TapeAlert Viewer

Top  Previous  Next

TapeAlert refers to the capability of a tape device to provide detailed diagnostic information using the ANSI standard interface, conveniently called TapeAlert. Many modern SCSI and Fibre Channel tape drives support this feature. In general, the more expensive and robust a tape or auto changer is, the higher the probability it will have this feature.


Although the ANSI specification defines 64 flags, (click here to see it) several of them are reserved for future use. In addition, not all flags are used by all tape devices. See the table below for details. SMARTMon-UX reports all of the flags. In order to poll tape devices automatically, invoke the program with the -X option and be sure to pass it the physical device names for your tape devices. If the tape does not support TapeAlert, the program will tell you and move on.


If you wish to view the TapeAlert-related capabilities of your tape or auto changer, invoke the program with the -X+ option. This will cause it to report all supported and unsupported TapeAlert features.


smartmon-ux -X+ 

SMARTMon-ux [Release 1.12, Build 18-AUG-2002] - Copyright 2002 SANtools, Inc. http://www.SANtools.com

Discovered TANDBERG SLR7 S/N "SN007005396" on \\.\TAPE0 (tape - TapeAlert enabled) [Adapter/ID.LUN=3/3.0]

TapeAlert status and capabilities dump below:

 Read Warning                     : Unsupported

 Write Warning                    : Passed

 Hard Error                       : Passed

 Media Error                      : Passed

 Read Error                       : Passed

 Write Error                      : Unsupported

 End of Media Life                : Unsupported

 Not Data Grade                   : Unsupported

 Write Protect                    : Unsupported

 No Removal                       : Unsupported

 Cleaning Media                   : Unsupported

 Unsupported Format               : Unsupported

 Recoverable Snapped Tape         : Unsupported

 Unrecoverable Snapped Tape       : Unsupported

 Memory Chip Failure              : Unsupported

 Forced Eject                     : Unsupported

 Read-Only Format                 : Unsupported

 Tape Directory Corrupted         : Unsupported

 Nearing Media Life               : Passed

 Clean Now                        : Unsupported

 Clean Periodic                   : Passed

 Expired Cleaning Media           : Unsupported

 Invalid Cleaning Media           : Unsupported

 Retention Requested              : Unsupported

 Dual-Ported Interface Error      : Unsupported

 Cooling Fan Failure              : Unsupported

 Power Supply Failure             : Unsupported

 Power Consumption                : Unsupported

 Drive Maintenance                : Unsupported

 Hardware Fault A                 : Passed

 Hardware Fault B                 : Unsupported

 Interface                        : Unsupported

 Eject Media                      : Unsupported

 Download Fail                    : Unsupported

 Drive Humidity                   : Unsupported

 Drive Temperature                : Unsupported

 Drive Voltage                    : Unsupported

 Predictive Failure               : Unsupported

 Diagnostics Required             : Unsupported

 Loader Hardware A                : Unsupported

 Loader Stray Tape                : Unsupported

 Loader Hardware B                : Unsupported

 Loader Door                      : Unsupported

 Loader Hardware C                : Unsupported

 Loader Magazine                  : Unsupported

 Loader Predictive Failure        : Unsupported

 Lost Statistics                  : Unsupported

 Tape Directory Invalid at Unload : Unsupported

 Tape System                      : Unsupported

 Tape System Read Failure         : Unsupported

 No Start of Data                 : Unsupported

 Loading Failure                  : Unsupported

Discovered HP C1533A S/N " " on \\.\TAPE1 (tape - TapeAlert enabled) [Adapter/ID.LUN=3/6.0]

TapeAlert status and capabilities dump below:

 Read Warning                     : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Write Warning                    : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Hard Error                       : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Media Error                      : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Read Error                       : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Write Error                      : ReportableInFailureOnly

 End of Media Life                : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Not Data Grade                   : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Write Protect                    : ReportableInFailureOnly

 No Removal                       : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Cleaning Media                   : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Unsupported Format               : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Recoverable Snapped Tape         : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Unrecoverable Snapped Tape       : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Memory Chip Failure              : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Forced Eject                     : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Read-Only Format                 : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Tape Directory Corrupted         : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Nearing Media Life               : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Clean Now                        : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Clean Periodic                   : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Expired Cleaning Media           : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Invalid Cleaning Media           : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Retention Requested              : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Dual-Ported Interface Error      : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Cooling Fan Failure              : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Power Supply Failure             : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Power Consumption                : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Drive Maintenance                : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Hardware Fault A                 : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Hardware Fault B                 : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Interface                        : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Eject Media                      : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Download Fail                    : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Drive Humidity                   : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Drive Temperature                : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Drive Voltage                    : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Predictive Failure               : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Diagnostics Required             : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Loader Hardware A                : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Loader Stray Tape                : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Loader Hardware B                : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Loader Door                      : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Loader Hardware C                : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Loader Magazine                  : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Loader Predictive Failure        : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Lost Statistics                  : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Tape Directory Invalid at Unload : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Tape System                      : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Tape System Read Failure         : ReportableInFailureOnly

 No Start of Data                 : ReportableInFailureOnly

 Loading Failure                  : ReportableInFailureOnly

Terminating program.


In the situation above, there are two tape drives attached. The Tandberg drive has full TapeAlert capability and including the ability to report to a calling program programmatically which features it supports. The HP drive  also supports TapeAlert, but it is not smart enough to let a program know exactly what features it supports.


Be sure to refer to the ANSI specification images to know exactly what each message means and whether they are informational, warnings, or critical messages.


If you invoke SMARTMON-UX with the -X option, it will poll tapes at  the specified polling periods and produce a message such as:

       \\.\TAPE0 polled at Sun Aug 18 23:19:21 2002 Status:Passed


If there was a problem, you might see:

       \\.\TAPE0 polled at Sun Aug 18 23:26:49 2002 Status:Not Data Grade - The cartridge is not data grade. Data written to it will be at risk.


Note that it is possible that in the event of a TapeAlert, you will get more than one message per polling cycle.