Want to win a PS4? Go Premium and enter to win our High-Tech Treats giveaway. Enter to Win

x
?
Solved

DLT tape drive cleaning - how often?

Posted on 2010-11-29
11
Medium Priority
?
1,178 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi All,

What's a recommended frequency for using the cleaning tape in a Quantum DLT drive?
Quantum says "when the indicator light is flashing," but our unit doesn't have one.

Thanks,

Theo
0
Comment
Question by:Theodosios
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • +2
11 Comments
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:qbakies
ID: 34233235
I run my cleaning tape twice a week.  
0
 
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 34233388
You might as well sandpaper the head down as run a cleaning tape through it twice per week. If your drive doesn't have a "clean me" light then it will indicate the need for cleaning in other ways, e.g. by failing to backup or spitting tapes out. So I would clean it each time the backup fails. You can probably monitor the number of soft and hard errors with your backup software as well, if you have time to check the error count daily you'll soon notice any dodgy tapes or a progressive deterioration.

0
 
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 34233438
Oh, and a DLT cleaning tape has 30 inserts until it reaches the end if I remember correctly, so I wouldn't worry too much about wearing the drive out with it if you've only got one, you can't hurt the head by putting an expired cleaning tape in the drive, it'll just spit it straight out again.
0
Veeam Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Azure

Veeam PN for Microsoft Azure is a FREE solution designed to simplify and automate the setup of a DR site in Microsoft Azure using lightweight software-defined networking. It reduces the complexity of VPN deployments and is designed for businesses of ALL sizes.

 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Mike Thomas
ID: 34233448
If you have no indicator light then once every 2 months would be about right assuming you run 1 tape for your backup per day.
0
 
LVL 12

Accepted Solution

by:
TapeDude earned 336 total points
ID: 34233541
I'm a little surprised your unit doesn't have a cleaning light. What model is it?

As for the frequency of running a cleaning tape... a lot depends on the environment. You'll need to run it more often in a hot, humid or dirty environment, and with very new or very old tapes. I was running a duplication job with 8 banks of 4 drives, and in the end got the best results cleaning the drives every twelve tapes. This may seem a lot, but any less than this and I started getting a lot of shoe shining. A good rule of thumb is to run a cleaning tape if you hear the drive doing this ('shoe-shining' is when the drive runs the tape forwards and backwards repeatedly over the same section of tape) more than once every couple of minutes - it's an indication that the drive is having a hard time getting the data down in one pass.
0
 
LVL 56

Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 332 total points
ID: 34233609
Once every 12 tapes is very excessive from my experience tapedude, I'd guess you were just one the edge of not being able to feed it fast enough anyway. Or, as you suggest, in an environment no really suitable to use a tape drive in.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Theodosios
ID: 34233746
It's a Quantum Ultrium LTO2.  It only has lights for Power, Activity, Error, and Status.

Thanks,

Theo
0
 
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:Mike Thomas
Mike Thomas earned 332 total points
ID: 34233770
Does this mean anything to you?

The IBM drive determines when a drive needs to be cleaned. If cleaning is required, a “C” will display in the single character display area and the status light will
turn off. The Imation LTO Ultrium Universal Cleaning Cartridge will provide up to 50 cleanings per cartridge, as specified by the drive.

Taken from

http://www.imation.com/PageFiles/273/lto_ultrium_universal_cleaning_cartridge.pdf
0
 

Author Comment

by:Theodosios
ID: 34233980
Actually, there's no display area at all, just those 4 LED lights.

Thanks,

Theo
0
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Mike Thomas
ID: 34234031
Maybe there is a light combo you need to look out for? all lights on for example? also does this device have a network port and maybe a web interface? where you could pull info from?
0
 

Author Comment

by:Theodosios
ID: 34234163
Not sure, I inherited this device, can't find the documentation anywhere.  

I'm just going to stick with once a month cleaning, and if backups start to fail, I'll do it then as well.

Thanks,

Theo
0

Featured Post

Tech or Treat!

Submit an article about your scariest tech experience—and the solution—and you’ll be automatically entered to win one of 4 fantastic tech gadgets.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Concerto Cloud Services, a provider of fully managed private, public and hybrid cloud solutions, announced today it was named to the 20 Coolest Cloud Infrastructure Vendors Of The 2017 Cloud  (http://www.concertocloud.com/about/in-the-news/2017/02/0…
Many businesses neglect disaster recovery and treat it as an after-thought. I can tell you first hand that data will be lost, hard drives die, servers will be hacked, and careless (or malicious) employees can ruin your data.
This tutorial will walk an individual through configuring a drive on a Windows Server 2008 to perform shadow copies in order to quickly recover deleted files and folders. Click on Start and then select Computer to view the available drives on the se…
This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of configuring basic necessities in order to use the 2010 version of Data Protection Manager. These include storage, agents, and protection jobs. Launch Data Protection Manager from the deskt…

610 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question