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portillosjohn
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LTO Ultrium 1760 lights on

I have an ultrium 1760 tape drive that has clean, tape,  and  drive lights full amber and the ready light green. I cannot get an tapes to work in the drive. What does this mean?
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portillosjohn

8/22/2022 - Mon
Sajid Shaik M

Did u make inventory of the tape ?
portillosjohn

ASKER
Yes accidentally. But the job was canceled.
Sajid Shaik M

Make it again the inventory..
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Sajid Shaik M

What is the backup software u are using ?
Thomas Rush

This may be a silly question, but have you used a cleaning tape on the drive recently?

Tape drive read/write heads can get dirty after a while.  A little bit of dirt doesn't hurt, but as more and more builds up over time, it will start to make writes and reads less reliable -- leading to retries and eventually causing the drive to take itself out of commission until the problem is fixed.

Tape drive manufacturers have long provided special tapes called "cleaning tapes" that are designed to be used periodically, and which will polish the crud off the head, giving you like-new performance again.   The "clean" light is often your first indication of this.

Note 1: Cleaning tapes are mildly abrasive.  You don't want to use one too often, or it will decrease the working life of your tape drive.  For most users, waiting until the "clean" light comes on is enough.

Note 2: Cleaning tapes are also designed to be used a certain number of times (that is, it wouldn't do you much good to keep using a cleaning tape over and over, since past some point, it would start depositing the same amount or more gunk as it was removing), so read the info you get with the tape and keep track of how many times you use it.  At end-of-life, throw it out.

Now, if using a cleaning tape doesn't work, check your manufacturer for tape diagnostics.  HP, for instance, has the free HP Library and Tape Tools with lots of useful diagnostics.  However, I really do suspect that in your case you just have a drive begging for a cleaning tape.
portillosjohn

ASKER
It is backup exec 2010
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Thomas Rush

Backup application probably doesn't matter -- the 'clean' light is driven by firmware of the tape drive.

Have you used a cleaning tape in the drive?
portillosjohn

ASKER
No i have not
portillosjohn

ASKER
Is there a way to reset the drive? I dont have a cleaning tape handy.
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Thomas Rush

One must ask: "Why is the cleaning light on?"

The answer is, "The cleaning light comes on when the head gets dirty enough to mean that your backups are or may soon become unreliable."

Which leads one to ask, "What is the value in running a backup with a substantial chance that the backup will be unreadable, or will restore corrupted data?"

If you find value in that, then I guess it's OK to try to run a backup to a drive with a known too-dirty head.  But I don't know how you can trick a tape drive that knows its head is too dirty, into pretending for just-this-backup that it's not really too dirty, "just ignore any errors, we won't care this time."  -- and I'm not at all sure why you'd want to.

I see brand new LTO cleaning tapes available online for under $50.  For well under $100, you can have a cleaning tape shipped via overnight courier to you and have a high probability of fixing the problem, instead of ignoring it.  That sounds like a good value to me (unless your business's data isn't worth $100...).

NOTE: Do NOT buy a used cleaning tape.  You won't know how many times it's been used... and they're only good for a certain number of uses.

NOTE: LTO cleaning tapes are 'universal' -- there's no special tape for LTO-4 or LTO-6 or LTO-1... any manufacturer's LTO cleaning tape will work.
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portillosjohn

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portillosjohn

ASKER
This was the fix in my case.
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