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Alice_Stewart's avatar
14 years ago

intermittent end marker errors

I have a server running the Backp Exec 2011 R2 remote agent. Over the past 2 weeks, the backup has intermittently failed with the following error:

(Server: "<servername>") (Job: "<server>") <server> -- The job failed with the following error: The network connection to the Backup Exec Remote Agent has been lost. Check for network errors.

After the job fails, it marks the tape as "Not appendable (end marker unreadable)"

The job is an Overwrite job.

While the job is churning away, trying to run, I get a ton of these on the Alerts tab of BE:

Please insert overwritable media into the robotic library using the import command.

Overwritable media includes scratch, blank, and recyclable media. Please note that depending on the current Media Overwrite Protection setting, imported and allocated media may be overwritable as well. Consult the online help for more information on overwritable media.

There are no soft or hard errors on the tapes that get the end marker error. There are 7 tapes in the rotation for this server and it has happened at least once on every tape. I am using a Dell ML 6020 with 6 - LTO3 drives and the failure occurs no matter the tape or drive.

There are 20 other jobs spread across 5 other media servers running on this tape library and there are no failures on any other tapes.

I have read that instability in the remote agent can cause the tape to be designated as 'end marker unreadable', but there are no events indicating that the remote agent is dropping offline during the backup or any other time. I also read that Job Engine failures can cause the end marker error, however the Job Engine is stable because the media server is running another job at the same time this one is running and that job is always successful.

I have to manually fix the 'end marker' designation per TECH50884, and re-run the backup job. When I re-run it manually, it is successful every time.

I thought about reinstalling the remote agent, but I have had so many problems with installing the BE 2011 remote agent on other servers, I am afraid to try it on this one since I can at least get it to run manually. It's an Exchange server and if I can't get the agent to reinstall, I'm stuck.

Any suggestions?



6 Replies

  • BE marks a tape as Endmarker Unreadable when a backup job fails while writting data on the tape.

    Tape properties are also changed during the backup job which makes the tape non overwritable.

    BE throws "insert overwritable media" alerts if there are no overwritable media available.

    How often you peform cleaning of the tape drive? Also have you checked the event viewer for 

    any hardware related error messages.

  • As the other jobs targetted onto the same tape device and also only one remote server backup is getting this error, So i believe the problem relates to the network only. 

    Any AV scanning is happening during the backup job on the remote server?


  • Thanks for the replies....

    Tape library is not indicating that any drives need to be cleaned and there are no hardware related events/errors.

    The remote server is an Exchange server, so yes, AV is running during the backup and always has.  This server has been running this version of BE for a year.


  • One easy way to get rid of the end marker unreadable problem is to just overwrite the tape.  It cannot be appended to, but it can be overwritten.  If the job overwriting the tape does not fail, then the new end marker should be readable.

    Usually, communication failure is because the remote agent has crashed.  Check the Eventlog on the remote server to see whether there is any crash.

    When you get the import message, it means that you do not have any overwriteable tape in your library.  Check your media to make sure that you have at least one overwriteable tape BEFORE the start of the job.

  • I have overwritten the tapes in question as part of the process to clear the end marker error.  That resolves the issue at that point, but on some of the tapes, (again there is no consistency) during the normal scheduled overwrite backup job that night, I get the error again.  There are no events related to the BE remote agent on the server that is being backed up.  AND, there were no errors with last night's job.  Weird.

  • Do go to the Media tab, click on the tapes and check the number of errors.  If there are excessive number of either read or write errors, especially hard errors, then you should replace the tapes.  If there are excessive number of errors even for fairly new tapes, then you should replace the tape drive.