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Backup Error

By qballrail ·
The following error is received periodically when performing nightly backups:

Verify of "E: DataStore"
Backup set #3 on storage media #1
Backup set description: "DocLink System"
Verify started on 10/11/2006 at 3:19:48 AM.

Storage device "DELL 2" reported an error on a request to read data from media.

Error reported:
The semaphore timeout period has expired.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^

A few years back, an Administrator told me that was due to a dirty drive. The drive is cleaned on a weekly basis.

This is on a Dell Poweredge 4600, W2K sp4. The program is Backup Exec.

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The semaphore timeout period has expired.

by Mictlantecuttli In reply to Backup Error

Hi jdhNV,

There are lots of things that you need to consider when dealing with TBU issues.

Firstly, what type of TBU is it? If it is a DDS TBU then it would need regular cleaning as they are quite dirty little drives. However, the general rule of thumb is that you should only clean the TBU when the cleaning light is on. The reason for this is that a cleaning tape is abrasive and is equivilent to running sandpaper over the read/write heads which can and will reduce the TBU's life expectancy.

This may be a software issue. Which version of Backup_Exec are you using? There is an article on the Veritas support site for the error: 'The semaphore timeout period has expired' when you have the Advanced Open File Option enabled in Backup_Exec 9x or 10x. You can find it here: The best way to find out if this is a software issue is to disable the Backup_Exec services in the MMC and enable the Removable Storage Service then run a test backup using Windows Native Backup. If the backup completes successfully then you know that the problem is with Backup_Exec, if not then the issue will most probably be hardware related.

If you rule out an application issue it would be worth upgrading the drivers/firmware on your SCSI controller and TBU. You can also call Dell Tech Support, even if the server is out of warranty they will still send diagnostic utilities and troubleshoot the issue with you to identify the exact source of the problem. If it is in warranty they will replace the TBU for you (They'll also replace it a lot faster if you have already ruled out a software issue and upgraded your SCSI controller and TBU drivers/firmware).

If the problem is with the TBU and the server is out of warranty then I recommend calling a Dell partner for a replacement such as Upgrade Options rather than purchasing direct from Dell as you will get the new TBU for a fraction of the price.

Let me know how you get on.



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