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Server 2008 R2 tape driver prevents Retrospect from seeing drive

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I have two Dell PowerVault tape drives, a 124T (Quantum Ultrium LTO-3) and a 122T (IBM Ultrium LTO-2), both of which have autoloaders. I have them attached to a Windows Server 2008 R2 box via a Ultra160 SCSI card. normally i only have the 124 attached but i'm trying to get it to work with both attached, each on a separate bus on the card.

 

I've encountered this issue off and on, but i'm pretty sure the initial cause of it was removing Retrospect and installing Data Protection Manager 2010. after uninstalling that, when i reinstalled Retrospect, it could not see the Ultrium drives, though it could see the autoloaders fine. this happened with both drives (which were not installed concurrently). the only fix i ever found for this was to completely reinstall Windows Server 2008 R2, after which everything worked fine. this is something i am trying to avoid doing again as there are some other things installed on this server that are a significant hassle to restore on a new system.

 

i did a few rounds with DPM 2010, testing it out before finally giving up on it. as far as i can tell, it does not install its own driver, but rather uses the ones that are automatically installed by Windows Server, so there's no "DPM driver" to remove that might be causing the problem.

 

here's where it gets odd:

  • if i tell Windows to install the (built-in) drivers for the 124T, Retrospect can't see that drive anymore (but it can see the autoloader). if I uninstall the drive in Device Manager, it shows up under "Other devices" as an "Ultrium 3" drive (instead of "Unknown device") but without a Windows driver installed. Retrospect sees the drive and works great with this setup.
  • the same applies for the 122T, except that if i uninstall it, it doesn't show up at all in Device Manager until i reboot or "scan for hardware changes", when Windows automatically installs the driver for it ("tape.inf"), and it shows up under "Tape Drives" in Device Manager. once this happens, Retrospect cannot see the drive (but it can see the autoloader) until i uninstall it from Device Manager, after which it reappears in Retrospect's device list. this never happened until i installed and then removed DPM 2010.

To recap: Retrospect ONLY sees the tape drives if they don't have Windows drivers installed for them, but it can see the autoloaders regardless (autoloaders show up as separate devices in Device Manager).

 

needless to say, this is really not logical and it's REALLY annoying to deal with. i have not had this problem with any software but Retrospect, which i am not willing to get rid of. if anyone can offer some insight into what it causing this and how Retrospect is accessing these drives, i'd really appreciate it. it just doesn't make any sense that the built-in Windows tape driver would cause this much interference.

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