Microsoft KB Archive/244923

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Article ID: 244923

Article Last Modified on 2/28/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server

This article was previously published under Q244923


When you choose to delete a backup media catalog that represents a multi-tape backup set, Backup issues a "Write Free Media Label" command for each member tape remaining in the library, destroying the tape contents. Any data on the tapes in this backup set is inaccessible after the Free Media Labels are written.


This issue occurs because Backup interprets that the individual member tapes are no longer valid because the media catalog has been deleted. Backup automatically makes all tapes in the backup set available for use again by issuing "Write Free Media Label" commands for each of the member tapes still in the library.


To work around this issue:

  1. Eject any and all member tapes the media catalog represents before deleting the media catalog.
  2. Ensure each member of the backup set is in the Off-Line media Library before deleting the backup media catalog.

NOTE: You must use Removable Storage Manager (RSM) to eject tapes. The option to eject a tape is not available in Backup. Using RSM to eject a tape moves the tape to the Off-line media library.


This behavior is by design.


Although Backup provides the following warning message when deleting a media catalog, Backup does not warn you that free media labels will be written to any remaining member tapes represented by that catalog:

Deleting this media item will remove all catalogs and information in Removable Storage pertaining to this media.

Windows 2000 Backup supports creating multi-tape backup sets. The media catalogs displayed under the Restore tab represent previous backups. Individual backup set member tapes are not revealed as separate media catalogs in a multi-tape backup set.

Multi-tape Backup set member tapes are identified using Removable Storage Manager and navigating to the BACKUP application pool. The individual member tapes will share the same name with the member number appended. For example:


When you right-click a media catalog, a list of available commands is displayed. These commands include:

  • Reformat
  • Erase
  • Catalog
  • Delete From System

The Delete From System command is not displayed and cannot be selected until the associated backup tape is ejected and no longer physically present in the tape library. When a multi-tape media catalog is deleted, only the first tape of the multi-tape set needs to be ejected before the Delete From System command is available.

For additional information about recovering data from an incomplete multi-tape backup set, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

244805 How to Restore Data from a Backup Set that has a Missing or Corrupt Tape

Additional query words: ntbackup destroyed

Keywords: kberrmsg kbprb KB244923