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I have a problem with a LTO 3 Tape Drive. I'm using Brightstor ArcServe Backup software with Windows Server 2003.

Sometimes, the scheduled backups will stop working and going into "devices" inside this software reveals that the Tape Drive is offline. The only way to make it work again is uninstalling the Tape Drive's driver and rebooting the server: Windows then auto recognizes and installs the required drivers and the Tape Drive works again.

Has anyone ever encountered a similar problem?

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Sounds like a hardware problem with the tape drive to me. – Hyppy May 20 '11 at 20:45
Yes it does, but the strange thing is that a driver reinstall and windows reset fixes it for a week or two – bruno077 May 20 '11 at 20:48

If you're only running Brighstor and no other tape software, disable the RSM service and see if that improves things.

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I'll try, thanks – bruno077 May 20 '11 at 20:48

It's a long shot, but I once had a similar problem with an LTO4 drive, using BackupExec; specifically having to muck about with drivers and reboot the system to get the drive back. The root cause was that a scheduled task was overrunning into the launch of a backup job. The task was short, but seriously overloaded the I/O queue on the box. The backup job was so hamstrung by this that the software or driver decided the device wasn't responding properly and flagged it as offline. The scheduled task only overran once a week on average so it was a while before we spotted the cause.

Try using something to monitor the disk queue performance counters on the system (and other metrics), it could just be a symptom of high load at the wrong time.

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I'll try your suggestions and get back ASAP, thank you. – bruno077 May 22 '11 at 21:48

My experience is that it can be a heavily used drive as listed above. It can also be a drive that needs cleaning. With LTO I have seen installations where drives are never cleaned. Look at the logs.

It can also be caused by a faulty cable this is easily eliminated if you do not share a connection between drives.

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