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derek500

Mysterious Error -206

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Hi,

 

 

 

I originally posted this on the OS 9 board, but I am re-posting it to the OS X board because we have moved the machine having the problem to OS X and I plan on solving the problem within OS X. Please continue to read, there are a few posts as I added information to the situation.

 

 

 

Thanks in advance for any help, this has been an extrememely frustrating problem.

 

 

 

-Derek Cunningham

 

 

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Hi,

 

 

 

I am looking for some help here. We are getting very frustrated and don't know where to go from here. (and yes, I have used a cleaning tape! Several times!)

 

 

 

We have two seperate retrospect systems running. One is a B&W G3 running OS 8.6, retro 4.3 (ADK 1.8 and RDU 2.2) with a Qualstar 4212 loader to a sony SDX-500C drive and an adaptec 29160 SCSI card. It runs a scheduled backup of about 60 clients, mac OS 8.6 through 9.2 and several windows clients, Win98 through 2000. This system _was_ running flawlessly for a year and a half. I'll get into it's problems in a minute. The other system started out as a beige desktop G3, OS 9.1, Retro 4.3, Adaptec AHA-2940UW SCSI card, APS Tech AIT-2 single tape drive (sony SDX-500C also). It runs backup server all the time for our laptop windows and mac clients. I'll give it's problems first.

 

 

 

The Desktop G3 was running for months with no problems. We moved the system from one building to another and began experiencing the -206 errors. I called APS Tech, the drive is still under warranty, so they took it back and replaced the drive. I got the drive back, got the same -206 error again and called back. They suggested possible electrical interference from an external source. I described our server room to them (hanging overhead power strips and twin ceiling mounted HVAC units). The G3 and tape drive was on an upper shelf, maybe 5-6 feet below the power cabling. The A/C unit was also within 8 feet.

 

 

 

The tech I spoke with at APS suggested moving the entire setup, suspecting possible electrical interference from the overhead items. I brought the G3 and tape drive into my office, set it all on a shelf and let it run for a couple days there. I recieved the same -206 error a few times there, each about 2 days apart. This eliminated the server room as a potential cause, so back to the server room it went. I contacted APS again, they said send the drive back. This time they replaced the drive mechanism and the internal controller board of the drive.

 

 

 

I got the drive back, hooked it all up and in a few days got the -206 error AGAIN. Grrr. now this is frustrating. The last diagnostic from APS: Try a different computer, scsi card, etc. I built a G4, OS X 10.1.5, Adaptec 39160 and Retro 5. I had it on the top shelf in our server room. I got the -206 error after 4 days of operation. This time I figured, okay, maybe it IS the electrical interference. I moved it down to the lower shelf (right next to the 1st system I talked described). The first night it was there, I got a -206 error on my B&W/Qualstar system! Now THIS leads to something (I suspect). It must be the power supply in the APS tech drive. The APS Tech drive was right next to the qualstar loader so that must be it, right?

 

 

 

I contacted APS Tech again. Described what happened. They said to send the single drive back and this time they would replace the drive, the board AND the power supply. They still have my drive, but then today I came in and found the -206 error on my qualstar system again. This NEVER gave me any problems before. I have been using the B&W G3 for about 1-1/2 years with this setup and other than one bad tape I never recieved any errors from this system.

 

 

 

I am at my wits end here. We have re-used old tapes, taken new tapes right out of the box (we use Sony SDX2-50C tapes), it doesn't seem to matter. What can I try from here? I'm open to any suggestions. Is there such a thing as an electrical interference meter?

 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this horendously long post and still take the time to think about my problem.

 

 

 

-Derek Cunningham

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Update (12/18/02): I heard back from APS Tech yesterday and they can find nothing wrong with the drive I sent them. I am getting it back again, I'll update again when it is in and running...

 

 

 

Thanks for the help,

 

-Derek

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(12/31/02)

 

Well, I recieved the error again after replacing the drive. In a bout of frustration and hope I upgraded the machine to 10.2.3, added the new Adaptec 39160 drivers and RDU, and haven't seen the error in a week.

 

 

 

Keeping my fingers crossed...

 

 

 

-Derek

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(1/7/02)

 

The setup worked flawlessly for two weeks straight, until yesterday. I start a new backup set every two weeks and last friday was the day for me to start a new set. It ran over the weekend but I recieved the -206 error again yesterday. The alarming thing for me is that last night I recieved the -206 error on my second retrospect system where the Tape Library I mentioned in earlier posts sits immediately next to my APS Tech tape drive.

 

 

 

I again suspect some sort of electrical interference being thrown from the single AIT-2 Drive but have no way of confirming this.

 

 

 

Can anyone suggest a way to get an idea for electrical noise in a specific area?

 

 

 

Would it help if I posted the exact error from my log? It contains a 16 numbered hexidecimal looking code that somebody might be able to de-code for me. ?

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

 

-Derek

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