I recently wasted a fair amount of time when I needed to restore some files which were older than the 60 days of catalog retention on the Backup Exec media server. Trying a catalog job would fail with a zero byte count after 15 minutes with the error:
e00084c8 – The backup storage device has failed.
An unknown error occurred on device “QUANTUM 1”.
V-79-57344-33992 – The backup storage device has failed.
I suspected bad media, so ordered an older media set from storage, but this exhibited the same problem. The error was strange because it implied that the media or the hardware was at fault, but media errors are normally clearly signposted, and often the autoloader front panel will also display this kind of error. I involved Dell Support just to rule this out, but there were no errors with the loader (nor media nor drive).
Symantec Support did figure out a solution though – it seemed as if, despite the catalogs no longer being held on the media server for these tapes, there was some kind of corruption in the Backup Exec database.
The workaround was was to select the problem tapes in the Media tab, associate them with the Retired Media Media Set, then right-click and delete them from the media view. This removes any mention of that media from Backup Exec’s database. Then rescan the autoloader’s slots in the Devices tab, and run an Inventory job on them all. Finally, run the Catalog job once again – then it works.
I’m writing this up here, because I have a vague memory of being burned by this issue once before, and it only ever strikes when you’re dealing with a data loss scenario – not a time when you want to be starting up multiple support requests and waiting hours!