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I've bought an HP Ultrium external SCSI LVD tape drive.

I already have an adapter in my server, but I need to know if I have to shut down and power off the server before I can connect up the tape drive?

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If in doubt, shut-down and turn off the server before connecting or disconnecting.

The HP server spec will say if a particular SCSI interface supports hot-plugging. This is often abbreviated to "HP" or "non-HP" (which can cause confusion).

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The SCSI protocol and many SCSI devices support hot plugging. However:

  • I really doubt that the tape drive is designed for that. Check its documentation or look at the connector. (Usually the ground pins are longer on hot-plug devices, making sure that signals get connected in the right order).
  • Do you really want to risk crashing a server during production hours? And if outside production hours, why not shut it down just to be safe.
  • Lastly, not all software and drivers will find the drive unless it was present at boot time. Especially on windows server 2003 I never got tapes to work unless the tape unit was plugged in and powered up before I booted the server.
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