Media Operations - Overview

Table of Contents


The following sections describe the various media related operations that can be performed in a tape library.

The media options vary depending on how the library is configured. The following table provides a list of the media operations in the blind/sighted libraries and stand-alone drives.


Regular Library (with a barcode reader)

Blind Library (without a barcode reader)

Stand-Alone Drive, and Removable Disk Disk Storage

PnP (Plug and Play) Disk Libraries

Load Media X X    
Export X X    
Verify Media X X X X
View Contents X X X X
Move X X    
Delete X X X X
Delete Contents X X X X
Erase Media X X    
Discover X X    
Mark Media Bad X X X X
Mark Media Good X X X X
Mark Media Full X X X X
Mark Appendable X X X X
Mark Media Reusable X X X  
Stamp Media     X  
Erase Media X X X  

Media Block Sizes

MediaAgents can write to media using different block sizes, if the Operating System associated with the MediaAgent in which the library is configured supports a higher block size. The system can write block sizes up to 256 KB and can automatically read block sizes up to 512 KB. If the block sizes are larger than 512 KB, read operations from the media will fail. Also note that such media will be over written and re-used if the When Content Verification Failed option is enabled in the Library Properties (Media) dialog box

Block sizes can be modified from the Data Path Properties dialog box available from the Data Paths tab of the Copy Properties dialog box, for the specific data path. (See Increasing Chunk Size for step-by-step instructions.)

See Also: CommCell Performance Tuning

Audit Trail

Operations performed with this feature are recorded in the Audit Trail. See Audit Trail for more information.

Load Media

The load media operation loads the media into the drive. You can initiate the load media by right-clicking the media that you wish to load and then choosing the Load Media option.

See Load a Media to a Drive for step-by-step instructions.

Unload Media

You can select the media from the drive and unload it if necessary.

Export Media

Media residing within a library can be exported to physically remove it from the library. For comprehensive information on exporting media, see Export Media.

Recall Media

The Recall Media feature provides the facility to temporarily bring media back from an export location for a specific operation and return the media to the export location when the operation is complete. For comprehensive information on this option, see Recall Media.

See Recall Media using the Resource View for instructions.

Verify Media

The verify media operation is a type of inventory which must be initiated by the user. This operation can be used to verify whether the media information displayed in the CommCell Console matches the OML in the media. You can initiate the verify inventory operation by right-clicking the media that you wish to verify and then choosing the Verify Media option.

A verify inventory operation is displayed as a job in the Job Controller window and can be killed if necessary.

The verify inventory operation does not discover new media.

See also, Verify Media for Blind Libraries.

View Contents

You can view the contents of a specific used media. This feature can be used to view a list of data protection operations residing in the media, including the data protection operations currently in progress. All the details associated with the data protection operation(s) available in the media are displayed. This includes the following:

  • The Job ID associated with the data protection operation
  • Names of the client, agent, instance/backup set and subclient
  • Whether the data protection operation is Full, Incremental, Differential or Synthetic full
  • The archive file type
  • The day and time in which the archive file associated with the data protection operation was created
  • Media side
  • Archive file
  • See View the Contents of a Media for step-by-step instructions.

Move Media

You can move spare media between the following pools:

  • Scratch pools
  • Cleaning Media pools
  • Overwrite Protect Media pools
  • Foreign Media pools

The facility to logically reassign media from one scratch pool to another allows you to ensure that critical operations always have the media that they need. You can also select multiple media and move them from one scratch pool to another.

See the following procedures for step-by-step instructions:

Move Media to Library

You can move the following Media to Library:

  • Orphaned Media - The Orphaned media does not have any associated library. You can move an orphaned media to a library. For step-by-step instructions, see Move Orphaned Media to Library.
  • Exported Media - The Exported media is the media which were previously discovered and subsequently exported from the library. You can move the exported media to a library. For step-by-step instructions, see Move Export Media to Library.

Delete Media

The delete media option can be used to delete the media information from the CommCell. Spare and retired media can be deleted to remove them from the scratch pool and Retired Media group. When a media is deleted, the media information is permanently removed from the CommServe database. You can also select multiple spare or retired media from the orphaned media or scratch pool, and delete them if necessary.

See Delete a Media for step-by-step instructions.

Delete Contents

The delete contents option can be used to delete the contents of a media and move it to a specified scratch pool. This option can be used to make media available to complete an important data protection job when there are no spare media available in the library.

Once contents of the media are deleted, the contents are not available for data recovery operations. In addition, the next data protection operation does NOT become a full backup automatically. After you delete the contents of the media, run a full backup immediately for all the subclients that are associated with the media.

If you have a library configured with mixed drive types, verify and ensure that the media is moved to a drive pool associated with the specific media type.

See Delete the Contents of a Media for instructions.

If you have the need to recover data from a media in which the contents has been deleted, see Accessing Aged Data.

Prevent Copy

Prevent Copy option allows you to disable all the existing jobs in the specified media from being copied.

Allow Copy

Allow Copy option allows you to enable the (previously disabled) copy jobs from the specified media.


Re-Copy option allows you to select the existing jobs in the specified media for re-copy. When the re-copy option is selected, the existing jobs will be deleted and selected for re-copy. If the source copy is not available for a job, the existing copy will be retained as is. Re-Copy can be done only on media associated with a secondary copy. Note that a job cannot be selected for recopy in case the job is in a partially copied state and an auxiliary copy or media refresh operation is running.

Discover Media

The discover media operation is specific to blind libraries. For comprehensive information on this option, see Discovering Media for Blind Libraries.

Mark Media Bad

If you know that an existing spare or used media is bad, you can mark the media as bad. This will automatically moves the spare media to the Retired Media pool. Note however, if the media is a used or Assigned media, the media will be moved to the Retired Media pool only when the data available in the media is pruned.

See Mark a Media Bad for step-by-step instructions.

Mark Media Good

If you know that a bad media in the Retired Media pool is fixed and currently usable, you mark the media as good. This will automatically move the media to the Default Scratch pool.

See Mark a Bad Media Good for step-by-step instructions.

Mark Media Full

If for some reason you do not want to use a media for future data protection operation, you can mark the active media full.

You can also mark all active media as full for a storage policy copy.

See Mark a Media Full for step-by-step instructions.

Mark Appendable

You can mark full and bad media as appendable. When a media is marked as appendable it can be re-used by the MediaAgent if the Use Appendable Media option is enabled in the Media tab of the Library Properties dialog box.

See the following procedures for step-by-step instructions:

Mark Media Reusable

Media migrated from other CommCell can be marked reusable in the current CommCell, even if the media was not marked for reuse during migration. Multiple media can be selected and marked for reuse in a single operation.

See Mark Media Reusable for step-by-step instructions.

Prevent Export

You can prevent a media from being exported from the library. Subsequently, you can enable the media for export if necessary. All general media  operations can be performed on media that are prevented from being exported. For comprehensive information on exporting media, see Export Media.

Erase Spare Media

The erase spare media operation ensures that the data from removable media (tapes platters) are not recoverable once the media is recycled. Only spare, retired and recycled media from tape library can be erased. For comprehensive information on erasing media, see Erase Spare Media.

Refresh Media

Media refresh operation enables you to consolidate the data on media and/or to replace an existing old media. Media refresh can be performed on Full media only. For media refresh options at various levels and instructions to perform media refresh, see Media Refresh.