Home > Geeky, Mac administration > Notes on swapping out a bad tape drive.

Notes on swapping out a bad tape drive.

If you have an IBM 3582 LTO-2 tape library (especially one attached to an XServe via fibre channel) and you need to change out the tape drive for a replacement one, here’s some knowledge that I picked up today that could save you some trouble during the process.

1. If you have the version of the operator’s manual that I have, it makes a reference in the manual in the drive replacement section to Remove Drive and Replace Drive being under the Tools menu of the built-in interface on the front of the tape library. That section is wrong. It’s actually Power Off Drive and Power Up Drive. You use them as laid out in the manual, just choose Power Off Drive when you want to remove the old drive and Power Up Drive when you want to install the new drive. Honestly, though, just power down the whole library when you’re making the swap.

2. Once the replacement tape drive comes online, your tape library may insist that (evidence to the contrary) there’s a tape in the drive. Make it happy, pop in a tape manually by reaching into the library and inserting a tape into the drive. (I then used the robot picker to eject it and the LCD display on the front of the library showed that there was now not a tape in the drive.)

3. If you are using Retrospect for Mac, set your tape library to use Random picking of the slots, instead of Sequential. If you set it for Sequential, Retrospect will only show your tape drive and none of the slots in your library.

4. Unless you’ve got some special hard-to-recreate settings that were set using the LCD display on the front of the library, it may be easiest to (after installing the replacement tape drive) to reset the library back to factory defaults and running through the Setup Wizard again. If you do that, though, make sure to pop out your cleaning tape(s) first, as the Setup Wizard complains about the presence of cleaning tape(s) when you’re setting the AutoClean settings.

5. If you’re running the latest version of Retrospect and it’s being balky about showing the slots in the tape library, and you know you have it set for Random (see tip 3), shut down your backup machine and your tape library. Power up the tape library first, wait a few minutes for it to come online, then start up your backup machine. Retrospect should behave itself now.

That’s it. Hopefully, somebody can use this to save themselves a couple of hours of trouble.

Categories: Geeky, Mac administration
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