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Windows Thinks Tape Is Write Protected


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#1
magusbuckley

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Hello:

At work, we use Micros as our POS. Recently, we in IT put on our happy faces when we got word of new Micros Servers coming our way! The servers are here and we are to go live in November with the updated software. Until then, we've been prepping for the big day. Part of our preperation is to test the backups.

On a Server 03 system, we have a new external SCSI IBM Ultrium 3 Tape Drive. We married the drive with Ultrium 3 Tapes. The problem is that we can't get windows to accept the tapes. For some strange reason, it thinks they are all write protected, but they aren't!

When we go into Computer Management, we can see the tape under "Removable Storage" under "Media". The Windows backup program is set up to pull new media from the "Free Media" Pool. When we drag the tape from "Media" to the "Free Media" Pool, a message appears asking if we'd like to make the tape free. We are warned that doing so will erase any data already on the tape. These are new tapes so we say "Yes" to add the tape to the "Free Media" pool. Then, a message appears stating that the tape is write protected.

I've googled every search term I can think of and can't seem to find an answer to this one. On one page's listed Meta Tags, I can see that someone else had this exact problem. That page, hower, can't be reached at the momet (the server is down according to the error page I wound up at).

Note: The tape that came with the drive was initially setup as a daily backup. We used the same tape over and over until the new ones came in. That tape worked just fine. It's the new tapes, also from IBM, that we can't get to work.

Do any of you have any suggestions?

Thanks,

Magus
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#2
WinCrazy

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Hi magusbuckley.

This isn't an XP OS problem - it is an IBM driver/application program problem. Call technical support in IBM to help with this. They there to be able to fix any problem that comes there way concerning their own products - that's there job. Especially since the equipment is still new and under a full warranty.
_

Edited by WinCrazy, 22 September 2007 - 09:00 PM.

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#3
magusbuckley

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WinCrazy:

I worked on this tape drive all day with another member of IT. I tried updating the firmware and drivers, but they were already up to date. I also downloaded a Tape Test Program from IBM, but we were never able to figure out how it works.

At some point, my buddy suggesting rebooting the server with the tape in the drive. I thought he was crazy but couldn't think of anything better to try at the time. To my amazement, the tape was recognized when the system came up. I was able to drag the tape into the free media pool. Now, of course, we are on a roll....or so we though. I put the next tape in and Windows wouldn't recognize it. I rebooted again and the second tape came to life. Now, we are both looking at each other thinking about how crazy this whole situation is and how much time we'll be wasting if we have to reboot the server for each tape. As we discussed it, I popped the third tape in the drive and rebooted. This time, however, the tape wasn't recognized even after the reboot.

I couldn't take it any more so I did as you suggested and called IBM. I was impressed when a picked up the phone and introduced himself. I didn't have to speak to a computer at all. I got excited to quickly because the guy couldn't help me at all. He suggested I call Microsoft and claimed the issue was with Windows and not the tape drive. I assumed then that he didn't handle too many windows calls so asked him if he mainly deals with AS/400 tape issues. He couldn't tell me that either (as if it's confidential information). So...we got nowhere fast.

The day closed and I went home. The tape drive will be waiting for me tomorrow.

Thanks,

Magus
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#4
WinCrazy

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Hi magusbuckley.

The response from the IBM is unacceptable and downright unprofessional. Any company is required to support all hardware and software on which their products are specified to work.

Escalate the issue to a supervisor until the problem is fixed. Don't tale "No" for an answer. Perhaps the hardware is defective, but you have the warranty after all.
_
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#5
magusbuckley

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WinCrazy:

Made another phone call to IBM today. The lady I spoke with took all of my information and then told me that her database couldn't match my area code to my zip code. She confirmed both numbers several times and repeatedly told me that I was giving her the wrong numbers. Look, I've worked here for more than four years now. I'm well aware of our area code and zip code. I thought she was going to downright refuse to assist me because of this issue. I finally got loud and told her to have someone update the database. I was put on hold for several minutes and she finally agreed to have a technician call me back. I gave her the extension for the phone in the wiring closet and she said we would receive a call within an hour. An hour and a half later, it was time for lunch and we had yet to recieve a call. I dropped by my office to check my messages and couldn't believe I had one from IBM. He asked for me by name instead of my extension so he was patched through to my office. So...after lunch, I called back and gave my spiel. The lady said she'd have the guy call me back. That was a half hour ago and I'm not holding my breath. OK...I'm done ranting about IBM right now.

