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any ideas what this error: 'Tape device reported an error on a request to write a file mark to tape' is?

Posted on 2004-04-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
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Tape device reported an error on a request to write a file mark to tape.

Error reported:
Unrecognizable data.

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Question by:Tijani1150
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Expert Comment

by:Alives
ID: 10767513
When is the last time you cleaned the drive?  How old is the tape?  What kind of tape drive is it?
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Author Comment

by:Tijani1150
ID: 10768958
I have not cleaned the drive for some time how often should i do it?

The tape is quite old

the drive is compaq i havent got the exact specification because it is a a remote site
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Expert Comment

by:tomar31
ID: 10769089
did you prepare the tape, do a right mouse click on the media in windows and click on prepare
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Expert Comment

by:Alives
ID: 10769675
Most drives require cleaning from time to time.  I know DDS4 drives require a cleaning every 4 or 5 times... this could definitely be the problem.  Also tapes need to be replaced from time to time as they stretch from being used.  Granted, newer tape formats have overcome alot of these problems but it could still be an issue.
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Accepted Solution

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dovidmichel earned 100 total points
ID: 10780473
Many tape drives have a read after write verify. In this case it failed.

As for the drive cleaning, the 4mm DAT, 8mm Exabyte, and travan drives need cleaning on a regular basis. A typical amount is after ever 40 to 50 hours of use. However that varies a lot from one specific model to another. Failure to clean the drives as per recommendation results in a build up that may not always be removed with a cleaning tape. Even drives that are clean are often not done correctly. Many times the operator fails to mark on the tape the number of times it has been used. Most of the cleaning tapes will continue to look like they are working when the are really doing nothing because they have been used up.

The newer DLT, LTO, and AIT drives usually do not need regular cleaning and only need to be done when the drive indicates it is needed.

Most drives will have some method of indicating cleaning is needed, either via an LCD panel or flashing lights.

Of course it could just be a bad tape. Only use tape brands aproved of by the drive manufacture.
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