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HP StorageWorks 1/8 Tape Autoloader - Troubleshooting Operating Problems


This document helps to find out the cause of issues arising during operation.



The information in this section is taken from HP StorageWorks 1/8 G2 Tape Autoloader User and service guide . Click here to view the "HP StorageWorks 1/8 G2 Tape Autoloader User and service guide" ( .

Troubleshooting Operating Problems
Autoloader does not power on.
  • Check all power cord connections.

  • Make sure the power switch on the front panel is in the On position.

  • Make sure there is power to the outlet. Try another working outlet.

  • Replace the power cord.

No display messages appear.
  • Make sure the power cord is connected.

  • Make sure the power switch is on.

  • Power cycle the autoloader.

  • Download autoloader firmware.

Tape Movement
Tape stuck in drive.
  • Power cycle the autoloader, allow it to complete initialization, which in rare cases can take as long as 10 minutes, and then retry unloading the tape using the autoloader operator’s panel controls.

  • Allow the tape drive to complete all operations. This may take as long as ten minutes if you reset or cycle power on the autoloader, while the cartridge is positioned at the physical end of the media.

  • Make sure that the backup software is not reserving the slot or preventing the tape drive from ejecting the cartridge. The backup software needs to cancel the reservation, and any hold it has on the tape drive. Temporarily disconnecting the autoloader from the host server and power cycling eliminates the host and its software as a problem source.

Tape stuck in storage slot.
See the "Removing stuck tapes from slots" procedure in the user guide.
Cleaning or data cartridge incompatible with drive.
Make sure you are using data and cleaning cartridges that are compatible with the drive and model of your autoloader (see "Cartridge type" instructions in the user guide). The autoloader automatically unloads incompatible cartridges, the Media Attention LED flashes, and an exclamation point (! ) displays in the inventory display for the indicated slot number. You need to export the media in order to clear the state.
Cannot write to or read from tape.
  • Make sure that the cartridge is write enabled (move the write-protect switch to the enabled position).

  • Make sure you have the appropriate data cartridge for your 1/8 Tape Autoloader model.

  • If you have the 1/8 Ultrium Tape Autoloader, make sure you are using an Ultrium cartridge that has not been degaussed.

    NOTE: Do not degauss Ultrium cartridges!
  • Make sure that the cartridge has not been exposed to harsh environmental or electrical conditions, and is not physically damaged in any way.

  • Many backup applications do not read or write to cartridges that were created using a different backup application. In this case, you may have to perform an erase, format, or label operation on the cartridge.

  • Make sure you understand any data protection or overwrite protection schemes that your backup application may be using, which could prevent you from writing to a given cartridge.

  • Retry the operation with a different, known good tape.

  • Clean the tape drive. See section "Cleaning the tape drive" in the user guide.

Device Not Detected on SCSI Bus
Connected to a high voltage differential SCSI bus/host adapter.
  • Attach device to a Low Voltage Differential (LVDS) SCSI host adapter/bus.

  • SCSI cable length exceeded, use shorter cable, or remove other devices from the bus.

  • Check for conflicting SCSI IDs.

  • DLT VS80, Ultrium 232, Ultrium 448 and Ultrium 960 models: check that the HBA supports LUN scanning, and this feature is enabled.

  • Device not properly terminated. See section "Installation problems" in the user guide.

  • Power on the device before powering on the host computer.

  • Check that the device has been powered on, and is not in an error state.

  • Check the SCSI connector for bent pins.

Cannot load the cleaning cartridge.
  • For all 1/8 Ultrium Tape Autoloaders, make sure you are using an Ultrium universal cleaning cartridge.

  • For the 1/8 SDLT 320 Tape Autoloader, make sure you are using the Super DLTtape cleaning cartridge.

  • For the 1/8 DLT VS80 Tape Autoloader, make sure you are using the DLT VS cleaning cartridge.

(See section "Cleaning the tape drive" in the user guide.)
Errors Displayed on Front Panel
! in autoloader operator panel inventory display.
See section "Operator’s panel overview" in the user guide.
There is an error code on the LCD display.
Look up the error code, try to resolve the failure, and power cycle (see section "Autoloader error codes" in the user guide).
Changed drive SCSI ID, but the host server does not recognize the new ID.
  • Make sure that all SCSI devices on the same bus have unique ID numbers.

  • If the SCSI bus is narrow (50-pin), only SCSI IDs 0 through 7 are available.

  • Make sure that you cycle power on the autoloader after changing the SCSI ID.

  • Reboot the host server.

Autoloader Performance
The autoloader is not efficiently backing up data.
  • Check the network bandwidth from the host computer. If you are backing up data over a network, consider comparing to a local-only backup.

  • Make sure the autoloader and tape drive are on their own SCSI bus and not daisy-chained to another tape drive or to the hard drive being backed up.

  • Make sure the autoloader is connected to a LVDS SCSI bus, and there are no SE devices on the same bus, because this will cause the entire bus to negotiate down to SE speed.

  • Use an Ultra320 SCSI bus and high-quality cabling with 1/8 Ultrium 960 Tape Autoloaders.

  • Do not connect the autoloader to a narrow SCSI bus.

  • Try a new cartridge. A marginal cartridge can cause performance issues due to bad spots on the tape requiring retries.

  • Backing up data that compresses poorly or is already compressed will lower performance.

  • Check the size of the files. Small file size can have an impact on performance.

  • Confirm that the backup application is utilizing block sizes of at least 32 KB, preferably 64 KB. Refer to the backup application documentation for details.

  • Make sure the backup server has enough memory to handle the bandwidth of the backup or restore.

  • Clean the tape drive.

Media Attention LED Issues.
Contamination by loose debris.
Avoid contamination by ensuring that the autoloader is installed in a clean, contamination-free environment. Cartridges should be stored vertically in their plastic cases. Continue cleaning the tape drive as needed.
Non-acclimated media.
A cartridge should be acclimated for at least 24 hours before being used, particularly if it has been stored at a substantially different temperature or level of humidity than the autoloader.
Cartridge is incompatible.
Use only cartridges that are compatible with the drive type.
  • For all 1/8 Ultrium Tape Autoloaders, make sure you are using an Ultrium universal cleaning cartridge.

  • For the 1/8 SDLT 320 Tape Autoloader, make sure you are using the Super DLTtape cleaning cartridge.

  • For the 1/8 DLT VS80 Tape Autoloader, make sure you are using the DLT VS cleaning cartridge.

(See section "Cleaning the tape" in the user guide.)
Expired cleaning cartridge.
A cleaning cartridge is good for:
  • All 1/8 Ultrium Tape Autoloaders: 50 cleans

  • 1/8 SDLT 320 Tape Autoloader: 20 cleans

  • 1/8 DLT VS80 Tape Autoloader: 20 cleans

Bad/defective/contaminated media.
If the Media Attention LED is cleared and the drive has been cleaned, and then immediately re-displays each time a particular cartridge is reloaded, that cartridge should be suspected as being defective, if it is not an invalid cleaning cartridge.
  • If this occurs, export the cartridge and load a known good cartridge. In some cases, a cartridge can be worn out, have a defective Cartridge Memory, or have been formatted as a Firmware Upgrade Cartridge.

  • Any cartridge that is suspected of being defective or contaminated should not be reused in any drive.


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