Paul Roub

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NT Backup Not Seeing Ecrix VXA Tapes

Posting this so that others might Google it, feel like less of a dumbass than I do, and save some head-banging-against-wall time.

Noticed that my nightly tape backups were failing. NT Backup was insisting that the requested tape was not available. Double-checked, and it’s the right tape. Hmm.

Maybe the tape’s had it – try again with a new one. NT Backup reports no free media available, either. Uh-oh. There is a known issue wherein the media library gets corrupted, and I’ve seen it happen before. Follow the prescribed steps to blow off the library, re-insert the new tape, wait for the “can I import that?” notification.

Nada.

After much spelunking, I finally find a helpful Support entry at the Exabyte (who I believe subsumed Ecrix) site.

The key points to note therein are:

If the tape drive is requesting a cleaning, the Removable Storage Manager will not show a tape loaded in the drive.

Note for VXA users: The VXA tape drive does not use its LEDs to indicate when a cleaning is needed while a tape is loaded in the drive. Make sure the VXA drive is empty when checking for the cleaning LED.

In a nutshell: the drive wanted cleaning. NT Backup didn’t know this, and the cleaning LED is oh-so-helpfully disabled when a tape is in the drive. Neat.

Grab the cleaning tape, lather, rinse, but don’t repeat – all is well.