LTO-1 Tape Drive will not read new tapes. Used tapes are fine.

Have you ever heard of a scenario where a tape drive will have no problem with used tapes, but will not
read/write new tapes?

I purchased 10 new Fuji LTO-1 100/200 tapes for my Dell Powervault 110t LTO-1 drive.
I tried using the tapes and my job would fail.  I tried several of the tapes with the same
result.  I contacted Dell.  I downloaded and tran diagnostics.  I tested at least 5 of the tapes
and they all failed.  I tested a tape I had used before and it passed the test.  The conclusion
was the tapes were bad.  I returned the tapes to where I bought them and got 10 Maxell
LTO-1 tapes instead.  The same problem again, the new tapes did not work. Could not
get them to quick erase.  Contacted Dell again.  All ten tapes failed diagnostics.  Used tapes
passed with no erros. Dells conclusion again, bad tapes.   I bought two new tapes from a
local store and those tapes failed diagnostics. My supplier had me send the tapes
to a testing company they use.  The company reported the tapes were fine and to check my drive.
Back to Dell again.  There line the drive is fine, if the old tapes work and it passes diagnostics.
I plan to buy a couple of more new tapes from another vendor to test.  

Any ideas on how to determine with once and for all if it is the drive or the media?
I could understand some bad tapes, but 22 bad ones?

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Any Tape cleaning done, Drive cleaning ?
Weird issue, and it does sound Drive related.

It almost sounds as if the drive is not writing.

I would test that your backups are OK ..

I hope this helps !
fcadminAuthor Commented:
I ran the cleaning cart through the drive.  Yes, I will test my backups.

Thank you for the feedback.
Could be tapes have to get "labeled" by software.
As cartridge is not rejected by drive they are fine.
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It's not the new tapes.

This is conjecture, but what I suspect is happening here is that the servo positioning detection isn't working properly. Even 'blank' LTO tape contains servo tracks for the head to position itself by; if the drive's servo detection isn't working, this wouldn't matter on tapes that have already been written to as the head can still position itself by data already written to tape; but on a pristine tape, there's only the servo tracks to go by, so it wouldn't know where to locate the head and thus stop.

Did you get a SCSI error code? If you did, we can look it up and determine what the drive thinks is the problem.

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fcadminAuthor Commented:
For all of the other media, the software detects scratch media and labels it automatically.

TapeDude, I think you have hit the nail on the head.  I'll see if this will convince Dell to send a tech out.
I did not see any scsi error code.  Dell's diagnostics returned a sense code:

xTalk Version 5.9.9
Start: 11/12/2008 09:04:46
Device: SEAGATE ULTRIUM06242-XXX HR01NVA 0:6:4


Ready Test
No Problem Detected

Record Drive Settings
      Current Compression Status = Enabled
      Current Compression Mode  0  == Full SCSI control of compression
No Problem Detected

Drive Detection Test
      Drive Type:Ultrium 1
No Problem Detected

SCSI Interconnect Test
      Write/Read Pass @ 10 of 100
      Write/Read Pass @ 20 of 100
      Write/Read Pass @ 30 of 100
      Write/Read Pass @ 40 of 100
      Write/Read Pass @ 50 of 100
      Write/Read Pass @ 60 of 100
      Write/Read Pass @ 70 of 100
      Write/Read Pass @ 80 of 100
      Write/Read Pass @ 90 of 100
      Write/Read Pass @ 100 of 100
No Problem Detected

Drive Information Report
      Drive Type ---------------- : Ultrium 1
      Drive Serial Number ------- : HR01NVA    
      Media Changer Present ----- : No
      Vendor  ID ---------------- : SEAGATE
      Product ID ---------------- : ULTRIUM06242-XXX
      Product Revision Level ---- : 1614
      Product Family ------------ : 100.0 / 200.0 GB
      Servo FW Revision --------- : 2626
Report Complete

Quick Write Read Test
      Setting compression on
      Setting variable block mode
      Write 2 64k blocks with random data and 2 filemarks...
      Write 2 file marks
      Sense: CC: 03  ASC: 0C  ASCQ: 00  = "Write error  A Write operation failed. Most likely cause is bad media  but it may be hardware related."
      Problem writing 2 file marks
Problem Detected

Restore Drive Settings

Test Summary
      Drive Detection Test -------- : Passed
      SCSI Interconnect Test ------ : Passed
      Pre Test Log Page 7 --------- : Skipped
      Tape Load Test -------------- : Passed
      Quick Write/Read Test ------- : Failed
      Small Buffer Wr/Rd Test ----- : Skipped
      System Level Test ----------- : Skipped
      Time Test ------------------- : Skipped
      Multi-Pattern Test ---------- : Skipped
      LTO Error Rate Test --------- : Skipped
      Collect Log Page 7 ---------- : Skipped
Problem Detected
Thank you for your feedback.  I'll let you know what dell says.
fcadminAuthor Commented:
Dell has finally agreed to send me a replacement drive.  I will not be able to replace it until the
24th as I will be traveling next week.  Once I have the new drive, that should settle this once and
for all.  Thanks again for your input.
fcadminAuthor Commented:
Thank you.  It was your input that convinced Dell to send me a replacement.
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