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  • Swapping LTO drive in Cache-A archive appliance

  • Dean Baker

    January 24, 2020 at 5:05 am

    Hello,
    Has anyone successfully swapped a LTO tape drive in a Cache-A appliance? Our HP Ultrium 3000 drive has died and before I go ahead and purchase a refurbished one I thought I should find out if this is doable.
    Thanks

  • Tom Goldberg

    January 25, 2020 at 1:08 am

    Hi Dean,

    You should have no problem swapping out the tape drive. We used an HP LTO-5 OEM tape mechanism model AQ280A, equivalent to their Ultrium 3000 Half Height SAS Internal Tape Drive.

    The only problems you might encounter would be from not ensuring that all connectors and boards are reseated properly. You should also carefully retain and reapply the kapton tape securing the SAS connector to the drive.

    Good luck,
    Tom

    Tom Goldberg
    TGCS
    30201 Rainbow Hill Rd.
    Evergreen, CO 80439
    mailto:tomgoldberg@gmail.com

    Home Gutenberg

  • Dean Baker

    January 25, 2020 at 5:59 am

    Hi Tom,

    This is great news as I initially asked ProMAX support if this was possible and their response was “…each LTO drive serial number must be licensed per unit and must be relicensed if a drive was to be swapped. Unfortunately since Cache-A units were end of life, we are not able to relicense the units.”

    I thought this was a bit of BS so glad to know it can be done.

    I really appreciate your prompt reply and continued input in this forum.

    Regards
    Dean

  • Tom Goldberg

    January 25, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    It is possible that ProMax changed the licensing code in later versions, but in Cache-A’s day (up to v3.4.x) the tape drive serial number was not used for that.

    Good luck.

    Tom Goldberg
    TGCS
    30201 Rainbow Hill Rd.
    Evergreen, CO 80439
    mailto:tomgoldberg@gmail.com

    Home Gutenberg

  • Dean Baker

    January 27, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Hi Tom,

    We have Version 3.4.4 so I have just purchased a drive and we’ll see how we go!

    Cheers

  • Dean Baker

    February 18, 2020 at 1:46 am

    It worked!! Thanks Tom!

  • Nick Dixon

    December 13, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    Hello Dean, can I ask what sorts of problems your cache-a appliance was having? I’m having a similarly difficult time with our cache-a device and am wondering if simply replacing the drive would fix our situation as well.

    Our tape drive seems to read tapes just fine, but once it attempts to format or write to a drive, all four status lights on the drive light up after a few seconds and it seems as though the drive kind of hits a wall. The format doesn’t seem to be at all successful and stalls out completely. Love the cataloging features of the device and we’d love to keep it in our arsenal if we can, but obviously not worth much if it can’t write :/

  • Dean Baker

    December 13, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Hi Nick,

    We were having the same sort of issues, I took a gamble and got a refurbished drive which fixed our problem temporarily and then the drive died! I think it overheated, it gets really hot inside the unit. I too love the functionality of the Cache-A but I can’t be bothered with it anymore so we have now moved away from tape archives and are using 4TB HDD instead. There are some great docs out there written by Tom Goldberg (the gentleman in this thread) which can help troubleshoot the Cache-A appliance. It may be a good idea to reach out to Tom, failing that, I do have some of his docs somewhere I can send to you if you like. Let me know.

    Dean

  • Tom Goldberg

    December 14, 2021 at 2:48 am

    Hi Nick, I believe you should be able to swap out your drive without problems if you are still running Cache-A (not necessarily ProMax) versions, Dean’s situation notwithstanding. It warms my heart to know that there are folks out in the world still using our products, although I wonder if it is time for you to move on to more modern solutions.

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