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Insert overwriteable media - not using full 6TB tape for backup

Level 3


I have 6TB back up tapes. When i run the back up is running fine until i hit about 23gb i get the error message to instert an overwriteable media. I insert the a different tape, i erase the tape and start the back up again however the same thing happens. It's not using the full 6TB.

Any advice to solve this?


   VIP    Certified

1) Does this only happen with one tape or all your tapes?

2) Does this happens with this particular job or other jobs?

3) Did your job specify overwrite or append?  If append, try overwrite.

This happens with all jobs.

I just checked the job and the meida set is set to - Keep Data Infintely - Do not allow overwrite.

and when job begins - Append to Media, overwrite if no appendable media is available.

   VIP    Certified

As your retention period setting says, your job will not overwrite your tape which means that it can only append and only use the unused portion of the tape and NEVER the full tape.

If you erase the tape and leave it in the Scratch media set then the job will be able to overwrite the tape.  If you move the tape back to this media set after it has been erased, it would be write protected immediately and you cannot overwrite the tape.

I would suggest that you read the section of the Admin Guide dealing with overwrite protection period and append period carefully and set the OPP and AP of this media set to some appropriate setting. Unless you have unlimited amount of tapes, setting OPP to Keep Data Infinitely is a recipe for job failures.

I am going to set all my jobs to scratch media and will let you know how it goes.

So i erased the tape and madea  new media set.

5 Weeks overwrite protection
Append Period: None - Infinite Allow append.

I was doing a full backup for one job and it stopped at 250GB and asked me to insert a new media drive
Even though its a 6TB tapes

Level 6

To clarify:  this is all within ONE backup job?  or are you running multiple backup jobs?


If you are only talking about ONE backup job, then it should write until the tape drive reports that the tape cartridge is full.  This is irrelevant of the backup append and overwite settings (assuming that the job starts writing bytes in the first place).

Does this tape that has 250GB on it indicate that it is appendable or not, in the BE GUI.  If it is not appendable, why not (what reason does it show in the GUI)? 

If the GUI reports that the tape is full, then you likely have a hardware issue.  Is this a new setup or has it worked previously?

Right now i am testing it on one back up job. Doing a full back up.
This tape has worked previously.

I am looking at the storage, its saying its capacity is at 2.3TB which is odd because this is a 6TB tape.

i so far tried 3 different tapes and the same thing happens

it stops at 250GB saying to insert an overwriteable tape

Whats the difference between Erase and Erase Fresh Tape?

Level 6

What tape drive are you using?  Specifically, what generation of LTO tape drive?  What LTO generation of tape cartridges are you using?  I am guessing LTO6 tape drive and LTO6 cartridge?

Ignore the compressed capacity  (6TB) of the tape cartridge as that is basically marketing stuff for another discussion.  But you should always be able to get to the native capacity of the cartridge.

What does BE show as the appendable status for a tape that only has 250GB written to it?  does BE show that it is full?

I suspect that you have have a clogged tape drive head, but we need more answers first.  This is where I suspect you are heading.


re: Whats the difference between Erase and Erase Fresh Tape?

I am not familiar with an option in BE called "Erase Fresh Tape".  There is a major difference between an "Erase" and a "Long Erase".


they are LTO6 yes.
backup exec does not say it has appendable 250gb and it does not say its full.

Right now i put in another tape and i ran erase fresh tape. checked the storage it is saying 0 bytes used of 2.3bTB

it was doing incremential backups this time and stopped at 547MB and asked us to insert a media over writeable drive.

I did run the tape cleaning before doing the jobs

Level 6

re: backup exec does not say it has appendable 250gb and it does not say its full.

I am not exaclty sure what you are saying here, can you provide a screen shot please?

If BE doesn't show that the tape is full, then it should have continued writing to it.

ok i think there was something wrong with the two tapes cause the other two worked with the fullback up but then it failed.. i got this message...

Backup- VRTSRV::\\smhg-hv01\Hyper-V?Virtual?Machine\SMHG-FILE1V-79-57344-65304 - The Virtual Machine resource is not responding. Backup set canceled.

BackupV-79-57344-65304 - The Virtual Machine resource is not responding. Backup set canceled.