SUMMARY: Backup server device problems [HP LTO]

From: Sigbjorn Strommen <>
Date: Wed Mar 20 2002 - 04:39:20 EST
This is a summary for the problems we had with attaching a HP LTO
drive to a Sun Solaris 8 box (see mail included below for details).

The things that were most relevant to get our setup to work was:

1. Use the st.conf from HP, the one that reads:
   LTO_Ultrium =   1,0x36,0,0xd639,4,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x40,3;

2. Get the latest firmware for the drive and library (we now have
   E19V and 1.33.0, but there could ne newer versions available).
   If you can't hook the library up with a Windows box and use the
   downloads from HP to upgrade it, you must get a tape from HP with
   the firmware for the drive.

3. Patch up Solaris as much as possible

4. If the above doesn't help, get HP to switch the drive to a newer

In our case, we still had problems after steps 1 to 3 above.  I believe
our original drive was from the first batch of drives produced by HP,
so when we got it replaced with a drive from a more recent batch the
remaining problems were solved.


Sigbjorn Strommen wrote:
> I apologize for taking so long to send a summary to the list about
> our problems with the HP LTO/SureStore hardware, the reason is simply
> that we still don't know for sure that we have a working solution.
> However, the situation has improved since my first email to the list,
> so I will send what I have for now.
> Thanks for suggestions from several people:
> Stale Schwenke
> Elizabeth Lee
> Matt M. Morris
> And a big thanks to N.N. (wants to be anonymous). He helped me with
> patch diagnosis, etc.
> Our problem was:
> > we have a Ultra 5 with an Antares dual lvd SCSI card and Solaris 8 set
> > up as a backupserver in combination with a HP SureStore 2/20 library and
> > HP Ultrium 230 tape drive. The Ultra 5 also has a fiber gigabit NIC.
> >
> > The tape drive and library is hooked up to one of the SCSI channels, and
> > a Seagate disk to the other.
> >
> > The software we use is Legato NetWorker 6.1.
> >
> > After many hours of frustration setting this up we now have it partially
> > working.  That is, backing up seems to work fine for days, but when I try
> > to read the tapes I will most times get SCSI and I/O errors, with some of
> > the typical errors reported snipped from /var/adm/messages below:
> [the rest snipped for brewity]
> Solution (need more time for testing and verification before I conlude):
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> * Upgrade firmware of HP SureStore 2/20 library to 1330
> * Upgrade firmware of HP Ultrium 230 drive to E19V
> * Use st.conf settings from HP
> * If you use HP media, check with them that it's not from a bad batch
> I believe that the above are the most important factors.  In addition
> you should also check the basic stuff like cabling, terminators, SCSI
> card drivers, OS patches and compatibility issues with the various
> vendors involved.
> The rest of the email is describing the process in more detail, and
> is not recommended reading if you only want the pure technical stuff,
> which is given above.
> --
> The main problem, as I have experienced it, have been to get support
> and feedback from HP.  I spent months trying to find someone there who
> could send me firmware upgrades and give support in general. One of
> the more bizarre suggestions from someone in HP were that I would
> probably be better off contacting Sun to try to get hold of the
> firmware for the HP LTO drive! (The HP website only have firmware
> that can be uploaded to the LTO drive from a Windows based host.
> If you have no Windows server to hook up the library/drive to, you
> will need to upgrade directly from tape).
> Since my original firmware versions were also listed in Legato's
> compatibility matrix and I was unable to get hold of firmware from
> HP I spent most of my time testing, debugging and verifying all the
> other possible causes in the early stages.
> Having exhausted all other possible causes, while still trying to
> get support from HP I finally managed to get a tape from them two
> weeks ago, with what I was told was the current recommended firmware.
> Version 1300 for the library, and E19V for the LTO drive.  This did
> improve the situation a lot, but unfortunately the second full backup
> after the upgrade failed badly, with strange and inconsistent error
> messages.
> I immediately reported this to HP (with the usual problems of getting
> feedback) and they suggested I should upgrade the library firmware
> again, as the version should really be 1330, not 1300 as they had just
> sent me on tape. They also said that the last crash we had could be due
> to bad tapes from HP.
> [I got the information about the possibility for bad HP media several
> months ago, from a non-HP source, and have been testing using mainly
> IBM tapes until the latest failure.]
> One or more batches of tapes made by HP is bad, and they are now replacing
> them.  They have also told me that they will only give support if I use
> HP media, which I find a bit strange having had the problems I've had
> with both their hardware and media.
> If you are in the market for LTO based drives and libraries I would
> strongly recommend that you ask the vendor to supply references to
> customers who have had success with the combination of hardware and
> software you are intending to use.  I know there are some vendors who
> will do this (unfortunately, I learned this too late).
> -Sigbjxrn
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Received on Wed Mar 20 03:41:18 2002

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