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Looking for freeware app to do HP Dat72 Tape Drive Cleaning

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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
A customer of ours has an HP DAT-72 tape drive (an old model HP C7438A) and we are trying to create a cleaning regime, after recently having problems where several tapes all needed renewing at the same time in order for it to keep functioning. We have a brand new cleaning cartridge.

The customer has already invested in two types of backup software. Their HP DPE backup software tape-cleaning function is not working and we have abandoned trying to resolve that after trying all possible solutions. Their Acronis backup software has no tape-cleaning function.

HP do not seem to provide such software for free, so does anyone know of a public freeware software utility to clean this drive please - perhaps from an old HP Engineer's CD collection?
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Scott CSenior Engineer
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Commented:
Exactly rindi.  You just insert the cleaning tape and the drive automatically recognizes it as a cleaning tape, runs, and ejects the cleaning tape when finished.

As rindi said be sure to mark each time it is used and dispose it when it is all used up.

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Commented:
When tested as described here, indeed, the drive and cleaning cartridge behaved and sounded as if cleaning was taking place; then the cartridge was ejected.

With this in mind, it now seems probable that that during our tests we may have been cleaning the heads without knowing - and therefore our write problems stopped because the drive was clean and not because we used new tapes.

Also, HP say this model has "an internal automated self-cleaning head cleaner activated by excessive soft write errors and a time based threshold", so that may have been at work in the background, too.

Thank you very much to those who answered the question!   :-)
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Commented:
Apart from that you should consider replacing the tapes regularly. DAT tapes don't have a record of lasting very long. I never used more than 20 full write cycles. After that I archived them and used a new tape.
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