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A bar code is a unique sequence of characters that identifies a Firestreamer medium. Unlike the tape label, which can be written to a medium by backup software and then changed at any time, a bar code is permanently associated with a medium when the latter is written for the first time. Bar codes are used by backup software and have no meaning to Firestreamer. Any medium with any bar code can be loaded into any Firestreamer library.
A bar code can contain no more than 36 characters from the following set: A-Z, 0-9 and _ (underscore). Lowercase letters are not allowed. In addition, a bar code cannot begin with CLN, which is usually reserved for cleaning cartridges.
To find out the bar code of a medium, use any of the following methods:
- Load the medium into a Firestreamer library, inventory the library in your backup software, and then check the medium's bar code either in your backup software, or in the Current State view of the Firestreamer Snap-in.
- Load the medium into a tape drive (as opposed to a storage slot) of a Firestreamer library, and then check the medium's bar code in the Current State view of the Firestreamer Snap-in.
- Open the drive medium in Windows Explorer, and then open the ReadMe.htm file on the medium. The bar code, if it is not empty, will be listed in the file.
- Convert the file name of the file medium to uppercase to get the medium's bar code.
Automatic Bar Codes
We recommend that you leave the bar code fields in the initial media layout blank to have Firestreamer automatically generate bar codes when needed. The following rules apply to automatic bar codes:
- For a file medium, Firestreamer generates a bar code based on the file name without the path and the file name extension. Any lowercase letters are replaced with uppercase ones. For example, file medium D:\Folder\MyTape_0001.fsrm will have the bar code of MYTAPE_0001.
- For a drive medium, Firestreamer generates a new unique bar code when the drive medium is loaded into a Firestreamer library for the first time. The new bar code will be actually written to the medium only when the backup software performs the first write operation with the medium.
- The bar code for a new medium is generated based on the bar code prefix and a unique sequence number. For convenience reasons, the unique sequence number always starts with the one-based number of the tape library the medium was initially associated with.
Bar Code Prefix
The bar code prefix is used to generate automatic bar codes. By default, Firestreamer uses a randomly generated bar code prefix. You can change the default bar code prefix in the Properties form. Note that the bar code prefix must be unique within your organization, because your backup software may require unique bar codes across multiple instances of the software.
Initial Media Layout
You can specify the following values in the bar code fields of the initial media layout:
- No value (recommended). The blank bar code field indicates that the bar code will be assigned automatically by Firestreamer.
- A valid non-empty bar code. The backup software will be provided with the explicitly specified bar code instead of the one stored on the medium. The actual bar code on the medium will not change. IMPORTANT: Do not use explicit bar codes unless you have a compelling reason to do so.
- - (the minus sign). The minus sign in the bar code field will cause the backup software to be provided with an empty bar code instead of the one stored on the medium. The actual bar code on the medium will not change. IMPORTANT: Do not use empty bar codes except for compatibility reasons.
Current Media Layout
If the initial layout explicitly specifies a bar code (whether empty or not), then the current media layout will immediately display the explicit bar code. If the initial media layout specifies an automatic bar code, then the bar code field in the current media layout will be populated according to the following rules:
- For a file medium, the bar code based on the file name is immediately displayed.
- For a drive medium, an empty bar code is displayed until the actual bar code is read from the medium, which happens either when the medium is loaded into a tape drive, or when the backup software instructs Firestreamer to read the medium's bar code.
- When Firestreamer attempts to read a bar code and detects the new drive medium that has not been used with Firestreamer before, a new unique bar code is generated and displayed. The bar code will be marked with * (asterisk) in the current media layout until the bar code is actually written to the medium.
- When Firestreamer reads a bar code from the drive medium that has been used with Firestreamer before, the read bar code (whether empty or not) is displayed in the current media layout.