What I really wanted to post about is that I managed to google up the following information during my quest for an answer. The following paragraph has been copied and pasted from another forum. The person making the inital post was having the exact problem I'm having now. The reply to him was:

I noticed in the Properties for the tape drive itself in Remote Storage that
there is a check box that says "Recognize cleaner cartridge barcodes". I was
suprised something like that would exist, but I unchecked it and sure enough
the tapes were no longer maked as write protected. (I later relabeled the
tapes with legitimate barcode labels and checked the box again, which of
course had the same affect.)


What we can't figure out now is where "Remote Storage" is. He said he clicked properties for the tape drive in "Remote Storage" but we can't find it. We jumped into "REMOVABLE storage" from Computer Management but can't find this check box he speaks of.

Have any clue where that might be located, or do you think he just mis-typed Removable?

To the best of my knowlege though, our tape drive doesn't have a barcode reader. It's an IBM TS2230. The machine type is 3580. There is a tape drive whoes model number is 3580, but that isn't our drive. That is a multitape drive. This is a single loader.

Hope this helps,

Magus
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#6
WinCrazy

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Hi magusbuckley.

That's some story about your phone tag with IBM, but not all that surprising. I guess you will have to continue playing this game until either you are able to get in contact with someone in person or you will be forced to escalate the situation once again.
________________

I don't know a darn thing about any tape drives. You were fortunate that you were able to locate thread discussion at all. Is there any way you can revisit that thread and try to contact the author ? If so, I think that would eliminate a lot of aggravation. The authors of each forum message post has a drop-down menu in which you can send a message to the author. Try doing a "mouse-over" on the author's name to see the options menu.

Perhaps the configuration menus have changed. How old was that thread ?

Edited by WinCrazy, 24 September 2007 - 05:40 PM.

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#7
magusbuckley

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WinCrazy:

The IBM fiasko is over. On the following morning, my friday, I told my coworkers I was going to get that tape drive working by the end of the day and that I was going to get someone from IBM on the phone someway somehow. I called back and referenced my service ticket number. The lady said..."Oh, I see that the parts on order and we'll have someone in your area when they arrive. It may take a couple of days." Then, of course, I had to explain to her that there was no way possible parts could be on order for my tape drive because I hadn't even spoken to a technician yet. Then, we had to go round and round about that issue. For some reason, these people have a lot of trouble swalling what I tell them. It's as if everything I tell them is a lie. Goodness. She finally agrees to have the guy call me. Within an hour, we get that call. He determines, from our conversation, that this is a windows issue and not a tape drive issue. The call was short, brief, and disappointing.

Then, my bossman gets involved in the deal. Now, there are literally FIVE of us trying to figure this thing out. Somehow, one guy decided we may have set up the SCSI settings incorrectly. Still, no matter how much any of us claimed to know about SCSI, we could not get the tape drive to operate properly. One thing we finally noticed though, is that immediately following a reboot, Computer Management sees the tapedrive as LTO Ultrium Drive. Then, after it accesses a tape for any reason, it adds a new device called "unknown" to the mix. From that point forward, Windows thinks the tape drive is an unknown device with unknown media that is write protected. Still, though, we are all in disagreement as to what is causing this problem.

At the end of the day, we were all standing there scratching our heads. I left on time and put the tape drive on the back burner. I'm on vacation this week for uhhhmm, Halo 3. Pitiful to use vacation days for a video game, but I'm one of those.

Hopefully, when I get back next week, they'll have this all straightened out. When we finally get things working, I'll be sure to let you all know what the problem was and how we managed to fix it. Until then, if anyone has any information they'd like to contribute, I'd be glad to contact my people and pass along the information. At this point, we'd try anything!

Thanks,

Magus
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