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  • HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 drive failures

    Posted by Scott Brown on December 15, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    I just wanted to let you know about our nightmare experience with HPE and LTO tape drive failures.

    We are a television production company producing documentaries primarily for the BBC in the UK.

    In 2016 we invested in a HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 Tape Drive to use for backing up our finished documentary projects.

    This unit was very lifghtly used, copying less than 100 tapes over a three year period.

    In 2019 the drive failed.

    On starting, the drive showed two flashing amber lights which indicated the drive had failed the Power-ON Self Test (POST).

    HPE refused to fix or replace the unit.

    We approached Tolis, the company behind BRU PE LTO tape backup software which we were using with the drive.

    They got us to run HP StorageWorks Library and Tape Tools (L&TT) diagnostic software.

    The diagnostic results were interesting and we shared these with Tolis.

    This was their response:

    The write error of -27% indicates specifically that the write head has failed – I’ve never seen one that was that bad when the read head was so good (those are almost factory new numbers of 99.53%).

    After several months and with the amazing support and help of Tolis, HPE finally replaced the faulty unit.

    Now this replacement has failed in exactly the same way as the previous drive. On starting, the drive shows two flashing amber lights which indicates the drive had failed the Power-ON Self Test (POST).

    HPE are refusing to help us in any way, saying that replacement unit came with no manufacturers warrantly.

    This replacement unit copied less than 30 tapes before it failed.

    These are very expensive units that are promoted as highly reliable storage solutions but for us this has been far from the case.

    It now looks like we may need to resort to legal action against HPE in an effort to have this defective drive replaced.

    We are very very frutrated with HPE’s extremely poor customer care and unreliable technology.

    Scott Brown replied 2 months, 2 weeks ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    December 16, 2023 at 12:29 am

    Hey Scott,

    Sorry to hear this.

    I’ve recently purchased a HP Laptop – it is OK, but customer service in UK is horrendous to deal with – not least as they have made a promotional promise, but is not happy to honor it.

    Not sure how your HPE StoreEverdrive is managed by HP. It may be an outsourcing company out of Germany, rather than HP direct.
    If you haven’t already done it, I suggest that you email their CEO Mr Enrique Lores directly, and copy in the HP Enterprise CEO Mr Antonio Neri.

    Might be worth explaining that it does not look good on HP if their tape drives only work for under 40 hours a pop, and at some stage you might have to explain to the end client why their programs can not be restored. Because of HP.

    Not that I could possibly comment, but NBH appears to have recent HP computers installed at every work-desk across several if not all floors. So you might want to check if in the depths of that building, whether they are also using a HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 Tape Drive, or more – in which case you would be morally obliged to share your experiences and concerns.

    In my experience, HP will eventually come through for you – but the process of getting there is very painful.

    Hope this helps.


  • Scott Brown

    December 16, 2023 at 11:04 am

    Hi Mads,

    Thanks for this advice, very much appreciated.

    I’ve found HPE extremely frustrating to deal with, it took months to get my first drive failure resolved and it genuinely feels like they just don’t care about customers.

    I fear I may end up having to take legal action against them this time but I will give them time to come up with a solution first.

    You would imagine that the first thing they would want to do is take a look at some diagnostic data from my failed drive to see what’s happening BUT they don’t seem remotely interested.

    Worryingly they have stated that any HPE product replaced due to a failure is NOT covered by their manufacturers warranty. This doesn’t sound morally or legally right.

    Beyond their manufacturers 3 year warranty they have a obligation here in the UK to repair or replace the faulty drive under the Consumers Right Act 2015 and this is the route I’m now headed down.

    I’ve lost ALL confidence in LTO tape as a robust and reliable long term archive solution now.

    Best wishes,


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