Backup Exec 12 tape capacity inexplicably changed

We been backing up approx 250 GB of data nightly for many months without a hitch.  Suddenly one night last week Backup Exec would backup about 150 GB and ask for another tape.  Prior to each backup we run an erase job on the tape, reasoning that this should ensure a maximum space on each tape. There are no error codes and we are using hardware compression.  We have not yet tried reformatting the tapes.
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Philip ElderConnect With a Mentor Technical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Verify that BUE has not locked a portion of the tape down due to lockout periods defined (or not defined) in BUE.

Change the tapes. We usually rotate regular backup tapes out every year.

Define a new backup set with new tapes and see if the data gets backed up or replace the tapes that are seemingly short.

Thomas RushCommented:
This could be caused by a dirty head, or by deterioration of the head (although deterioration doesn't usually hit so fast).

Run a cleaning tape, see if that helps.
If there's no joy, take a look at the tape properties, or use manufacturer-provided diagnostics on the tape drive (for instance, HP has the free Library and Tape Tools)
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Thank you for that.

What turned out to be the problem?

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