Tape cleaning cartridges

Posted on 2006-06-27
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hi All,
We have a VXA tape drive.  We using our cleaning cartridge about once per month.  My question is how long do the cartridges last.  Will the drive let you know when they are no longer effective?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Question by:smpross
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Expert Comment

ID: 16991704
Hello smpross!

Some backup software will allow you to set a period to remind you to change the cleaning tape.  And/or the tape will have a pre-determined number of cleaning IDd on the box.  Usually a certain number of times OR hours of use.  It all depends on how much you use it.  Here, I change my cleaning tape once a month.


Author Comment

ID: 16991745
Andre, How often are you running the cleanings?  Will the cleaning tape stop working after a certain amount of cleanings?


Expert Comment

ID: 16993128
Agreed with andredekolta... i have a dlt drive at my office, and it has a little card you can slide into the tape to keep track of how many times it has been used.  our cleaners can be used 16 times, and we use it weekly.

look on the box your tape cleaner came in.  if you dont have it, go find a new one, and look on there.  somewhere, it should tell you what its reccomended life is.

(Basing it on being able to use it as a dlt cleaner, you should be able to use it at least 10 times.  What I have begun  doing is only using the cleaner for 10 of the 16 uses just incase. Since you use your cleaner so far apart, I would really look to only be using your cleaner 5 or 6 times or less based on what your manufacturer's suggestion is)
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Expert Comment

ID: 16993295
As above we clean on a weekly basis for our SDLT drives. our carts have a 20 use cycle but we bin them after 15.

Cant really stress how important a good cleaning cycle is, it should be integral to the backup cycle. Dont just wait until the drives ask to be cleaned. You will see preformance increeses and better lifetime on your media.


Expert Comment

ID: 16993482
<Andre, How often are you running the cleanings?  Will the cleaning tape stop working after a certain amount of cleanings?>
Some will run out of tape, some will just become useless, and others will fail.

Alsways replace them on a set schedule for company/corporate/production use.  I replace mine every month.


Accepted Solution

rliu1112 earned 500 total points
ID: 16997076
All VXA's and most others are set to run out of tape when the number of cleans are maxed out. so basically, use until it pops out right after insert due to end of tape...

however, these tapes don't always last long enough until the end of tape (though very rarely)... so I would generally replace after 15-20 cleans and anytime the backup software or the drive indicate that it is dirty right after a clean or no more than 3 backups after the clean...

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