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  2. Troubleshooting
  3. LTO Tape Hardware and Operations Issues

I'm receiving errors when writing to tape but what do they mean?

Below are common items that pop up during LTO that cause failures.

If you are unsure about how to view LTO logs, please click here.

To Test the health of an LTO drive, please click here.


Null File Path - There are illegal characters, lengthly paths, or the path of the files are too deep.

Please see this article to use this new function if you are running v5.6.  https://support.promax.com/knowledge/rename-illegal-paths


Mismatched TOC - "At least one file was found to have a mismatched size from what was expected"

This means that at various points during the backup, there could have been failure with the data.  There could have been a failure during the checksum if this was an archive.  We would generally consider this job to be failed and recommend running it again.


Sense Key Errors: In-depth manual click here.


Sense Key 3 AdditionalSenseCode C - WRITE ERROR 

1. Clean tape drive with cleaning tape

2. Attempt write on multiple tapes to test

3. If multiple tapes fail with the same data, try different data.

4. If different data fails, run health tests on drive.  For procedure, please click here.


Sense Key 3 AdditioanlSenseCode 9 - Track Following Error

This is a fatal medium error meaning that there may be something wrong with the drive or the tape.  We recommend trying another tape.  


Sense Key 3 AdditioanlSenseCode 11 - UNRECOVERED READ ERROR

A cleaning tape can be attempted for this however tape may be physically damaged.  If a cleaning tape has been run and tape drive is healthy, the tape may be at fault and may need to be sent to data recovery services.  


Sense Key 3 AdditionalCode 14 - RECORDED ENTITY NOT FOUND 

This is a fatal medium error which generalizes that the data is not able to be read from the tape.  

The tape could potentially be bad/corrupt.  The way to test if there is fault with the drive, try multiple tapes to see if specific data is able to be pulled.  If this specific tape is consistent, then the tape is bad.  Data recovery services would need to be contacted in attempt to recover the data if the data has no other backup and if the data truly lives on that tape.


Sense Key 3 AdditionalSenseCode 50 - Write Append Error

There is an error with the processing of the writing to tape likely due to position or data.  A cleaning tape is recommended and health checks of the drive must be run.


Sense Key 3 AdditionalSenseCode 52 - Cartridge Fault

Tape is at fault.  Please use another tape


Sense Key 3 AdditionalSenseCode 53 - MEDIA LOAD OR EJECT FAILED

Test with multiple tapes to see if other tapes exhibit the same error.  If all tapes are affected, we recommend updating the drive's firmware and testing the health of the drive.  For procedure, please click here.


Sense Key 4 AdditionalSenseCode 40 - DIAGNOSTIC FAILURE: The Additional Sense Code Qualifier (i.e., XX) indicates the failing component

LTO Health tests must be run.  For procedure, please click here.


Sense Key 4 AdditionalSenseCode 44 - INTERNAL TARGET FAILURE Drive Needs Cleaning, Warning Threshold Exceeded

A cleaning tape must be run through the tape drive.  The tape drive may be close to failure with hardware.


Sense Key 4 AdditionalSenseCode 52 - Cartridge Fault

Tape is at fault.  Please use another tape


Sense Key 6 AdditionalSenseCode 29 - Power On, Reset, or Bus Device Reset Occurred

The drive or SAS connection reset. 

Look at the logs and the at the data to see if there are illegal characters.


What Special Characters do I need to avoid to successfully archive my data? Illegal Characters and Filenames in Platform Servers.

We suggest reseating the hardware internally and then LTO Health tests must be run. 

Hardware reseat instructions found here.

For Health Tests, please click here.