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Erasing/deleting a tape

 

Hi

I am having a problem in deleting a tape that was previously used for backup in my NBU 7.0. 

I had four tapes that were used about a month ago for FULL Backup. As at the time i inserted them into the tape library they were named A0000, A00001, A00002, and A00003. Then after about two weeks it was then removed from the library for offsite backup, then some time last week, when i inserted the Tapes back into the library it named them A00013, A00014, A00015 and A00016. I needed to delete the media and re-use the tape for FULL Backup again, this was what i got.

I thing all the information on those previous tapes(A0000, A00001, A00002, and A00003) were deleted by mistake before the tapes were re-inserted

 

After running the commands in command prompt i decided to check the problems report for the details and these was what i saw.

incorrect drive media found in drive index 16, expected A00015, found A00003, FREEZING A00015

incorrect drive media found in drive index 16, expected A00016, found A00002, FREEZING A00016

incorrect drive media found in drive index 16, expected A00013, found A00001, FREEZING A00013

incorrect drive media found in drive index 16, expected A00014, found A00000, FREEZING A00014

 

I really need to re-use those tapes for FULL Backup again, how can i erase/delete them.

Also what is the best way or the best practice to move tapes for offsite backup, because anytime i remove any tape from the robot library, i face serious issues when i try to insert them back.

 

15 Replies
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bplabel

man bplabel

 

     The bplabel command writes a NetBackup label on the
     specified media. Labels are required only for the media that
     were last used for NetBackup catalog backups or by a
     non-NetBackup application. You can use this command to erase
     and label the media that is unassigned in a volume database.
     In addition, you can use this command to assign specific
     media IDs. The NetBackup Device Manager daemon or service
     (ltid) must be active for bplabel to succeed. You also must
     manually assign the drive by using the NetBackup Device
     Monitor unless you include the -u option on the bplabel
     command.
 
     Caution:  Ensure that the media does not contain required
          backups. After the media is relabeled, any backups that
          were on it cannot be restored.
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Tape Barcodes

Sounds to me like you do not have bar codes on your tapes.

When a tape without a bar code is added to the library, it has no idea what it is, assumes it is a new and and give it a number starting the A00001.

The first time you write to the tape a tape label is written to the beginning of it, in this case A00001.

you remove the tape from the library.

When you put it back in the library has no idea it has see the tape before because it does not have a bar-code on it.  So it thinks it is a new tape and gives it a number it has not used before,  A00013.

Now it goes to use that tape and loads it in the tape drive, and low and behold it already has a label on it of A00001.  It was not expecting that, and it is afraid that maybe you had switched tape or lost the bar-code.  So to protect you and your data, NB refused to write to the tape until you figure out what happened.

So first  - get some BARCODES on your tape, libraries work better with bar-codes.

To until then,  if you KNOW for a fact that A00001 has expired and do not need the data on the tape.  And the library now thinks it is A00013.  You can right click A00013 and chose Label.  It will bring up a window.

UN-CHECK "Verify media label..."  This tells it that you don't care what label it had, please overwrite it with a new label, and it will put a new label on it with the name it currently thinks the tape is.  So in this case it will overwrite the A00001 with A00013, then when it wants to use it for backups the label will match the MediaID it was given and be fine.

You will have to do this to every tape you put back in after it has expired.  NB with continue to give un-barcoded tapes new number ... up and up and up, until you get real bar-codes put on your tapes.

When you do put bar-codes on them you will have to do the label again, so that the label will match the media id which matches the bar-code.

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If you are using non-barcoded

If you are using non-barcoded media in a robot with a barcode reader, PLEASE purchase some labels...

If you are using a robot without a barcode reader, you should only ever run a 'normal' inventory when adding new tapes.

When you re-enter previously used media, you must run vmphinv (physical inventory) from cmd.

This process will load each tape, read the internal barcode and update NBU with robot slot #.

Full details in NBU Admin Guide I in the Media section.

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Dear Chukwuemeka

get some barcodes ....

Without barcode Media Managing in Robot but is really pathetic.

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  ok, Since i really need to

 

ok,

Since i really need to re-use those tapes for backups, i would first of all put barcodes on the four tapes then proceed with

"UN-CHECK "Verify media label..."  This tells it that you don't care what label it had, please overwrite it with a new label, and it will put a new label on it with the name it currently thinks the tape is.  So in this case it will overwrite the A00001 with A00013, then when it wants to use it for backups the label will match the MediaID it was given and be fine."

yes you were correct when you said that they dont have barcodes. I actually have about 15 tapes in two different volume pools currently.

