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Firestreamer-RM Getting Started Guide Firestreamer-RM Home

Getting Started

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Overview

Firestreamer-RM is a virtual tape drive that consists of the tape driver and control panel. The Firestreamer-RM Tape Driver is the main component that does all the job. It is automatically loaded when your system starts up. The Firestreamer-RM Control Panel allows you to configure the tape driver and is not required to be running during a backup or restore.

The actual backup and restore operations are performed by the Microsoft Backup Utility. Being a mere tape drive, Firestreamer-RM is not aware of what is recorded on its virtual tape.

When enabled, Firestreamer-RM periodically queries all compatible media drives connected to the computer. Once Firestreamer-RM finds a medium in one of the drives, it connects to that drive and exposes the medium as a virtual tape cartridge to the Microsoft Backup Utility. When disabled, Firestreamer-RM does not interfere with any of the media drives.

Firestreamer-RM stays connected to the media drive until disabled or the current medium is ejected. When Firestreamer-RM disconnects from a media drive because of the ejected medium, it starts querying all the media drives again, and connects to the next available drive with a compatible medium inside. At any given time, Firestreamer-RM can be connected to, at most, a single media drive.

Note the following:

  • A piece of media in the media drive appears to the Microsoft Backup Utility as a tape cartridge.
  • Firestreamer-RM attempts to connect to the media drives in an unspecified order. For example, if you have two media drives with media inside, Firestreamer-RM will randomly connect to one of them.
  • You can enable and disable Firestreamer-RM via the Backup tab of the Firestreamer-RM Control Panel. For your convenience, Firestreamer-RM by default automatically enables or disables itself when the Microsoft Backup Utility starts or stops.
  • For interactive backups, Firestreamer-RM uses only the types of media selected on the Settings tab of the Firestreamer-RM Control Panel. For scheduled backups, the Firestreamer-RM Wrapper allows you to select the types of media on a per task basis.

Performing an Interactive Backup and Restore

To perform an interactive backup or restore with the Microsoft Backup Utility to or from the Firestreamer-RM virtual tape drive, follow the same procedure as you would with a physical stand-alone tape drive. To overcome some of the Microsoft Backup Utility's known limitations, we recommend opening the Microsoft Backup Utility by using one of the following methods:

  • Open the Firestreamer-RM Control Panel, click the Backup tab, and then click Open Backup Utility.
  • Click Start, point to Programs, point to Firestreamer-RM, and then click Open Backup Utility.

Note the following:

  • You need to select IBM 3480, as opposed to File, as the backup type.
  • You do not need to specify the drive letter of your media drive because Firestreamer-RM automatically connects to the first available drive with a compatible medium inside. To avoid confusion, make sure there is only one drive with a medium inside during an interactive backup or restore operation.
  • From the Microsoft Backup Utility‚Äôs point of view, a piece of Firestreamer-RM media (for example, a USB external HDD) is tape.
  • Before responding to the Microsoft Backup Utility's messages prompting for media, wait for up to one minute. The messages automatically disappear once the current medium is recognized, provided the drive contains the required piece of media.

To perform an interactive backup:

  1. Open the Microsoft Backup Utility.
  2. Configure the backup options as needed. Select IBM 3480 (not File) as the backup type.
  3. Start the backup operation.

To perform an interactive restore:

  1. Open the Microsoft Backup Utility.
  2. Configure the restore options as needed. Note that Firestreamer-RM media are listed under IBM 3480, not under File.
  3. Start the restore operation.

For step-by-step instructions on how to perform an interactive backup and restore, see the following articles:

Inserting Media

To insert a medium into the Firestreamer-RM virtual tape drive, use the appropriate method below:

  • If the medium is removable (for example, DVD or Iomega REV), insert the medium into the media drive according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • If the medium is fixed, but the media drive is removable (for example, a USB external HDD), connect the drive to your computer.
  • If you use file media, type the file name in the File name box on the Media tab of the Firestreamer-RM Control Panel, and then click Apply. NOTE: You do not need to manually insert file media for scheduled backups because the Firestreamer-RM Wrapper will do it for you.

Ejecting Media

Before ejecting the medium, make sure that the Microsoft Backup Utility has finished accessing the Firestreamer-RM Tape Drive. You may not be able to eject the medium while a tape operation is in progress because the medium will be locked in the media drive by the Microsoft Backup Utility.

To eject the current medium from the Firestreamer-RM virtual tape drive, use the appropriate method below:

  • If the medium is removable (for example, DVD or Iomega REV), press the eject button on your media drive and remove the medium.
  • If the medium is fixed, but the media drive is removable (for example, a USB external HDD), perform the standard safe removal procedure and then disconnect the drive from your computer.
  • If you use file media, clear the File name box on the Media tab of the Firestreamer-RM Control Panel, and then click Apply.

See Also

 

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