NT-based operating systems provide a generic tape class driver that handles operating system-specific and device-independent tape tasks. The tape class driver is provided as a kernel-mode DLL. To support a new tape device or family of tape devices, a driver writer creates a device-specific tape miniclass driver that links dynamically to the system-supplied tape class driver.

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If a tape miniclass driver calls only routines in the tape class driver, the miniclass driver can be portable across Microsoft operating systems that support Win32 applications and provide a tape class driver that uses the tape miniclass interface. A tape miniclass driver includes the header file minitape.h.

An existing tape miniclass driver must be modified to support one new entry point, TapeMiniGetMediaTypes, in order to build and run under Windows 2000 and later operating systems. No other modifications are required. The system-supplied tape class driver, together with the system-supplied storage port driver, handles Plug and Play and power management requests on behalf of a tape miniclass driver.

This section describes the support provided by the operating system-specific tape class driver and provides guidelines for writing a new tape miniclass driver.

  • See Tape Class Driver Routines and Tape Miniclass Driver Routines for details on the routines in the tape class and tape miniclass drivers.

  • See Device Configurations and Layered Drivers for a description of the storage device driver layers.

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Is it necessary to load Windows drivers for my tape drive or library?
(KB # DC38DD95)

The answer depends on the backup application being used. Some applications provide their own drivers, while others require installing the Tandberg cellpadding='4' cellspacing='0'>

Application Provider
Backup Application
Library Driver
Tape Device Driver
AtempoTime NavigatorNo driver required †Tandberg Data tape driverBakBoneNetVaultNo driver required †No driver required †CABrightstor ARCserveNo driver required †No driver required †DantzRetrospectNo driver required †No driver required †DantzRetrospectTandberg Data changer driverTandberg Data tape driverFireWire support requires device driversHPData ProtectorNo driver required †No driver required †IBMTivoliIBM Tivoli changer driverIBM Tivoli tape driverMicrosoftWindows NTBackup (built-in backup)Tandberg Data changer driverTandberg Data tape driverUltraBacUltraBacUltraBac changer driverTandberg Data tape driverSymantecBackupExecMicrosoft generic changer driverSymantec tape driverSymantecNetBackup on 32 bit systemsMicrosoft generic changer driverNetBackup tape driverSymantecNetBackup on 64 bit systemsMicrosoft generic changer driverTandberg Data tape driverYosemite TechnologiesTapeWareNo driver required †o driver required †

† No driver required: The application does not use a driver to communicate with the device. If a driver is already loaded, disable the Microsoft Removable Storage Manager service. If multiple backup applications have been installed on the same server, disable any services for backup applications which are not in use.

Windows Removable Storage Manager Service

If you are using the Windows native backup application (NTBackup), then it will be necessary to start the Removable Storage Manager service.

If you are not using the Windows native backup application, refer to your application’s installation instructions to check whether or not the Removable Storage Manager service should be disabled. In most cases it is best to disable the RSM service. While RSM is running, it may send commands to control the library and tape drive if device drivers are loaded. This may cause conflicts and failures with your backup application.

To disable the RSM service, click on the Windows Start button, Settings, Control Panel. In Control Panel double-click on Administrative Tools. In Administrative Tools, double-click on the Services icon. In Services, scroll down to find the Removable Storage service. Double-click to open its properties. Stop the service and then set Startup type to Disabled.

Tandberg Data Tool Driver Requirements

Tandberg Data provides software tools for troubleshooting and upgrading tape drives and libraries. The tools do not require driver installation for SCSI, FibreChannel or ATAPI devices. The tools do require driver installation for FireWire devices.

SCSI interface:No driver required.
FibreChannel interface:No driver required.
ATAPI interface:No driver required.
FireWire interface:Driver required. Driver may be provided by Tandberg Data or other source.

Drivers Microsoft Tape Driver

Drivers microsoft tape drivers

Important! Stop or disable the Removable Storage Manager service and all backup application services before running the Tandberg Data tools. The commands sent by RSM or a backup application to control the tape drive or library may conflict with the tool functions resulting in failures.

Drivers Microsoft Tape Drivers

Purpose of a Windows Driver

So, what’s the purpose of loading a Windows tape or library driver? The driver provides specific functions as defined by Microsoft. Each function defined in the driver sets up the appropriate commands to be sent to the tape drive or library. This allows a backup application to simply call the functions defined in the driver instead of putting together all of the necessary device commands. So if your backup application relies on these Microsoft-defined function calls, it will require that a driver be loaded.

Other backup applications, however, don’t use the driver function calls at all. Instead, these applications put together the necessary device commands themselves. These applications will not require a driver to be loaded.

Installing and Removing the Tandberg Data Windows Device Drivers

For instructions to install, update, or remove the Tandberg Data-provided Windows drivers, please refer to the readme file included in the driver download file. The Tandberg Data Windows drivers can be downloaded fromthe Downloads & Drivers, Support section of the website.

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