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MSL2024 Clean

Posted on 2013-11-08
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Last Modified: 2014-05-12
Hello,

I have a MSL2024 tape library from HP, the "Clean" LED is solid amber. According to the guide,  a cleaning tape should be used. Can I still write data to tape and still be safe?

Second,
What exactly triggers the Clean LED?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:CCS-IT
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39634912
The light means the tape drive (heads) should be cleaned. Get (purchase) a cleaning tape and use it to clean the drive.

I think the drive will still work, but write results (your backup) will be unreliable.

.... Thinkpads_User
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SelfGovern earned 300 total points
ID: 39635759
In their normal course of use, 'gunk' can build up on the tape heads.  Built in to the drive are various sensors and logic to detect when this is happening.  When the number of errors on writes exceeds the defined levels, the drive will flash its cleaning light.  One can normally run backups for a while after this, and they will seem to be successful, but performance and accuracy will drop, and consumed media will increase, because there will be more and more sectors written that require re-writes.

At some point the drive says, "This is nuts, I'm not going to keep writing with this many errors."  Long before that, you may find that written tapes are no longer reliable read.

Buy the cleaning tape.  Use it.  Backups need to be safe, not constrained by fear of spending $100 on a cleaning tape.

Note: cleaning tapes are good for a certain number of uses.  Don't overuse them, as they will get used up faster, and they can cause excessive wear to the tape head, requiring replacement of the tape drive.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39643199
Just to add that "auto clean" can be set up on that library and will recognise a tape with CLNxxxx on the barcode label as a cleaning tape but use this option carefully since software may also have an autoclean option and you don't want both of them to do the job.

You can also initiate a manual tape cleaning from the OCP.

RMI and OCP usage is here
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