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Retrospect 5.1 cannot write to Mammoth Tape Drive


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I am at wit's end!


Retropect Backup Workgroup 5.1 ( Retrospect 5.15)

Exabyte Exb-8900 Mammoth Tape Drive SCSI

SCSI Controller Adaptec AHA-2940UW

Driver - Microsoft 5.0.2195.6717 (6/17/03) mammoth.sys


--- The Problem

I had been using this system as our backup server for almost two years without a problem. On day, my tape backups started to fail. No error was posted, the backup would simply ask for another tape, it would wind through it without copying a file, then ask for another tape.


Performing an Immediate Backup with an erased tape it will sit with 1 file completed on its status dialog box until it reacjes the end of the tape which takes a long time.


--- Nothing wrong with Drive

I long ago determined that there was nothing wrong with the tape drive (long story). At this time, if I restore the Removable Storage service I can use Ms Wibdow's Backup to write tapes.


--- Reinstall of Windows Fixed problem for a short time

I recently did a clean install of Windows 2000 Pro. After re-installing Retrospect the tape drive worked!! Of course I was installing other software including the Windows Updates. When I nexted ran the backup, it was back to its old tricks.


--- everything else works

In every other way retrospect seems to work. It erases tapes. It can read and restore from my past tapes.


---Suspected Problem

I suspect the driver. Its dated 6/2003. This problem first surfaced in 10/2003 (yes I have been working on this a while. Retrospect does not seem to install its own driver, but it does disable the Removable Storage service.


--- Help

Is there anyone who can give me a clue?


Thanks for your Help

John Freund

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I never had to disable the driver in the past and as far as I know retrospect does not install another driver for this (Exabyte Mammoth) tape drive.


I do suspect the driver. As I mentioned in my original post the driver is dated 6/2003. Perhaps this is a driver that was downloaded in an windows update and has compatibility problems.


I tried running with the Tape Driver disabled. I was surprised that retrospect saw the drive. As in the recent past, it seems to perform all functions except being able to write to the tape.


Thanks for the suggestion!



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Retrospect supplies its own drivers for all tape drives.

Dantz hasn't made any changes to Retrospect 5.1 or its drivers for a long time. It is unlikely that something just broke in Retrospect.


Double check any changes you have made to the system. As a test you might want to re-enable the windows driver and try to backup using NTbackup. That will tell us if there is a problem with the drive or not.




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The drive is working. With the Removable Storage service restarted I have been able to run full backups using NTBackup.


I just performed a clean install of Windows 2000 Pro on this machine. After that and re-installing Retrospect the drive worked. But shortly thereafter it started the same behavior as before. Thinking I had fixed the problem I did not keep track of my other re-installations. Again, I suspect the Windows updates from Microsoft.


I suppose my next experiment will be to re-install the old mammoth.sys driver ( assuming there is on the CD) to the pre 6/2003 version to see if the drive starts working again.


Thanks for continuing to try to help Nate.


John Freund

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Looks like the problem has finally been solved.


Nate thanks for the hint that brought me to the solution!


As you recommended I looked in the retrospect folder. I did not run aspiinst.exe which would have installed the old 4.60 version of aspi32.sys. I did run aspichk.exe which told me I had aspi32.sys version 4.71.1 installed. It also indicated that I had an older version of the software installed. Noticing that this was an adaptec utility I went to their web site to check for the latest version. It was there that I learned that a newer version 4.71.2 was available.


Once I downloaded this and run the new aspiinst.exe it installed version 4.71.2, this was confirmed by the new aspichk.exe. Once I rebooted Retrospect worked as before and could write to my mammoth tape drive.


Thanks again.

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