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Robotic Library

Level 2

I have just installed a new robotic library and I can't get backup exec to back up to tape.

I have the backup job setup and have have set the storage to the robotic library. I have defined two media sets, an incremental medai set and a full media set. I do incremental backups everyday and full backups once a week pointing to the respective media set. I have associated tapes with each media set.

When the backup runs I get an alert that says library insert: Please insert overwritable media into the robotic library using the import command.

If I tryimporting something I get a pop up please remove the media from the portal. If I click respond ok then it prompts me to insert the media and I go round and around with this in an endless loop.(screenshot attached).

The thing is, the tape drive alwasy says no media inserted. Do I need to insert media into the drive through the robotic library management console? I have tried that and backup exec still says no media so not sure if this is the issue or not.

Is there a comprehensive step by step guide to backing up to tape? I can't find one. I can backup to disk just fine but tape drive is kicking my butt and I don't understand what I am doing wrong. Thanks in advance.


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would recommend you to not associate the media with any media set. Let them be associated with the scratch media set. When the backup runs, it will get associated with the respective media set mentioned in the backup job.
Having said that, I would also recommend to not create full and incremental seperate media set.  Maybe just have one media set which have the append period and overwrite protection period defined. If you direct the full and incremental to the same media set  (if you want to write to specific tape, you can also partition the library using BE and choose that in backup job)  and try to fit the entire chain on single tape, it will help from restore perspective (restore can be done from one tape rather than mutiple tapes being put in to complete the set restore). If you want to append to the same tape for 5 days, then choose 5 days as the append period and overwrite protection you can decide on the number of days after which you will be bringing the tape back in. That way, the tapes will be overwritable and can be overwritten by the backups.
For more info -

Thanks. I made the change to one media set and associated the tapes with scratch media. But I still get the alert Library Insert: Please insert overwritable media into the robotic library using the import command.

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Disclaimer: I am not a BE expert, just trying to assist based on library issues experienced with NetBackup. 

It seems that the issue is with tapes that seem 'stuck' in the mailslot ('Please remove the media from the portal" ).

I have seen 2 different issues in NBU forum causing similar problems:

  1. Normal library slots configured as mailslots. The library console reported the canisters/slots as 'Load Ports'.
  2. Default config on new library only allowed injecting of media through the LCD screen on the front panel.

So, it may be a config issue on the library preventing BE from moving tapes out of the mailslot to normal slots. 

Employee Accredited Certified

Looking at your screenshot and what you wrote in the original post you may have 3 problems


1) Please insert overwritable media into the robotic library using the import command.  - this is usually caused by not understanding Overwrite and Append handling of tapes and/or manually inserting tapes into media sets, not realizing that a tape takes on overwrite protection a) When it is first placed in a media set and b) when it is last written to by a backup (whichever happens last).  Hence you shoud never move new tapes into a specific media set, but leave them in scratch and Let Backup Exec move them as needed (more or less part of Gurvinder's answer)

2) You have experienced a warning message  related to the portal (or mailslot) which is there to assist admins with adding or removing tapes from a library  (using Import and Export functions). It appears that you may have run an export job and then received that alert at the end of the process but not realized that you then need to remove the tape from the portal and acknowledge the alert or possibly acknowledge the alert and immediately run an import if the export was done in error. (import operations move tapes to a storage slot from the portal, exports do the reverse)  Note: tapes cannnot be used for backup or restore purposes when ther are in the portal/mailslot of the library. This all relates to Marianne's comments.

3) You have a drive in the library marked as MISSING DEVICE which is indicative of BE detected a problem with the configuration of the libary itself - I can't tell if your library has 2 tape drives and one is not working, or 1 tape drive and some kind of ghost drive that doesn't really exist. Either way you need to look at what the Operating System shows for numbers of drives in device manager, possibly look at the event logs as well and then look at the library configuration (including any  firmware updates) - you may have to delete the library from BE and let it be detected again as part of any solution to this.


If you can't solve (or understand) each of these issues then you might meant to consider a formal support case for us to look at exactly what you are doing.

 Note: The tape drives showing no media is expected as the media will only be in a drive when a job is ruinning.

You should be able to see media in the storage slots though

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check this technote as well.
The screenshot is from an older version but you can check the properties of the tape to confirm this is not the case