfinity 5500 and 5500 Mxx onboard ServeRAID II. The onboard ServeRAID II must be a dedicated channel. RAID functions are not supported on dedicated channels.

The ServerProven Web site contains a list of tape drives supported on the Onboard ServeRAID controller in the Netfinity 5500 and 5500Mxx.

When tape drives are used on RAID adapters the following errors may be generated in the error log:
  • SCSI device not responding.
  • No tape the drive.
  • The tape drive is busy
  • Unknown tape format.
  • The tape in the drive is not properly inserted
  • Tape drive error detected
  • Poll drive failed server error shutting off poll drive
2. Pins and Converters
Bent pins can cause a variety of tape drive problems.
  • Always inspect all SCSI pins on the tape drive and straighten them if needed.
  • Always make sure that the pins will fit properly into the 50-68 pin SCSI cable converter.
3. SCSI Termination
All SCSI buses must be properly terminated on both ends. Normally, the adapter will act as the terminator at one end of the SCSI chain. Another device or an in-line terminator that is plugged into the cable will act as the terminator at the other end of the SCSI chain.
  • Any device that is attached to an improperly terminated SCSI bus may display intermittent or serious errors, such as write errors, corrupt data, and SCSI timeouts.
  • Before attempting to provide termination to a SCSI bus, you must know the bus type. An 8 bit bus requires 8 bits of termination and a 16 bit bus requires 16 bits of termination .
  • If you are attaching an 8 bit tape drive to a 16 bit bus, that tape drive cannot be used to provide termination. Any switches or jumpers for active termination must be set to disabled. The 16 bit bus must be terminated by either an in-line terminator or a 16 bit device which is set to provide active termination.
4. SCSI Settings
Most SCSI controllers have settings that can be modified.

For the SCSI ID that the tape drive is on, modify the following settings:
  • Send Start Unit Command= NO (This will tell the SCSI controller not to start the tape drive. The server will boot faster.)
  • Initiate Wide Negotiation=NO (This setting tells the controller not to communicate with the tape drive via a 16 bit (Wide) data path. You should only set Wide Negotiation to NO for 8-bit SCSI devices.
  • Synch Transfer Rate=5 or 10 (Some tape drives can not handle the high transfer rates that other SCSI devices can handle. For that reason, the transfer rate for data traveling to a tape drive should be slower).
5. Firmware
Some tape drives have firmware updates that can fix some problems such as media errors, and device/SCSI timeout errors.

Tape device drivers and firmware updates can be found at the IBM PC Company Support Site .

From the main support page:
  • Choose Accessories from the Select a Brand pull-down menu
  • Choose Tape Drives under Select your family
  • Click on Downloadable files under Technical Information
  • Click on Tape Drives under Technical Information
  • Files and drivers for most tape drives can be found by clicking the appropriate links at the bottom of the screen.
6. Cleaning
If the tape drive is displaying media errors, the drive may need to be cleaned. Run a cleaning cartridge in the tape drive 3-4 consecutive times to thoroughly clean the drive.
Brand new tape cartridges tend to be dirty due to a buildup of magnetic film. It is especially important that a tape drive is cleaned after using a newly opened cartridge .

It is suggested that tape cartridges be retensioned before running a backup. Retensioning can prevent a number of media related errors. When a tape drive retensions a cartridge, it runs the cartridge in the tape drive form the beginning to the end at a fast speed so that the tape winds evenly and more smoothly past the tape drive heads. Retensioning is especially important on the 10/20 and 12/24 tape drives.

8. SCSI Drivers
Before your operating system can recognize the tape drive, the appropriate drivers for the SCSI controller must be loaded. If the tape drive is seen at POST, but not in the operating system, the SCSI controller drivers probably have not been loaded.

9. Tape Drivers
NOTE: Before tape drivers can be loaded, the SCSI controller driver must be loaded.

BackUp Exec for NT 4.0 Driver Tips
The following steps are instructions for manually installing the proper BackupExec drivers for several of IBM's available backup options in NT 4.0 .
  1. Each tape drive should come with BackupExec Media. Normally the drivers for the Tape Drive can be found on the CD labeled Seagate Server Solutions (some versions may have drivers on a differently titled CDROM). Insert the Seagate CDROM in the CDROM drive and exit the autostart program if it comes up.
  2. From Windows NT, go to Control Panel/Tape Devices. If the SCSI controller drivers are properly loaded, Windows NT should recognize the tape drive in this window.
  3. Click on the Drivers tab. Click Add . Windows NT should generate a list of tape drives. Click Have Disk .
  4. Browse to the location of the oemsetup file: x:\winnt\drivers\i386\oemsetup.inf Press Enter . x= the drive letter for the CDROM
  5. NT will now give you a list of drivers to choose from. Select the appropriate device description (see the matrix below for device listing). Press Enter.
  6. Input the path to the driver that will be installed: x:\winnt\drivers\i386\ NOTE: This path must be followed by a backslash (\) or NT will not find the driver. Press Enter
  7. Reboot NT in order for the new driver to be started.

BackupExec for NT 4.0 Driver Matrix
The following matrix displays the correct NT BackupExec drivers for various tape drives. These drivers are located in the \winnt\drivers\i386\ directory of the Backup Exec Server Solutions CDROM.
Tape drive Device Detected By NT Device Description Driver name
4/8 GB TR4 Seagate STT28000 Mini data cartridge SCSI drive trscsi.sys
10/20 GB NS Seagate STT2200000 Mini data cartridge SCSI drive trscsi.sys
12/24 GB DDS/3 Seagate STT224000 4mmDAT drives, all except Sony 4mmdat.sys
20/40 GB 8MM DAT Exabyte-8900 Exabyte 8xxx SCSI-2 drives exabyte2.sys
20/40 GB 4MM DDS/4 Seagate STD2401LW 4mmDAT drives, all except Sony 4mmdat.sys
20/40 GB DLT Quantum DLT4000 Quantum/DEC/Cipher DLT SCSI drives dlttape.sys
35/70 GB DLT Quantum DLT7000 Quantum/DEC/Cipher DLT SCSI drives dlttape.sys
40/80 GB DLT Quantum DLT8000 Quantum/DEC/Cipher DLT SCSI drives dlttape.sys

ArcServe for NT 4.0 Tips
Do not load any tape drivers via Control Panel/Tape devices if ArcServe is to be the backup utility. Arcserve's installation wizard will load the appropriate drivers for all tape drives. Any tape drivers loaded in control panel may prevent ArcServe from communicating properly with the tape drive.
Document ID:  MIGR-48FPEH
Last Modified:  2000-07-21
Copyright 2000 IBM Corporation
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