They dont all have barcodes how do i manage this kind of situation, because i have FULL backups in all the tapes inside the library now.

Also i run two types of FULL BACKUPS. One is the normal FULL BACKUP which runs every friday the other one is the Monthly Full backup which runs every last friday of the month and the normal FULL BACKUP has a retention of 1 month while the Monthly FULL BACKUP has a retention of 1 year.

I need to be removing the tapes used for FULL BACKUPS for every week out and keeping them for offsite backup and also intend to be recycling the tapes as they expire. What is the best way to manage this.

NOTE: Each full backup for every week uses about 4 tapes.

 

thanks for all your contributions.........

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As stated

from Marianne:

When you re-enter previously used media, you must run vmphinv (physical inventory) from cmd. 

do that if you still do not have barcodes on your tapes.  Do not do the inventory robot from the gui.

From everybody else.

Get  barcodes,  NetBackup and Robots work great with barcodes, makes your life easy.

Allows you to do all you want with out a lot of worry.

As to how to manage it, it would be the same with or without barcodes.

Take your tapes out when the backups are done. send them offsite with a return date based on when the images will expire.  Have them come back on the day or the day AFTER they expire.  Then you can put them back into the robot and they will be ready to use that night.  Do the vmphinv from the command line to so NB get the correct tape ids and they do not get new ones.

Once you get barcodes on the tapes and you do a new bplable on them to match the barcodes you can do the inventory from the gui.

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  so it is safe to be taking

 

so it is safe to be taking the tapes after backup for offsite and then re-inserting it again when you need to use them or when you need to over-write on them.

But each time i re-insert it i should run this command first  vmphinv from the command line or do a new bplabel on them to match the barcodes and then run the inventory from the gui.

 

Well, what i usually do before now is that whenever i put in a new tape or the previous used tapes i just go to the robot tab and run the inventory then update the information on the inventory.

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As Mairanne said

doing the inventory with the robot the way us usually do it, the robot thinks those are new tapes it has never seen before so it will give them new A###### media ids,  which means you then need to bplable them again.

Doing the command will cuse the robot to update the media id with the same one already written to it.  Then you can be sure that the tape has expired before writing to it again.

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deleted images on tape not reflecting

 

i am yet to delete those tapes because they have not yet added barcodes to them, but would soon do that.

I have a tape that for example A00017 that is already FULL. I go to the report page to see the images on the tape. I found out that it has about 7 clients image backup on it.

I needed to free some space on that particular tape, so i decided to delete about 3 of the client image backup on it.

I then went to catalog, sorted out the client images for the 3 clients, then right-clicked on them and expired them.

I was thinking that after doing that, they automatically get deleted in the tape A00017, which after i run a new report on images on tape, i don't get to see those clients present.

To my greatest surprise when i try to write new client backup to that tape, it fails with this error Status Code: 96. Message: unable to allocate new media for backup, storage unit has none available.

I really don't understand  why, because it seems the images i expired for the 3 clients, seem not to have been deleted from the tape.

what can i do, because i need to use that particular tape for a client backup, so i need to create space on that tape.

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You cannot free SOME space on

You cannot free SOME space on a tape - NBU can only reuse/overwrite a tape when ALL images have expired.

JH has written an excellent blog explaining in detail how this works: https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/understanding-how-netbackup-writes-tape

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remove remaining images

if you want to reuse that particular tape then perhaps you may want to duplicate the existing images unto a new tape and then expire the original copy. Then you will have met the criteria for all images to have expired allowing the tape to be unassigned and returned to the scratch pool for reuse.

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i need to use that particular tape

Please explain this requirement? "i need to use that particular tape".

You will agree that you have been battling with status 96 for a couple of months now...

If you understand NBU's media selection criteria, then maybe you can use that as motivation to purchase enough tapes?  See: http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO33982

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hi marianne I have tried to

hi marianne

I have tried to use that command vmphyinv on an old tape i just inserted in the tape library, on command prompt after using the command vmphyinv, it brings out several options(e.g -rn etc) for the media to be mounted,which of this options am i supposed to use, in other to view the content of my tape, so that i can do a recovery from that tape

 
thanks
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I have only used vmphyinv two

I have only used vmphyinv two or three times in all the years that I have been working with NBU.

Nobody can remember all switches and options for all the NBU commands, therefore I had to use the NBU documentation to lookup command usage.

A couple of examples for vmphyinv can be found in NBU Admin Guide I. More details can be found in the Commands manual.

Administrator's Guide for Windows, I  http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH127079

NetBackup Commands http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH127047

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sure, thx.. Marianne

sure, thx..

Marianne