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Cache-A Tape Catalog Errors -- Occurence Increasing in Frequency

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Lindsay Simpson
Cache-A Tape Catalog Errors -- Occurence Increasing in Frequency
on Jun 4, 2012 at 5:21:17 pm

Hi all,

Just curious if any Cache-A users out there are experiencing TOC, or tape catalogy errors on any sort of a regular basis. My understanding from Cache-A is that this type of error is pretty uncommon.

I have three TOC errors in three days on what started as a brand new LTO 4 Tape, and experienced another TOC error last week on a separate tape, which I have yet to return to. After each error, I eject, erase and re-initialize the tape to start with a fresh slate and re-archive everything that was on the tape prior to the TOC error. To be clear, when I am archiving that is the only operation ongoing on the associated PC tower. I perform staged transfers, one media directory or folder at a time

The repetition is starting to eat into my time and ability to get other work done. I'm guessing the solution is to take a deep breath and continue pushing forward with archives, assuming that the high incidence of TOC errors on this particular tape is isolated. I'm going to try the archive to the tape in question on more time, and should that fail, I will move on to a different tape. Given the TOC errors have not entirely been isolated to this single tape as I have experienced 3 others on varying tapes over the last month, does anyone have any suggestions or thoughts what spurs the error to occur in the first place, especially given that no other software applications, processes, etc. are being run at the same time as an archive?

Thanks,

Lindsay


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Tom Goldberg
Re: Cache-A Tape Catalog Errors -- Occurence Increasing in Frequency
on Jun 4, 2012 at 10:57:25 pm

Lindsay,

Not to preclude others users from weighing in here, I'd make a few comments:

  • When one tape is giving you problems and others are not, I'd be inclined to suspect that particular piece of media and try archiving the same data to a different tape.

  • When you encounter increasing frequency of archiving errors, you may have dirty heads or a failing tape drive - try running a cleaning tape through the system.

  • If this doesn't help, you may need to have our technicians run an evaluation of your tape mechanism via a remote support connection.

  • It would be helpful to know exactly what the error message you're seeing is.

    Tom Goldberg
    Cache-A Corporation
    602 Park Point Drive
    Golden, CO 80401
    mailto:tom.goldberg@cache-a.com
    http://cache-a.com




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    Lindsay Simpson
    Re: Cache-A Tape Catalog Errors -- Occurence Increasing in Frequency
    on Jun 20, 2012 at 10:50:32 pm

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for your reply. I agree and initially thought an individual tape might be causing the errors. I went ahead and unwrapped a brand new tape and began the process again. Alas, same issues occurring with the same TOC error appearing on my first attempt, at less than half tape capacity, on the new tape.

    I thought perhaps again it was the procedure I was using and tried a slightly different approach after erasing the new tape following it's first TOC error. For the next attempt I copied about 400 GB of media to the staging folder and then dragged/dropped it's entire contents into the VTAPE folder rather than transferring one media directory at time, which could be anywhere from 4 GB to 64 GB. Here is a link to the latest TOC error on the new tape.

    toc_error_420gb_staged_transfer_6_19_12.png

    I will purchase a head cleaning tape and try that next. Do have any brand preference when it comes to head cleaners? How often do you recommend running a head cleaner? I will report back following the clean.

    Thank you,

    Lindsay


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    Tom Goldberg
    Re: Cache-A Tape Catalog Errors -- Occurence Increasing in Frequency
    on Jun 20, 2012 at 11:44:55 pm

    All LTO drive models can be cleaned with an LTO Universal Cleaning Tape. Do not attempt to use swabs or other manual cleaning methods. We use Fuji, but Sony, Maxell and TDK are all LTO approved manufacturers - LTO tapes with other branding are made by one of these companies.

    Normally a cleaning is only required when the cleaning light on the drive starts to flash, normally after about every 50 tapes, but this can vary significantly depending upon tape batches, environment and drive specific factors.

    In cases like yours, a preemptive cleaning certainly would be recommended before any other steps.

    Tom Goldberg
    Cache-A Corporation
    602 Park Point Drive
    Golden, CO 80401
    mailto:tom.goldberg@cache-a.com
    http://cache-a.com




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    Lindsay Simpson
    Re: Cache-A Tape Catalog Errors -- Occurence Increasing in Frequency
    on Jun 21, 2012 at 4:44:35 pm

    Thank you for the valuable information. I don't believe we have come close to hitting the 50 tape mark, but as you note there are many factors involved. I will proceed with the head cleaning as you suggest, start archiving again and report back it that doesn't solve the issue.

    Lindsay


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    Lindsay Simpson
    Re: Cache-A Tape Catalog Errors -- Occurence Increasing in Frequency
    on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:50:19 pm

    I have just acquired a universal LTO cleaning cartridge, and have one more question before I run the cleaner. I took a look at the new v2.1 manual and noted the new section on 'Cleaning'. There is no reference to any procedure that needs to be initiated etc. for cleaning to commence when the cleaning cartridge is inserted. This leads me to assume that the only step is insert the cleaning cartridge and the Cache-A drive will take it from there. Should I be aware of an extra step/procedure that needs to occur for the clean session to run?

    Thank you,

    Lindsay


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    Tom Goldberg
    Re: Cache-A Tape Catalog Errors -- Occurence Increasing in Frequency
    on Jun 21, 2012 at 11:17:11 pm

    You are all set Lindsay - The drive will automatically detect when a cleaning cartridge is inserted and automatically run a cleaning cycle with it and then eject the cleaning tape when complete (this may take up to 5 minutes).

    Thanks for checking the manual, I will assure this gets clarified in the next manual update.

    Tom Goldberg
    Cache-A Corporation
    602 Park Point Drive
    Golden, CO 80401
    mailto:tom.goldberg@cache-a.com
    http://cache-a.com




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