RM Logo
Technical Rating: 
Support Home PageSupport
Print This PagePrint This Page
Add to 'My Library' Add to 'My Library'

Downloading and using the Sony Tape Tool to test your Sony tape unit
Published Date : 27 Apr 2006   Last Updated : 20 Mar 2013   Content Ref: TEC640561  


Locating and downloading the Sony Tape Tool:

If you experience issues with backing up data to the Sony tape drive unit on your RM server, then you can use the Sony Tape Tool to help diagnose the issue.

The latest version can be downloaded from Sony's website here: Sony Tape Tool.

Tape won't eject

It can take about one minute to eject a tape from the drive as it needs to rewind the tape, retract the mechanisms, etc. If after waiting for this time the drive is unresponsive, i.e. it does not respond to depressing the tape eject button, follow the procedure below:

  1. Open Sony Tape Tools and select the drive from the device menu list presented.
  2. Navigate to the Spanner menu, and then select the Issue Commands tab.
  3. Select Unload, and then OK to force a drive eject override command.
  4. If the drive is not detected or if the unload does not eject the drive, the drive maybe unresponsive. Please see the 'Unresponsive drive' section.
  5. Note: If you use Veritas Backup Exec, you will have to stop all B.E. (Backup Exec) services before you run unload.exe. To do this:
    1. Open Administrative Tools in the Control Panel and select Services. This will show a list of all services running on the computer.
    2. You should notice five services with names beginning with BE.
    3. All five services should be stopped by right-clicking on each service and selecting Stop.
    4. If you receive a message stating that other services will be shut down too, select Yes to accept this.

Unresponsive drive
  1. If the tape drive is not visible in device manager, or cannot be detected by the Sony Tape Tool, it is possible that there has been a software error that has crashed the data bus and/or drive.
  2. If the drive has a reset button (typically AIT3 and AIT4 drives), i.e. a small hole on the front bezel of the drive, then you will need to straighten out a paper-clip and gently insert it into the hole. Depress the internal switch and this will force the drive into a hard power reset as indicated by the drive LED indicators going through the power on routines.
  3. If the drive does not have a reset button (typically AIT 1+2 drives) then the server needs to be shut down, and then restarted. At the most appropriate point in time, please power down the server and wait for at least 30 seconds before powering back on. This will ensure the tape drive has had a power reset (simply restarting the server will only reset the data bus).
  4. Once the reset has completed (it could take several minutes to complete) you can restart Sony Tape Tools to check if the drive is now visible. 
  5. If the drive is still not visible in Sony Tape Tools, please check to see if the tape drive appears in the Tape Drive section of device manager. For SCSI tape drives, check that the SCSI controller is present in the SCSI section.
Tape drive bezel reset hole location
  Tape drive bezel reset hole location

Tape drive LED codes
The LED indicators change state according to certain events. Please see the table below that outlines the main indications:
Sony tape drive LED guide
  Sony tape drive LED guide

Backups fail
  1. To determine if the backup failure is hardware related, please open Sony Tape Tools and select the tape drive from the list presented.
  2. Go to the Diagnostics windows (picture of a stethoscope) and click on the Diagnostic Tests tab.
  3. Please insert a tape that you don't mind being overwritten, and run a Write/Read test. A 1GB test is normally sufficient but if you suspect that a larger data test might be more representative, please run a larger test size.
  4. Please note:
    • A larger test size will increase the duration of the test.
    • Once the test has started you can abort it by pressing the abort button.
    • You must wait for the Sony Utility to release the drive with a 'completed' dialog box and the tape drive beeping otherwise the drive and tape tool will hang.
  5. If the Write/Read test fails, please take a note of the error code and proceed to the Diagnostic Report section.

Tape tension
  1. Open Sony Tape Tools and select the drive from the device menu list presented.
  2. Navigate to the Spanner menu, and then the Issue Commands tab.
  3. Run the Load Retention test to see if the tape is being run at the correct tension. Please record the error message if one occurs.

Diagnostic report
  1. In order to help RM diagnose if there is a hardware issue with your drive, please send a diagnostic report along with any other error code information.
  2. Open Sony Tape Tools and select the drive from the device menu list presented.
  3. Go to the Diagnostics windows (picture of a stethoscope) and click on the Diagnostic Reports tab.
  4. Type a brief symptom information and also any error code information from running any previous tests into the text box.
  5. Click on 'select file location' and note the file name and the directory where the report will be located in. You are free to re-name and re-direct the log file, should you wish.
  6. Click on the Long Report radio button, and then press 'generate report'.
  7. After a few minutes, the log will be completed as signified by the tape drive beeping.
  8. Please raise a service call and email the log file to RM for analysis.

Did the information in this article help answer your question?
Please add any comments about this article in the box below. If you answered No then it is important you tell us why so that we can change the article if required. We can only respond if you log in to the RM Support website or provide your contact details. Note: If you need help with a technical query, please log a call online or telephone our support team.
Thank you for your feedback, which is sent directly to the RM Knowledge team. We address every message received with the intention of improving our Knowledge Library articles. If you have an unresolved technical issue, please contact RM Support.

If this article has not helped provide a solution then it is also possible to log a call...

Document Keywords: drive, backup, ait

Please read - important disclaimer information.
http://www.rm.com/_RMVirtual/Includes/csredirect.asp?cref=&title=Standard Content Disclaimer

Top Of PageTop of page