Backups clean up

I Have backup exec 12.5 and have tapes that are full.  Besides erasing the tapes, and not knowing what is lost, is there another way to delete old completed jobs?
abpExpertAsked:
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Adrian CantrillSolutions ArchitectCommented:
You cant delete individual jobs from tapes, it writes , and writes and writes then it either expires and overwrites, or you erase the tapes. You can say delete a backup job at the start and re-use the first part.
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Adrian CantrillSolutions ArchitectCommented:
and i mean 'cant' in the last sentence :)
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Thomas RushCommented:
When you set the job up, did you select any kind of retention policy?   Some backup applications let you create one of several retention strategies (Grandfather/Father/Son being the most common), and tapes from a backup no longer needed will be automatically reused.

The 'safe' way to do this if you don't have a retention policy set in the application, nor good records of what is on which tape, is to use the backup application GUI to see what's on a tape and mark things for expiration or rewrite there.

As woolnoir says, you can't delete just some of the things off a tape and re-use the 'holes' -- tape streams, and you start writing at the beginning, appending but not backfilling.   If you have a tape that has some expired data on it and you want to reclaim that space, you have to copy the still-valid objects to a new tape.  Unless you have a second tape drive, this can be a really time-consuming task (for the person supervising it, not so much for the tape drive).
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