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HP StorageWorks Ultrium 920 (SCSI) Tape Drive - Troubleshooting

Many users can use HP Library & Tape Tools to help them diagnose problems. We also recommend the detailed troubleshooting guide at for comprehensive troubleshooting information.

General procedure

If a problem occurs, the first step is to try to establish whether the problem lies with the cartridge, the drive, the host computer and connections, or the way the system is being operated.

  • Has the system just been installed?

    There could be an installation problem:

    1. Check through the information in the relevant installation chapter of the User guide.

    2. Check the power connectors and cabling.

    3. Is the SCSI ID correctly set? Is there a SCSI system conflict? Has the SCSI bus been correctly terminated?

    4. Check the environmental conditions against the specified limits.

    5. Are appropriate drivers and application software installed on the host?

  • Are new cartridges or a different brand of cartridge is being used? Has the particular cartridge being used for a very long time?

    The problem could lie with the cartridge:

    1. Check if a DDS-labeled cartridge is being used, not a DAT cartridge.

    2. Use the correct media type, for example, DAT 72 media with DAT 72 drives.

    3. Has the cartridge been write-protected?

    4. Clean the tape heads with the cleaning cartridge.

    5. Try the operation again.

    6. If the problem still occurs, try using a different cartridge.

    7. If the problem persists, the problem probably lies with the drive or the host computer.

  • Has the drive been moved recently? Have any cables been disconnected and reconnected? Has the environment changed - unusually hot, cold, damp or dry? Has there been dust or dirt near the drive. Have reasonable precautions against static been taken?

    The problem could lie with the drive:

    1. Check the cables and connectors.

    2. Clean the tape heads with the cleaning cartridge.

    3. If the problem persists, check the environmental conditions against the specified limits ( Click here for information on "Environmental specifications" ). Perhaps move the drive to a more suitable site.

  • Has a new operating system been installed in the host computer? Has new backup software been installed?

    The problem could lie with the host or the software. Consult the computer’s operating manuals, the software manual, or seek help from a service engineer.

Problems with cartridges

If there are any problems using HP branded cartridges, check the following:

  • The cartridge case is intact and that it contains no splits, cracks or damage.

  • The cartridge has been stored at the correct temperature and humidity. This prevents condensation. See the insert included with the tape cartridge for storage conditions.

  • The write-protect switch is fully operational. It should move from side to side with a positive click.

  • The World Wide Web site for more detailed troubleshooting information is available at the following weblink: .

The cartridge is jammed

If the cartridge is jammed or the backup application is unable to eject it, the user can force eject the cartridge. Once the cartridge is successfully ejected, it is good practice to upgrade the firmware. If the failure occurs regularly, contact customer service at .

  1. Either press and hold the Eject button on the front of the tape drive for at least 10 seconds.

  2. Wait for the cartridge to be ejected. This process may take up to 10 minutes (the maximum rewind time). It is important to give sufficient time for the drive to complete this process. If it is interrupted, this may damage the media or the tape drive. The drive is then reset as though the user had turned the power off and then on again.

    Data loss may occur if a force eject is done for a cartridge. The tape may also become unreadable because an EOD (End of Data) mark may not be properly written.

  3. If the cartridge is still jammed, the tape drive has failed. Contact customer service at .

The drive will not accept the cartridge (or ejects it immediately)

The cartridge may have been damaged, for example dropped, or the drive may have a fault. If it is a cleaning cartridge, it has probably expired and should be discarded immediately. For data cartridges:

  1. Check that the drive has power (the power cable is properly connected and the Ready LED is on).

  2. Check if the correct media is being used for the tape drive.

  3. Make sure that the cartridge is loaded with the correct orientation ( Click here for information on "Inserting cartridges" ).

  4. Check for damage to the media and discard it if it is damaged.

  5. Use a new or known, good piece of media and see if it loads. If it does, the original cartridge is faulty and should be discarded.

  6. Check if another DAT drive of the same model will accept the cartridge. If it does, the original drive may be faulty. Before calling customer service, please check that the tape drive is responding.

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