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Write protected?


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Greetings everyone. New here.


We've been using Retrospect for a while now, version 5.15 on an NT4 SP6a server. Things are going great. Well, that is up until recently. Last month we changed out our DLT to a new Quantum DLT1. Again, most everything works great. Strange thing though; out of a tape rotation using 12 total tapes, one of them keeps getting recognized by Retro as "write protected" in spite of the fact that the "enabler" on the back of the DLT tape is absolutely in the "enabled" position just like every other tape.


I wondered if maybe there was a software "write protect" somewhere that I am missing, but don't see any such thing anywhere.


Am I really missing something basic here? Maybe a bad tape? Any thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?


Any and all greatly appreciated.







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The drive is reporting to Retrospect that the tape is write protected. If this is happening only on 1 tape out of many, and the tape isn't in the "locked" position, you probably have a bum tape.




You can try standard hardware troubleshooting (cleaning heads, changing cables, termination, etc.). However, I would stick with replacing the tape and see how that works out for you - this is the most likely culprit.

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Hi Amy.


Thanks much for your reply.




Actually the "Write Protect" lamp on the front of the drive unit was un-lit. It does


light up appropriately when the "write protect" switch is engaged on the tape


itself, but otherwise displays the same as with any other tape. It is only within


retrospect software that the tape reads "w-p", and can't be erased or used for a new


backup. Strange.




We just ran a cleaner tape through the DLT1 the day before, and this was the second


time this tape has come up in the rotation and both times showed the same thing.


(And come to think of it, there was one other tape that did the same thing, but it was set


aside and another used in its place with success.


I've certainly used a different tape for that set since. But I was just wondering


where I might have missed something.


Since DLT tapes surely aren't free, I was hoping it wasn't a bad tape! :-)


Not as good a prospect as just missing some menu item in Retrospect,


but way better than it being a bum drive or a need to re-install the OS, etc...


And since they're new tapes, maybe we can get something back for them on a


return. (Minus the 135% restocking fee, of course!!!!!) :-)




Thanks again. Much appreciated.



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In reply to:

I've certainly used a different tape for that set since. But I was just wondering


where I might have missed something.




There isn's anything you've missed. Tape are made up of moving pieces - they can fail. You could have two bad tapes. Or maybe this is the same one that was showing up as erased before and stuck back in the rotation? Either way, keep an eye on it. If the problems start occuring regardless of what tape you put in the drive, you'll want to start troubleshooting as follows:




1) Clean the drive using a cleaning cartridge. Once a week is more than enough for most people. Try another tape.




2) Another device on your SCSI bus is interfering with the tape drive's communication. Make sure your SCSI ID numbers are set correctly. Turn off your computer and the devices. Disconnect all SCSI devices except for the tape drive. Try the USB backup device connected directly to the computer




3) You have a bad cable. Replace the SCSI cable that connects the tape drive to the computer after removing other devices and cables from the SCSI chain.




4) You are missing a terminator or have a bad terminator. The last device and ONLY the last device in your SCSI chain needs to be terminated. Try replacing the terminator if you already have one on the chain.




5) Is this Windows NT or 2000? If so, enable NT SCSI Passthrough to bypass ASPI: From the Retrospect Directory hit Ctrl-Alt-P-P. Under "Execution," check "Enable NT SCSI Passthrough." Click OK. Quit and relaunch.




6) The computer may be having a problem. Install Retrospect on another computer and try the tape drive there as the lone device on the SCSI chain.




7) The drive may be defective. If you have implemented all of the preceding steps and get failures on multiple tapes after changing cables terminators and computers then the drive (being the only factor that has not changed) is the culprit--send it back to your vendor for repairs.




The steps above are essentially the outline of our device troubleshooting here at Dantz. Hands on testing of device issues is really still the best method and even getting device logging information is usually only to confirm empirical testing. Note that concluding something is a bad device is the LAST thing we assume after all other components and variables have been ruled out. "SCSI voodoo" as they call the nebulous symptoms that can plague a SCSI bus can often lead one to false assumptions of the cause of problems. It's important that once a variable is tested that it be tested more than once for consistency's sake to rule out dumb luck. For example SCSI voodoo accounts for why a tape drive may work fine for many months without proper termination but then suddenly fail in some way later. Although customers will often cite that nothing has changed with their SCSI bus configuration in months and that it was all working before this is really indicative of the inconsistency of SCSI voodoo. The quickest and most conclusive test for most devices is to test it on more than one computer as the only device on the bus and with a different SCSI cable. If the problems can be reproduced on multiple computers it's more than likely a hardware problem with the device itself. Of course there a myriad of other specific issues having to do with a device's own hardware settings like with internal jumper cables dip switches or internal termination that has to be sorted out with the device's manual and/or vendor or manufacturer of the drive, but the kernel of SCSI troubleshooting above is a good general guideline.

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Don't leave me hanging like that! Just as I was getting into the story, you leave it with a


cliff-hanger. I was really looking forward to seeing how it turned out - turned to the last


page looking forward to what I thought was going to be Chapter 9, then, POOF!!!!!, there


was no more.


Will there be a sequel? A "part II"? I'd even settle for an epilogue!




To get a reader so involved in the story, to delve into detail and character development to


such a degree, and then just walk away from the story, well, that's just not right.


I was just getting to like that quirky "SCSI" character.






But seriously, thanks for your info. I've already pretty much decided that since everything


else is working quite well, the likelyhood is that it was just a couple of bad tapes since the


only problem was with that one tape on two separate occasions, and one other tape that


only got one oportunity to give me grief. The rest are doing just what is expected of them.




Thanks again,



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