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Servers - Intermittent errors with tape drive
Applicable Countries
Service Hints & Tips

Retain tip H013309

- Excessive cleaning indications (Amber LED on solid)
- Tape drive not recognized on Channel 2 on the PCI RAID Adapter (FRU part number 06h5078 or 06H3059)
- Tape drive backup/restore fails (Amber LED flashes), but is successful after the power is cycled
- Other unexplained intermittent tape backup failures

Affected configurations
- The 4mm DAT tape drive is FRU part number 16G8454 or FRU part number 16G8456.
- The tape drive may have jumpers or dip switches.
- The tape drive may be 3.5" or 5.25" form factor.

Read and understand this entire tip before attempting to perform the actions below.
Update the tape drive with the latest microcode (UCODE).
The following two methods are available:

1. Microcode update utility diskette.
a. Download 4MMDAT4.EXE for tape drives with switches.
b. Download 4MMDAT5.EXE for tape drives with jumpers.


2. Microcode update tape cartridge. Use this method for updating tape drives connected to RAID adapters.

Note: For RAID systems, it is still necessary to download the appropriate diskette so the current UCODE can be determined using the /D option explained later.

In addition the file 4MMREAD.TXT can be viewed on-line with a WEB browser and the file README.TXT, which is on both utility diskettes, should be printed for detailed instructions.

Determining the current tape drive microcode level

Boot the diskette made from the 4MMDAT?.EXE and type the following at the A:\> prompt:

MU_TAPE4 /D Enter
MU_TAPE5 /D Enter

Note: Error messages and beeps will be generated as many ASPI device drivers attempt to load; these errors are normal and should be ignored as the correct driver will load.

If the UCODE level is BELOW the level listed in the chart below, call the IBM PC HelpCenter for the correct microcode update tape. Please include the physical size ( 3.5" or 5.25") to insure the proper tape is provided.

In addition, perform all of the following:
1. Tape drive stand-alone diagnostics. Use the diagnostic tape cartridge.
2. Verify proper SCSI termination and cable connections
3. Verify tape media quality (IBM or Sony are recommended).
4. Clean tape drive (IBM cartridge is recommended).
5. Verify that all the software device drivers are installed and that all the drivers are current.

Form Factor
SCSI ID Configuration
Latest UCODE
16G8454 Archive 5.25" switches 4BKC
16G8456 Archive 3.5" switches 4BKC
16G8454 Conner 5.25" jumpers 5AJ
16G8456 Conner 3.5" jumpers 5AJ
Use one of the following procedures to update the microcode on the 4/10GB tape drives. The update takes approximately one to three minutes.

Procedure using the microcode update utility diskette

1. If a tape is already present in the tape drive, eject the tape prior to running the utility diskette.

2. Perform a shutdown of the operating system and power off the system and insert the Utility Diskette.

3. If the tape drive is external, power it on first.

4. Power on the system which will boot to the Utility Diskette.

5. Verify that the tape drive is functional by testing it with the diagnostic tape cartridge. The tape will eject when the diagnostic is complete.

6. Verify that the Utility Diskette is compatible with the model tape drive you are upgrading. See the chart above.

7. Follow the instructions in the README.TXT to ensure that the correct device drivers are loaded.

8. Type MU_TAPE4 or MU_TAPE5 <Enter> and follow the on-screen instructions. The microcode update takes approximately one to three minutes.

9. When the update is complete, and all the lights on the tape drive have been continuously off for 30 seconds, remove the Utility Diskette and reboot the system.

Procedure using the microcode update tape cartridge

: A microcode tape is unique and can only be used for a microcode update. This tape cannot be duplicated locally to another tape drive, copied to a system fixeddisk, or used as a backup or data tape because the tape header has special code which executes immediately when the tape is inserted into the tape drive. The tape cannot respond to normal tape operations and is therefore not usable for any other purpose.

Caution: Do not power down the tape drive during the three minute microcode update process. This will cause damage to the tape drive.

1. Perform a shutdown of the operating system and power off the system.

2. If the tape drive is external, power it on first.

3. Power on the system. Note: It is not necessary for the tape drive to be connected to the SCSI bus for this update process. If the unit is connected to the SCSI bus, there should be no data activity on the bus. The operating system should not be running, because bus activity will interfere with the microcode update process.

4. Wait for the tape drive Power-On Self Test to complete. This takes approximately ten (10) seconds. Three (3) LEDs flash briefly, then the left LED blinks for 10 seconds.

5. If a tape is already present in the tape drive, wait for the drive to complete the self test, then manually eject the tape by pressing the eject button.

6. Verify that the tape drive is functional by testing it with the diagnostic tape cartridge. The tape will eject when the diagnostic is complete.

7. Clean the tape drive with the tape cleaning cartridge. The tape will eject when the cleaning is complete.

8. There are two fully compatible, but slightly different versions of the tape drive, therefore you may have
received two different types of tape cartridges. Only one is compatible with your tape drive. If you insert the incorrect tape no damage or harm will result. An incompatible tape cartridge will be rejected by the tape drive and the tape will be quickly ejected. If this happens, just remove it and insert the other cartridge which should be compatible.

   a. The microcode update tape is unique and cannot be copied locally on any tape drive or system, due to special code written on the header of the tape.
   b. The microcode tape may only be used 50 times. Prior to the update, an update counter record is read and
if the number of operations exceeds fifty (50), the update will abort. This minimizes the chance of a worn tape causing a failure during the update process, and rendering the tape drive unusable. The tape can not be used for any other purpose, so should then be discarded.

9. Insert the microcode update tape. The update process will start automatically and take up to three (3) minutes to complete. During the update, the tape drive LEDs will flash and the cartridge will then be ejected and the LEDs will continue to flash for approximately 30 seconds.

Caution: The update is not complete until thirty (30) seconds after the tape has been ejected AND the LEDs have stopped flashing.

Customers are responsible for cleaning the tape drive with a cleaning cartridge. Customers may order this cartridge as FRU part number 21F8763.
Document ID:  RMIE-3F2KWE
Last Modified:  2000-06-08
Copyright 2000 IBM Corporation
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