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I suspect that your backup software has "locked" the drive / library from the front panel.
This is why disconnecting / rebooting the library solves the issue.
If you are using backup exec or similar, try going to devices, selecting the library, right click and "unlock" before using the front panel buttons.
You could also use BUEX to do the tape moves for you instead of even touching the front panel.
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I have two of these Quantum SuperLoader 3 (with LTO3 drives) and one does keep giving me the same hassle. I haven't figured out how to fix this, but I've gotten past the error: disconnect the autoloader from the host computer (i.e. or stop rsm, mtx, or whatever controlling sofware you use), reboot the autoloader, get the tape out of the drive (e.g. move command from the autoloader's console or web interface), insert a cleaning tape (a few times), reconnect everything (i.e. start back up your controlling service).
I would suggest sending it to www.tape-drive-repair.com for them to fix as once the tape has been removed you will still probably have the original fault that caused the tape to get stuck.
If you do try and remove the tape yourself be extremely careful as those drives are very easy to break the load mech and tape leader assy if you dont know exactly how to remove them.
Bear in mind the tape may not actually be stuck though!
Try powering off and on the loader with it disconnected from the server just in case it is your backup software not letting the drive eject the media as this is a common issue (where the software tells the drive it is using the tape (or hasnt finished with it) and stops the eject button from accidental operation)
The element error usually points to the drive, the best thing is to do is run the full diagnostics for the drive, and see what other hardware codes you receive, if it still points to 2b, then it is either the drive or the solenoid of the magazine failing. If you have a two magazine setup, just reverse the other magazine and test it that way.
First off, I have to say that I have had nightmares with Quantum tape libraries. It is possible that they are still manufacturing lemons. I had one replaced 4-times and it still did not work!
Start troubleshooting by making sure that it is identified by the controller card it is connected to. You should see this during the server POST before Windows starts. If you don't see it there then Windows definitely won't see it. Send it to Quantum for service.
If the controller sees it then make sure that you are using the Backup Exec drivers. Never use the manufacturer's drivers with Backup Exec. Veritas, now Symantec, has a downloadable utility called the Device Driver Installation Wizard that will make sure you have the correct driver loaded.
Same problem with Backup Exec 10d and Superloader 3 LTO-3.
This is not my first problem with this Superloader. I think it is garbage and will likely be in the garbage very soon. Very expensive garbage unfortunately.
The LTO family drives all support a tape-related diagnostic spec called TapeAlert, and if you use a software product that decodes it and can dump out all of the settings related to firmware, error logs, etc ... then I have no doubt it will provide root cause. Check out http://www.santools.com/smart/unix/manual (the code is also ported to windows. There are links for TapeAlert reporting) Or go to http://www.tapealert.org for info on the spec.