[Tape Backup] Input/Output error or write access denied in logs during writing LTO Ultrium tapes


Tapes are generally used for backups in Small and Large organizations due to its high durability. A tape has a life span of 15 to 30 years and even more if properly taped. 2.5 TB is the amount of data that can be backed up on one tape as of today. For more info check out the wiki page. To make a backup of any data you need: 1. Data 2. Tape 3. Tape Drive along with required software.

Some times you get some strange errors, especially when tape drive is quite old and the tape cartridge is the newest, shown as follows:

root@stor001:/# mt -f /dev/st0 tell
/dev/st0: Input/output error

Or when you use a taping software and it gives write access denied on /dev/st0.

Well the solution relies on the Tape drive firmware as it is quite old. But in order to find which version or revision of firmware you need to update to there are some simple steps to be performed: [Following steps are related to HP Tape drives only]

first of all you need to download the LTT software on you Linux or Windows machine [here is the link http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/ltt/ %5D. There is a nice User manual for LTT here http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c02514442/c02514442.pdf . For Windows there is a nice self explanatory GUI check the manual for more info. For linux after installing this software,following are the steps:

the ltt software is installed in your /opt/ltt  folder, so following are the steps to invoke the command line program:

cd /opt/ltt/

./hp_ltt

This launches a Command Line Interface,

first you have to do a Hardware Scan, after which you get the list of Tape drives attached to your system.

Then select the Tape drive with which you are facing problems.

Then perform a “LTO Drive Assessment Test” which which give you a result as Passed with warning and show you the report of the test.

In that report it will clearly mention the current number of your Tape drive firmware and the required number of firmware revision to be installed.

Download firmware file from HP website and copy the .frm file from the download to the /opt/ltt/firmware/ folder.

Then in the ltt software again select the Tape Drive and select firmware option. The firmware startsup and at the end shows you a report of the success.

Reboot your machine. and Thats it, your tape drive should function as normal.

Further Reading:

http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c02514442/c02514442.pdf

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About Dominic

J for JAVA more about me : http://about.me/dominicdsouza
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